From Liz, With Love: Will I ever dance in the kitchen at 2 a.m.?
I feel genuinely scared that I’ll never find the sweet, wholehearted kind of love that I want. Am I just unlucky or do most guys just want to hook up? In my past relationship, there was so much focus on sex and physical intimacy, and it left me feeling hollow and empty. I just want someone to bring me flowers when I’ve had a bad day or slow dance with me while we bake cookies at 2 a.m. Does that type of love even exist nowadays? Am I setting myself up for disappointment by expecting a love like that?
Dear Hopeless Romantic,
As a 21-year-old in the 21st century, with a (slight) addiction to my phone, I spend an (unhealthy) amount of time scrolling on TikTok. Aia, our Managing Editor, recently sent me a video from a relationship coach who posted a message I’d like to share with you.
She said, “if it were impossible, you would have never had the vision.” Relationships like the one you’ve described, exist. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have thought of them in the first place. Dancing in the kitchen to “your song,” kissing in the rain while wearing their jacket, and feeling safe in your lover’s arms, all exist. Granted, you might not find these qualities in the first person you meet, or the second, and maybe not even the third. But not settling for potential or being satisfied (or seemingly unsatisfied in your case) with attention, should be a conscious decision you make every time. As should staying single until your standards are met.
I recently went on a date. It was a rash decision made in the heat of feeling like there was suddenly something wrong with me for not being in a relationship. The guy was very open about what he wanted in a partner (unusual, I know), and wanted to pursue things further.
However, I realized that although he wasn’t a horrible match, he didn’t meet my standards. I also wasn’t ready for the type of mature, serious, long-term relationship he was looking for (he was 26 and practically ready to have kids). More importantly, I realized that I have absolutely no clue what I’m looking for at all. Because really, I shouldn’t be looking. The perfect man will come at the perfect time—as cliché as that sounds.
My mother once told me to write a list of things I want in my partner and never settle for less. I was 15 and the list carefully curated in my Notes app consisted of icks like “doesn’t wear no-show socks” and “doesn’t eat yogurt with a disproportionately small spoon.” When I’m ready—and I urge you to do the same—I’ll take my time to make that list with every quality that I’ve ever wished for. And until my needs are met, I will not settle for less, and neither should you.
It seems like you’re still carrying the weight of your past relationship—it’s haunting you into believing that what you had is all you’ll ever receive. It’s not. There’s love that engulfs you like a warm hug, and that makes you feel like you’re home—the “sweet, wholehearted kind.” And I promise you, it’ll come when you least expect it.
Editor-in-Chief (Volume 48 & 49) | firstname.lastname@example.org — Liz is completing a double major in Chemistry and Art History. She previously served as Features Editor for Volume 47, and Editor-in-Chief for Volume 48. Liz is extremely excited to have spent her time as an undergrad at The Medium, and can’t wait to inspire others and be inspired in her final year at UTM. When she’s not studying, working, writing, or editing countless articles, you can find her singing Motown hits at her piano, going on long walks by the lake, or listening to music. You can connect with Liz on her website, Instagram, or LinkedIn.