Do you ever have a moment where you realise, despite how often you insist that you’re not, you’re actually just like everyone else? I had a moment like that last week. And I hated it.
I’m what I like to call fiercely independent. Or at least, I used to be. I thought I was happy being single, not being tied down. Relationships scare me because I suck at commitment and I’ve been content for so long not having a ‘person’ that it never occurred to me what I’m missing out on. Or that maybe, there is a part of me that does want a person, and I’ve just been too stubborn to admit it.
The need for someone else is something I’ve always found – with no small degree of snobbery, I confess – to be a weakness. What, you mean you actually want to spend a lot of time with another person? Lame. But recently I’ve come to realise that needing someone is only a weakness if you let it be. And that, actually, it’s just part of being human. We all crave the touch of another person, we love to be loved. Even the heartless among us (raises hand) who struggle with affection still need it in some degree. I think there’s an inherent need in all of us to be wanted, to be hungered for and desired. And, despite how much I tell myself that I’m an exception, I’m exactly like everyone else in that regard. I’m human. Damn it.
There is a difference, a huge difference, between being lonely and being alone. I spend a lot of my time around other people, so I enjoy being alone. But lately, by myself or otherwise, I’ve been lonely and it’s almost a physical ache. I know how that sounds, believe me. I feel weird just saying it. And even though there is a huge part of me that feels like I’m admitting defeat by saying this, I need a person. I came to the realisation that saying that doesn’t make me any less independent. It just means that, right now, I need someone’s arms around me. I need to curl up with someone. I need to feel someone’s skin against my own, not even for sex but just because. I don’t want to go home and sleep in a bed on my own, or wake up wishing for something that I don’t have.
Last week, I realised that I need a person, and I hate that I want it as much as I do. I hate hating the fact that I’m lonely. I hate admitting that I’m like everyone else. Suddenly, the idea of a relationship doesn’t seem so unappealing. That comfortable intimacy I see in so many of my friend’s relationships now makes me a touch envious. I miss past Amy, the one who laughed in the face of commitment and secretly felt a little bit sorry for her friends that openly admitted to wanting a partner. Past me thought she was better than them, the relationship snob that she is. I bet she’d mock me now.