Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Looking for a type

You may or may not realize this, but I am white. Yes, I mean white as in caucasion, as in not-a-minority.

Up until I met Trooper, I pretty much always dated white men. That wasn't by design, just the way things worked out. I didn't date Trooper because of his race, or really even in spite of it. I dated Trooper because he was a nice guy - who happened to be African American.

When we broke up, I guess I did lean towards a particular "type" of guy. I mostly dated outside my race, though there were several dates with white guys mixed in. Again, it really was just the way things worked out.

When I dated outside my race, I came to expect questions, looks, or comments. I could predict what was coming, and knew how to respond.

But I honestly never thought I would spend any time explaining my choice to date a guy of the same race.

When I first started telling my friends about Toyfriend, the reaction was the same, pretty much across the board. Even when I wasn't around, friends reported back that other friends reacted the same:

"Wait - he's white?!"

I probably should have anticipated the reaction, and it probably shouldn't bother me. After all, I did have a "type" for a while. People know what sort of men I find attractive, and I guess everyone just assumed that was the type of guy I would end up with. I suppose because that's who they would expect me to meet.

I guess I just wish that my friends' first reaction would be one of happiness. Like, "Wow, GGS seems happy - how great is that?! She deserves it." A few friends did react exactly this way - you know who you are, and I hope you know how grateful I am.

But I think I also wish that people had believed me when I said I never dated anyone because of his race. The surprise makes it seem like people expect race was a deal-breaker for me - and it never was. It is certainly true that I find men of a particular race very attractive - that's been true since my first crush. But liking how someone looks and falling in love with who someone is are very different things.

When I was just looking for someone to spend a little time with, I went looking for guys based solely on physical attraction. Why not, right?

But if I had stuck to that "type" and made race a deal-breaker, I'd have shut out the possibility of the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me. Yes - I said ever.

That's the thing about "types" - they work when you're doing the looking. They don't work when you're ready to be found. 

(The fact that Toyfriend is completely adorable is really just icing on my happy little cupcake.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pleasant surprise

I expected I would be bad at some aspects of being in a relationship. It's been roughly forever since I even attempted to be in a relationship, so I was bound to be a little rusty.

I also figured I would be good at some relationship stuff. Some things come naturally, and others must be a little like bike riding, no?

I was right on both counts. But... it turns out, I'm not good at everything I thought I'd be - nor am I bad at everything I expected.

Imagine my surprise when I found myself taking someone else's clothes out of my dryer, folding them, and putting them in a drawer? Let's not even discuss how I cleaned out that space for these clothes that are not mine.

I thought that my cynical, closed-off side would keep me from opening up... but I have found myself happily making room in my life, in more than one way. I've even cooked. In my kitchen.

Meanwhile, I thought I'd be OK with things like alone time and female friends. (sigh) It turns out that some of my insecurities have reared their ugly head, and I am not quite as OK with that stuff as I expected.

What I am getting good at is discussing my concerns and even my insecurities. It also turns out I can have those conversations without arguing, which was a pleasant surprise.

I suppose that to be a good relationship, it needs balance. A little give, a little take. I have historically given way more than I've taken, and I still find myself struggling to make sure I am compromising without settling.

Mostly, I have found myself very happy - and I have found that I'm better at being happy than I expected. That was a pleasant surprise.