Carrie was smitten. Ever since she clapped eyes on Cory, she felt her stomach churn into a fluttering butterfly zoo. She had never felt such instant attraction. The bassist in a band, Cory was a touring free spirit. He emanated fun, youth and excitement. And to further amp up the electricity, the sexual chem was clearly a two sided current. However, they had two very different styles of relating to the opposite sex. Cory lived in the moment. The concept of tomorrow never really occurred to him. Carrie on the other hand, though attracted to his libertarian ways, wanted the security of a relationship. But she knew an outright declaration of this would scare him away.
She decided to orchestrate a sleight of hand. She decided that if she could go along with the casual for long enough, sleep with him, they would naturally bond, and he would arrive at the realisation that she was the one for him. Each morning, after tossing her hair nonchalantly into a ponytail and strolling airily out of his apartment, Carrie edged nearer to the realisation that her plan wasn’t really working. From his end there had been no, “do you have to leave?”, “stay for breakfast” or “so, what shall we do for Valentine’s Day?” Eventually, the situation started to chip away at her ego, her insecurities snowballed and she decided to abandon her reverse psychology stance and ask, “where is this going?” She was met with a stunned silence, followed by a “I thought we were cool as we were? I’m not really looking for a girlfriend.”
Carrie felt cheated. She had put her own needs onto the back burner, compromised her comfort levels, and this was all she got in return. After a few rounds of punching her pillow, and three or four viewings of John Tucker Must Die, Carrie had to admit to herself that her rage at him was actually rage at herself. She had operated from a hidden agenda, and rather than make her needs clear, she had catered to his needs in the hope that he would, in turn, fulfil hers. A bargain he had no part in negotiating.
Do we shy away from declaring our desire for a potential relationship because we fear being rejected for it? Are we afraid to let go of crumbs because we know deep down there was never a loaf to be had? Or is it the fear that if we state our needs clearly, we’ll be left with only men that actually want a relationship, which means the even scarier possibility of actually having one?