It seems like the older you get, the more you're reminded everyone is getting married and having babies except for you.
You think to yourself, “What's wrong with me? Why am I alone? Should I start adopting cats for my inevitable spinster future?”
I'm here to tell you there's nothing wrong with you, but there is something wrong with the demands society places on women.
Women are told that in order to get the American dream of 2.5 kids and a white picket fence, we need to lessen ourselves; we need to shrink.
We can't be outspoken, rebellious or sexual.
We cannot be strong-willed, independent and more successful because it may compromise men's egos.
Well, I'm here to say I intimidate men, and I don't care.
I redefined my outlook on relationships and my role in them after watching various dalliances end.
I am a woman with an intimidation factor, and here are the ways it has affected my romantic relationships:
1. I wear the clothes I like.
I have a closet full of clothes that make feel good about myself, and I wear them for the sole reason that they reflect my confidence.
I won't dress myself up like the kind of woman who goes to church because when I pray to the alter of self-expression, it's made up of various styles.
When I wake up each day, I wear clothes that represent how I feel.
2. I'm full of passion.
I do everything with ferocity.
Though I won't make men feel comfortable, I will infinitely make them feel more alive.
The men who have loved me previously can say my passion made each day thrilling and unpredictable. On any given day, there was a chance they could come home to a spontaneous water gun fight in the living room, a grand romantic gesture or lovemaking that burned sheets.
If you're looking for mediocre, you should run.
But if you're seeking adventure, follow where I lead.
3. I'm not a damsel in distress, and I don't need saving.
Men like becoming heroes, so they date women who look like they need protecting.
I'm not that kind of woman.
I needed a hero one day long ago, so I became my own.
I learned nobody could protect me from my pain but myself, so I became my own savior.
I won't need you to pay my bills because I pay my own.
I won't ask for your approval because I do what I want.
I'm independent, and if you're scared of that, you don't belong with me.
4. I command attention without asking for it.
When you exude as much confidence as I do, people are naturally drawn to you. I know who I am, and I let my light shine.
I dance like nobody's watching, crack inappropriate jokes and drink beer.
Others are intrigued by my flat-out refusal to care what anyone thinks.
Basically, if you're the kind of man who needs his ego stroked and battles with insecurity, you'll hate dating me.
5. I'm an open book.
I'll express myself, and I won't hide who I am. Unless you accept me as I am, we won't last.
People claim they don't want to play games, but once they're with others who are blunt and direct, they're frightened quickly and speed away.
If you're a man who wants me to hide any part of myself, we won't work.
6. I'm a survivor.
I have a past, and it has defined me.
If you don't want someone with scars and a history, then I won't be the woman for you. My past is my greatest blessing because it has made me better in every way.
The things I lost taught me how to appreciate everything in life, big or small. The people who have hurt me inspired me to find forgiveness in my heart.
Growing up without the things I needed made me work for everything in life.
My scars are a road map of my life, and I'm proud of each of them. As a wise man once said:
7. I love too deeply.
I only believe in falling head over heels.
I won't date a maybe, and I won't a date potential.
I'll only commit myself to someone who is open to feeling a love so powerful, it'll leave marks on his soul.
I'll move mountains for you; I'll give myself over to you and fully expose myself.
I'll accept all of you, and I'll try my best to see things from your point of view.
Most importantly, I'll never stop fighting for you.
Anybody looking for simple or easy love will find my unending pool of dedication frightening, needy or desperate, when in fact, it is pure.
8. I don't believe in selfishness, only sacrifice.
Time and time again, I've chosen to put my dreams on hold and adjust my plans for the people I love. I find fulfillment in building others up, and if you intend to keep me all to yourself, it wont work out.
I'm made up of all of the people I've ever encountered, and if they need me — no matter the time, the place or the burden it creates for me — I'll show up for them.
You can't expect to own me because I belong to everyone I love.
9. I'll teach you things.
If your ego is so large, you find the potential of learning something from a woman demeaning to your manhood, you will not want me for a partner.
I've lived far too much life in my short existence on this planet, and because of it, I will open your eyes to experiences and lessons you never knew were possible.
10. I might be intimidating, but I'm still human.
Just because I ooze confidence, am proud of my thick skin and have taken control of my own life, doesn't mean I don't feel pain.
I'm still a person with feelings, and your rejection, hurtful words and false intentions will sting, even if I don't let it show.
I've been burned far too many times than I can count because people claimed I was too much of something.
So, if you relate to this, then please, don't round out your edges or try to be something you're not.
I know I'd rather have a life full of passion than a life full of complacency.
Be bold, be daring and be different. Find someone who wants to embrace your depths, instead of run away out of the fear.
Anyone I've loved can attest that a woman with fire is far more fulfilling than a woman who is trying to live up to the ideals society set for us decades ago.
I'm a thrill seeker, an outspoken artist, family-oriented, loyal to a fault, ride-or-die, brash and unapologetically me.
Take me as I am, or watch me as I go.