For the past few years, I've been living the glorious single life while family, friends and classmates around me are getting into relationships, getting engaged and married. Being on a campus where the term, "Ring by Spring" is tossed around more times than I've watched Marvel's The Avengers and to be perfectly honest, it is quite overbearing. Like, if I don't meet my future spouse here at college, have I failed? Or if I am not married by a certain age, is that so bad? And the list goes on and on. However, one of my friends has tried to set me up with someone -- and both times, it did not work out -- but not because the person and I were opposites or whatever silly reason comes to mind, but because I am super picky when it comes to dating. I am more picky about the person I date than what kind of iced coffee I want from Starbucks.
But there is a reason I am so darn picky. You see, I don't want to just settle or go for the first dude that walks by. No. I was raised to never settle for less than I deserve and to find someone who will eventually love me like Jennifer Lawrence loves pizza and someone who would better me as a person, as a Christian and someone who wouldn't make me feel like a total spazz due to my anxiety and depression, while instead helping me find ways to conquer those demons and lastly, someone my family would approve of faster than you can pour seven cups of sweet tea during the holidays.
You see, those who have anxiety have it harder because we tend to over analyze every word we say, either in person or over text. We over analyze how long it takes for a response to get back to us when we text. We overthink the little things and when the slightest mistakes happen, it lingers in our mind(s) like a wildfire. We want to open up about things but at the same time, we are afraid to. We want to talk to you about everything and go out with others to the movies or concerts or road trips/vacations but the thought of something wrong happening or instant judgment over the littlest of things stays put in our mind.
With depression, it is just as hard. Sometimes, we want to stay inside in the comfort of our bed and watch Disney all day or have a day to ourselves with no interruptions because the day before proved too much for us and that alone to time to detox and relax is something we crave. Telling us that we missed on a certain event or that we just need to "get happy" or "get over it" is not going to solve it and will only make matters worse in the end. It's something that we struggle with every single day. Simple tasks like getting out of bed, going to class, being social with people, doing laundry/basic cleaning around the house can be too much for us and you have to learn to make the best of it (the good,the bad and the ugly) like we do.
Being picky and refusing to settle is not the worst thing on earth. Settling for less than what you deserve and not having that support system that comes along with a relationship is harsh. Being picky has kept me from dating some unsavory characters (like the dude who could not take a hint that I didn't hang out with him after three attempts or the creep who causes me to say an extra prayer to Jesus that rainy weather and snow saved my life). Being super picky means that I will never settle -- not for work, not for the goals I have, or for what the future holds and I have to wonder, is that such a bad thing?
Please understand, that I am still figuring out who I am (yes, at twenty-one, I am still trying to figure myself out and that will happen til I'm in my 90's) but I do know what I want/like and what I don't and that I require a lot of work/understanding (I won't just up and say yes right away or say I love you within a matter of minutes) especially with my anxiety and depression. That I have boundaries and once crossed, I am out faster than Bryce Dallas Howard running in heels in Jurassic World. I won't ask you to change yourself or force you to give up the things you like because I know that you had a life before me and I only ask that you do the same for me.
Also, those of that do love differently are the ones who will motivate you to do your best and give you their all. Who will be your best friend in your time(s) of need and be there for you whether or not we are wide awake or extremely tired at two or three in the morning. Who love the hardest. Who will try to bring out the best in you. Who will give you their all plus more even when they don't have it. Who will do their best to come out of their comfort zones just for you. We will try to give you what others haven't given us ( as listed from above -time, affection, motivation, friendship, hard work, respect and our all). We won't give up even when times get tough.
Those of us who love just a little differently than the rest.