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girl on beachI am too proud for love, but I am not too cool to care. I’ve used crushes as safety nets and have always prided myself on never, ever falling a slave to petty, little games. Like a majority of young adults, I had my moments in high school; but once I hit 18, it was adios to my hormonal tendencies and hello to my journey as a young professional woman.

No way was I going to be THAT girl. You know who I’m talking about. (Heck, I could be talking about you.) And if I am, I’m sorry, but I didn’t want to be a part of that all too exclusive club of females crying over little boys who just didn’t get it. Yes, I had my slip-ups over the past two years; but in the back of my mind, I knew what I really wanted, what I wasn’t going to settle for, and I knew I had a destiny to fulfill.

Any form of distraction was unacceptable and I was determined to not let my emotions win. But, then it happened. I met him.

He was perfection in almost every sense of the word. (Key word: almost) There were a few habitual quirks I didn’t care for–he was a smoker and often smelt like cigarettes and semi-sweet cigarillos—but I didn’t mind. He was hilarious, loved the same music I did, and could hold his own in a battle of wits. (Laughs) Don’t get it twisted; I wasn’t in love, but the way he felt when I would cuddle up next to him made it worth it. Hearing the strength of his heartbeat felt real and for a moment, I felt safe. That was perfect enough for me.

Point blank: I got too comfortable.

Maybe I was too honest or couldn’t read between the lines, or maybe we moved to fast. But, all in all, I couldn’t blame myself because when it comes down to it, we wanted different things. He wanted the devil-may-care college student who studies all week and parties all weekend, while I wanted—well, I just wanted to feel safe. I wanted to know it was okay to let my guard down. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It just hurt; and to be totally honest, it still does.

But, I am damn proud of myself for standing up for what I truly wanted, and for having the confidence to say it. I know of plenty of young women that wouldn’t just for the sake of some form of affection.

And I know in time, his existence will become a faint memory. I may even look back on this and laugh. But until then, I regret nothing. It was pure bliss.

– Tyler K. McDermott