I’ve always been worried about not finding someone–you know, to be with forever. I’m not the most normal, most easy-going, most friendly person. I am passionate, about lots of things (which, although people say that’s a quality they want, they mean in the, “I really want to help abandoned animals” or “I practice the cello all the time” way. Research–my own, I mean–has shown they do not mean it in the, “I get worked up easily and often seem overly dramatic and won’t understand if you are the emotionless robot type” way). And I’m not willing to settle for less than amazing. So, to me, not finding someone is a very practical thing to worry about.
But the other day, as I was staring at the picture on the subway of people on the subway (you know the one, by Sophie Blackall, depicting all of the New York stereotypes: an Asian woman wearing sandals and socks with a bag of raw fish by her feet, an old Hasidic Jew reading the Bible, a little kid with a tail…okay, most of the stereotypes), I found myself looking at the printed couple making out and thinking not only, “I hate that,” but also, “I don’t want that.” And I started thinking about how I’ve never fit into the stereotypical couple mold that I see all around me.
Never once have I boarded a crowded train and suddenly felt the urge to make out with a boyfriend in front of–or possibly right up against–strangers. Never once have I been talking to my friends and turned to a boyfriend to kiss him in the middle of the conversation.
I used to be okay with that, and secretly even proud of that–when I love someone, I don’t need to broadcast it to strangers; when someone loves me, I don’t need it advertised to the world. That’s what I thought.
Then I was explaining to friends that I have never felt love–or lust–at first sight. I’ve never met someone and immediately known I wanted to be with him. I was telling them how I don’t think I could ever feel like that and frankly don’t want to. And my friends were looking at me like I was crazy because they were with guys about whom they had felt that, and how could anyone who calls herself a woman NOT want the clichéd moment when she instantly knows?
It suddenly hit me, the same thing that gradually came over me while looking at the painted couple on the poster: What if I find someone who is great for me but because I don’t want to be part of a mushy PDA couple, that leads to our demise? Sure, you could say it means he’s not the person for me, but what if it’s truly that I’m not the person for anyone? What if I find someone, but because there is something fundamentally wrong with me, something that makes me want to fall in love slowly and prefer not to display physical attraction to the public, that makes me unfit for a true, lasting relationship?
The rational part of me (which is in there somewhere, I’m almost positive) knows it’s just that the man out there who has an aversion to seeing strangers grope each other on the train and watching his friends make out in front of him hasn’t crossed my path yet. But I’m single, and when you’re single, you’ll come up with silly explanations for why it is so–because there’s really nothing else to do when you’re trapped next to the couple kissing on the subway.