A Guy's Perspective On Being Ready For Love After Years Of Hooking Up

I could always tell when a girl was only using me for a quick hookup.

The signs were always the same: sporadic communication, lack of eye contact and discomfort with intimacy, kissing or even simple touch.

I'm sure there are guys out there who wouldn't mind this type of treatment just for sex, and sure, a hookup alone would've been enough validation for my younger self. But nowadays, continuous one-night stands are the last thing I'm looking for.

I'm dating for a human connection. But it sucks when you want love so badly and other people treat you like you're not worth it.

So after yet another hookup, as I made the walk of shame home, I always wondered, “Do I make girls feel this way? What did I do to deserve this?”

And reflecting on my past, I'm certain I've made girls feel this way.

There were times of miscommunication — which were completely my fault — and instances where I shut off my desire for intimacy to make it clear I wasn't interested in a relationship.

On these walks, I often regretted ever making anyone feel used. And unfortunately, the more I think of my situation, the more I realize I deserve it.

I was once ashamed of my sexuality and felt extremely guilty for my desires (thanks to a lack of positive sex education). I lacked confidence, but over the past few years, I've learned to embrace the fact sex is an essential part of a relationship and who I am.

Though it took some time to change my own thoughts on the matter, I now have an extremely positive, nonjudgmental, educated view on sex, and it'd be an understatement to say I'm a sexual person.

However, just because I'm a sexual person, doesn't mean that's the only thing I want in my relationships.

I'm sure being a sexual person scared off people I truly could've fallen in love with, and even those who I have.

I'd like to think the other facets of my personality and character would make me worthy of being more than a toy, but I haven't met someone who believes that yet.

In fact, I fear women, who may have wanted something more serious, only used me for the sex-obsessed person they thought I was. Talk about heartbreak.

But you see, very few things in my life have felt as empowering as embracing and accepting my sexuality.

I've never felt more confident and attractive, but even then, there are times I would trade it all just to feel the love I think I've missed out on. Sometimes, I just want to tame my positive view on sex.

Though I don't want to abandon who I am, it's hard being the guy who girls have sex with but never love. I don't want to be a toy anymore, so I need to stop acting like one.

And while I'll always keep my positive view toward sex, I need to change my approach to dating, so I can have the chance to be considered relationship material.

There's nothing wrong with loving and prioritizing sex, but I need to first give my heart and mind, instead of my body, if I want to find love.

Though the path to this realization has been kind of bumpy, I know now that I'm ready to truly love someone and for them to love me.