When I was thirteen years old I was absolutely certain that by the time I turned fifteen I would have a boyfriend. What this meant in concrete terms I wasn’t entirely sure, but I did know it had something to do with us belonging together. And something to do with being hopelessly in love, which at that point I was with an English boy called Johnny, who had an awkwardly triangular, slightly-too-large head and gorgeous dark hair. He made my heart throb and my stomach freeze every time I saw him in the hallways at school. I began to take badminton just because he did, then one day I hid his schoolbag just to be near something that was his, though I felt massively guilty afterwards when I saw him running around looking for it when the bell rang. Later, ashamed, I sneaked out in the middle of class and put it back, lying and saying I had to go to the toilet.
I turned fifteen without even the tiniest flicker of a boyfriend. Instead I was hopelessly in love with Kim, a boy in my year. I knew for a fact that we’d never end up going out. Ever! He was tall, blonde, mature for his age, the coolest kid in school, with a metal comb in his back pocket and I … well, I had joined school a year early, giggled at all the wrong moments and and was entirely without attractive, appropriately placed bulges, so I started high school a few months later as a singleton.
Over the following few years I tested the waters. My mental image of what he should look like (tall, muscular), be like (really smart and together) and what his life would be like (much more exciting than mine!) was very clear. I met various potential candidates, and gradually becoming less giggly and longer-legged helped widen the pool a bit. But I still kept falling for good-looking blokes who just weren’t screwed together in a way that could make me happy. I was searching for objective criteria that seemed to fit the definition of success, but which actually just made me feel like there was something wrong with me. All told I was pretty amazingly good at bad choices.
Luckily things got better with time. Much better! I realised that the man who’ll make me happy isn’t going to be one I compete with. Or who’ll save me. Or make me socially acceptable. Or take away my loneliness.
The man who’ll make me happy will simply make me laugh. And he’ll make me come.
A man who can make me laugh is making me happy. And frankly, that’s what I want – to be happy and cheerful most of the time. It’s so banal it’s enough to make you cry! Yet over the years I’ve managed to focus on almost everything else. A man who’ll make me happy will make me feel important and loved, because it actually matters to him that I’m happy. That’s why he’ll make an effort to see that I am. Because he shares so much of himself, he’ll be a partner with whom I want to share life’s lights and darks.
And a man who makes me come is a man who knows how to turn me on. Not just in bed (or in the kitchen or the car or…) but in my heart and mind as well. A man who makes me come makes me want to give myself to him – in every way – because it means he also knows how to create closeness and intimacy between us.
A man used to be a woman’s social and economic insurance policy. Today he’s an equal partner, and we’re free to give ourselves to a person who makes us feel loved, vibrant and valued. So I’m saying yes please to laughter and a lust for my body, my heart and my life. And the more of it the merrier!