It grieves me to admit this, but I have a horrible confession to make. I may have accidentally gotten myself into a stable relationship.
Fire up the hearse, print the obituary, because Johnna Sisneros, bad b**** extraordinaire, has met her demise at the hands of an emo soft boy who plays guitar and can’t cook to save his life. Ding dong, the wicked witch of casual flings and emotional unavailability is dead. To add insult to injury, she’s been replaced with some domestic, soft lady who makes date night pizza and says things like, “I’d love to go thrifting with you.”
I don’t think anyone anticipated that I would be written off as yet another victim of cuffing season. I expected this autumn to go as many autumns in the past: go to therapy every week, pregame the pumpkin patch with my other single friends and then finally buy something slutty to wear on Halloween so I can make out with some dude bro in a Hugh Hefner costume when the spooky clock strikes midnight.
Honestly, I was looking forward to a hot-healing-girl harvest sans man, but I guess the universe had something else in mind. Not even two weeks after I wrote that column about grieving my hot girl bummer, I met a dude who isn’t terrible. In fact, he’s so not terrible that he communicates effectively, is emotionally available and as of last weekend, is allegedly my boyfriend.
While I hate to admit the fact that I am really happy at the moment, my newfound commitment has made me realize something my pride refused to notice until now — I don’t actually know how to be in a relationship.
For all the rom-coms, relationship advice and TED Talks I’ve consumed on the subject, one would think that slipping into a relationship would be a piece of cake for the self-proclaimed relationship guru of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
It’s been over three years since I was in a committed relationship, and in all honesty, I am a cellularly different person than I was back then. I’m a lot more guarded and cynical now. I'm hyper-independent, and I hate to admit it, but I don’t know if I know how to allow myself to receive affection and support from another person.
I had always assumed I was a difficult person to care about because that’s how it felt with the guys in my life. Now, with this person, whom we will affectionately call “guitar boy,” it feels insanely easy — and that’s terrifying to me. I feel like I've been in a sort of comatose relationship and I just woke up. The world looks kind of different, and I’m learning how to reintegrate myself in the world of human interaction.
I’m learning how to take someone else into consideration, how to communicate my feelings and how to be vulnerable. I’m figuring out that I don’t actually hate sharing kitchen space with another person when I cook and that sleeping alone really wasn’t ever what I had cracked it all up to be.
While I am happy that I can learn these things and discover this softer — dare I say it, affectionate — side of myself, I’m noticing there’s one hell of a learning curve.
I started this column out wanting to talk about butterflies and love maps and attachment styles, all of these things that I’ve quantified in my brain as soulless topics to make myself feel like I know how to do this. However, as I finally muscled past this writer's block and finished this column almost an hour late, I realized that all I wanted to talk about was how I really don’t know what I’m doing, and somehow that’s okay.
I’m taking this a day at a time, and I’m approaching it with an open mind and heart. We, as humans, don’t need to know everything, especially about something so broad and expansive as romance and relationships. Even coaches don’t know all the plays in football and professional gamblers don’t always have an ace up their sleeve. I was kinda pantomiming both and I suppose it’s time for me to come out of retirement and actually get into the game.
So, now as I’m grieving my lost bad b**** energy and reintegrating myself into a situation that is — dare I say it, healthy — we’ll see how far the mighty have fallen and know that my only dying wish is that someone play “Thot S***” by Megan Thee Stallion at the wake.