I love receiving attention. I wish I was as cool and self-assured as I imagine myself to be, but in reality I’m a sucker for a poorly-written, romantic-comedy cliche, and have been waiting for Colin Firth to tell me he loves me just the way I am for the last 10 years. Despite no longer being a mousy, insecure, teenage girl who spends Saturday nights reading Harry Potter, instead of attempting to impress boys with florescent pink thongs and mini skirts, there’s still a small part of me that feels I owe her something.
Whenever I get a compliment from a member of the opposite sex my instant reaction is to question the reasoning behind it – why on earth would he say that? Is he trying to humiliate me? Is this a pity compliment? What can he possibly want from me? I have no money to offer him! Usually after 10 minutes of this inner-debate I’ll manage to awkwardly accept the compliment and utter a “thank you” in response. Immediately after this, the second wave of emotion arrives: happiness. The meek and mild 15 year old in me can’t help but grin like a Cheshire Cat after receiving a half-arsed, perfunctory comment about my “nice eyes” or “great arse” as it still seems so out of the ordinary.
Unfortunately, this personality flaw has led to me dating a string of men that I honestly wasn’t interested in and saw no future with, simply because they gave me the attention that I still so desperately craved. The over-bearing, clingy, pot-washer who became concerned about my state of mind if I didn’t reply to a text within 2 minutes, the attractive-but-dull surfer-type and the ‘I got my ex-girlfriend pregnant’ type: you name it, I’ve been there. None of them were right for me, but the one thing they all had in common was that they seemed deeply invested in me. What they lacked in intelligence and a sense of humour, they made up for in their unfaltering ability to show me how much they liked me on a regular basis, and I took advantage of this. As much as I wish I could declare myself a victim of circumstance, I can’t help but feel ashamed that I criticize men for leading me on when I have so easily done the same thing.
I left my teenage years a while ago, it’s about time I left the girl who just wants to be loved there as well. After all, how hard can it be to find someone you like that also feels the same way?