I’m sure by now you’ve all heard the Hunter Hayes song. It either makes you want to say “Aw!” at the thought of a guy wanting you so much or “Ew!” at how sappy and mushy that is. But either way, it tells us something important: we all need to feel wanted.
Since my ex and I separated nearly four years ago now, I haven’t been in a relationship. I haven’t even come close. That’s not to say that it’s been a completely dry spell- I’ve had some fun flirting- but nothing more. I started to think that the only reason that guys liked me pre-ex was because I was needy. I was the girl who needed constant reassurance- the easy kind that any guy could swoop in and save the way that many high school boys love to do.
My ex was like a transition. I’d started to become a more independent woman, and it showed in my relationship with him. Naturally, post-ex, I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s the reason guys were no longer showing interest in me the way they used to- like I said, no one had asked me out or explicitly told me that he liked me. Had I become less attractive since my ex and I broke up?
I never really lost that self-doubt. Not when one of the sweetest guys I know held my hand during prayer circle while he said a prayer for me and my bronchitis. Not when my co-worker’s eyes lit up every time he saw me. Not even when an older man introduced himself by saying, “You have a beautiful voice.” Nope, none of those made me feel beautiful, happy, whole, worthwhile, or wanted again. Not in the way that sticks around and pervades your life so everyone can see how good you feel. Not in a fulfilling way that made me remember my self-worth and rekindled my self-love.
That self-doubt finally started to go away this summer. “The sweetest guy” and the “co-worker whose eyes lit up” were back, and after about nine months apart, they were happy to see me as if we’d never been apart. It was then that I realized that these guys still liked me. They think I’m smart, funny, fun to be around, attractive… and all while being independent. And they know I’m independent. I have personality and sass, and I never hide it from them. And they like me anyway.
So thank you, boys, men, for being my mirror. For showing me that which I could not see: that whether I’m a little needy or completely independent, I am wanted.