love, an independent girl: a letter to a man

couple pic

Dear Love of My Life,

You don’t know me yet, but I can’t wait to meet you. I’ve talked about that before, and maybe I’ll talk about it again, but right now I wanna let you in on a few things.

The thing is, I see all these guys that I could be into, and they’re going after these girls that I am just nothing like. And at first, it makes me feel bad about myself, like there’s something wrong with me. It makes me feel like I should change myself to fit the stereotype of what the ideal girlfriend, and eventual wife, should be. Then I laugh. I’m 22 years old, and this is just the person that I am, I don’t see any signs of changing too drastically in my future. I’m an independent thinker; to change myself to be more like everyone else would be nearly impossible. I like who I am, and I know you will too, but I feel like it’s fair to at least warn you anyway.


I have my own ideas and opinions; that won’t change just because you have ideas and opinions that differ from mine. That won’t change because my ideas and opinions don’t align with your mom’s or your best friend’s or society’s in general. I will respect your opinions, and I know we will share many of the same views. I will respect the opinions of others, and I will expect the same level of respect from them. However, I will not simply nod and smile when someone says something that I strongly disagree with. I will not let you make all my decisions for me. I will not always hold my tongue.


I grew up with an older brother. Instead of joining Girl Scouts, I tagged along with my brother and all the boys in his Scout troop. I am tough. I like being strong. I like challenging myself to keep up with the guys, even when I can’t. I never did the girl style push ups in PE class, despite the fact that my arms are the weakest part of me. I never let boys beat me at arm wrestling or basketball just because it was the thing to do. I’m just not wired that way. I like to play defense in any sort of game because I’m aggressive and won’t back down. I don’t mind cheering you on, but I’d also like the opportunity to play.


I love clothes and fashion. I can fangirl like nobodies business. But whenever I try to link up with one of those groups of girls, you know the type, that always do their hair before they go out, and only watch dramas or romantic comedies at best, the type that monogram everything and have stationery and always wear earrings, I find myself suffocating in my attempt to be someone I’m not. My favorite show is Workaholics. I make inappropriate jokes and sometimes dress like an eight year old boy. I rarely wear jewelry and go months at a time without painting my nails. I’ll choose playing Mario Kart with the guys over scrapbooking with the girls. I’d rather talk about football than talk about wedding registry etiquette.


The walls I’ve spent years building will not instantly fall down when I meet you. It will take a long time for me to allow myself to trust you, or to even begin to fall for you. That means I will not quickly be affectionate; I may not broadcast our relationship right way. It will take time. I will not always want to hold your hand or kiss you in public; sometimes I will want to talk to someone on the opposite side of the room from you, and I cannot do that if you have control of my hand.I am my own person; we are not conjoined twins, we don’t always have to be touching. Sometimes I will need you to be my friend just as much as I need you to be my love. I need you to respect my space, and understand that balance. I will still need the same level of love and affection as any other relationship, maybe just differently from what most people expect.


I can bake like nobody’s business, so everyone assumes I live for domesticity. I hate it. Maybe one day that will change, but for now, I’m too ambitious and too interested in other areas of my life to think so much about cooking and cleaning. Sometimes I will just sweep crumbs from the counter into the floor. Sometimes I will be content to eat a Clif bar for dinner; sometimes I have more pressing matters to tend to, sometimes I am exhausted from those more pressing matters. Sometimes I just don’t like that society demands women to be domestic, and therefore I want to bring store bought baked good to a gathering just to make a statement. Sometimes I will want to cook a Thanksgiving feast. I reserve the right to change my mind.

I’ve never quite been able to fit in exactly right. I’m different. I will say the things that no one else has the guts to say. I will make a fool of myself when everyone else would just play it cool. I will be unique and strong willed and one of a kind. Know that what you are getting is not what us girls are taught that boys want; know that you’re not getting that perfect on paper girl, but also know that I’m not ashamed by that.

I look forward to meeting you, and knowing the ways that you are equally as unique and original and different.


An Independent Girl


One thought on “love, an independent girl: a letter to a man

  1. I also felt bad about myself. In retrospect I recognize that it was more that I felt lonely. And I didn’t write a letter, but I did cut out magazine pictures and make a collage of what I hoped my true love would do with me and make me feel like. Great that you’re putting out in the universe what you want!!
    In the end, my husband is NOTHING that I could have imagined but EVERYTHING I needed. He is 10 years older than me, doesn’t like camping, has no sense of adventure, is very silly (I’m endlessly serious), no college degree, has a daughter from a previous marriage (who lived with us for 10 years), and it has been very messy and complicated to make it work. But 25 years later, he makes me feel heard, like he really listens and is interested. And that dear Sierra, to steal a phrase, is priceless.
    Happy Friday. Hugs, Sue


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