After 25 years of going it alone, I have finally found myself a boyfriend. The curse of motaesolo (모태솔로 - perpetual loneliness, as they say in Korea) has lifted.
And what a great boyfriend he is. He's attentive, caring, he listens, loves to communicate, and he is so talented and capable. I am really enjoying being his girlfriend and I feel sorry for all the other girls who are missing out.
At first I was a bit concerned about how good I'd be at this relationship stuff. I'd been storing up advice and little tidbits all my life and now was the time to put them into practice.
It turns out that I'm actually ok at being a girlfriend, but I'm finding it much more difficult to navigate having a boyfriend.
Don't get me wrong, it's amazing to have someone send me sweet goodnight texts, or to snuggle up with as we binge-watch Friends. It's even better to have someone who accepts me each time new flaws come to light, or who really listens when I'm talking about something important to me.
As an independent female I was doing absolutely fine (most of the time) without anyone to share those aspects of life. Of course, I knew I was missing out, but I quite enjoyed my own company and autonomy.
I fully expected that level of self-assuredness to continue into my relationship and had visions of myself as the 'cool' girlfriend who lets him hang out with his friends and doesn't nag him with drivelly texts.
Nothing prepared me for all the emotions and needs I would be overwhelmed by.
It's scary to need someone to text me, to tell me I'm beautiful, to be proud of my accomplishments, to think that I'm just the best thing. I find sadistic ways to read into situations to make myself feel worse and then when I see him and he smiles at me, it all dissipates.
I used to be so even-keeled and actually quite apathetic. Now I've got all these emotions!
I'm trying to learn how to pull myself back to center and stop pushing my self-worth on him. It's such an important and steep learning curve but I am determined to get there.
I think this stuff gets easier the longer you are together and the more you take for granted the affection you have for each other. I hope I get there soon!