I’m the daughter of a book lover slash librarian. My mom would always, always, always have books around the house or in her hand. Occasionally, I’d catch her curled up on the couch, reading some Harlequin romance novel with a shirtless guy and a lady that looked like she was being saved. Like, she was breathless…in a good way. So I can’t be blamed for wanting to be “saved,” in a sense. And I can’t be blamed for being a hopeless romantic.
As soon as I learned how to read, love stories became my preference too. Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty – the works. Early on, I decided that I wanted to be breathless like the characters I read about and like the women on the covers of my mom’s books. I wanted to be dangerously in love and swept away to Happily Ever After land by my own prince. And truthfully, I still do.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to my friend Bernard about – what else – boys, when he told me something that’s still bugging me to this day.
“Khalear,” he said. Whenever he uses my nickname, I know that he’s about to cushion a huge blow. I got ready for whatever he had to say and listened.
“You still believe in love. You still believe in all that romantic s—t, where a guy will wait for you and everything turns out okay. You want the butterflies in your stomach. You want the fireworks. You gotta know that it doesn’t happen like that.”
I giggled and half-heartedly agreed. Because you don’t disagree with B…he knows everything. But this particular statement just didn’t sit well with me. I told you guys that I’m still a virgin, right? If dating’s hard, that makes it even harder. On the rare occasion that I’m talking to a guy and it seems like he’s only in it for a potential hookup, I try to tell him ahead of time to make life easier for the both of us. And like clockwork, they drop off like flies. I can’t predict the future or what will happen in terms of my sex life (or lack thereof), but I’m still hopeful that I’ll find someone who’d be willing to wait. That’s romance to me.
And of course, as Bernard mentioned, I want romance in the “traditional” sense too…or at least traditional in my eyes. I want someone who wants me as much as I want them. I don’t want to have to feel weird about texting first or feel awkward when he actually calls. I don’t want to have to lift a finger when we’re out, either. On my last date, the guy didn’t even hold the door open for me or make sure I was on the inside of the sidewalk when we were walking. What happened to chivalry? Or at least common decency? That’s not too much to ask for, right?
I want the little things…like a guy who writes me love letters – or in this day and age, love texts – every morning. I want “just because” flowers. And besides the tangible stuff – I want to feel like I’m a princess. I want to be swept off my feet. Bernard made it seem like my list of wants were outrageous…but I’m not going to change the fact that one day, I want my own happily ever after. I want the fireworks. And I want my damn butterflies. Because if they’re not there, then what’s the point of all the work? I’ve talked to and dated my share of paupers, but they’ve helped me figure out what I want in my prince one day.
When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea, a recent Howard University graduate, moonlights as a magazine intern and a freelancer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.