Dedicated to the boy who told me, "I can't date a girl like you."
Going into my first semester of college, I was beyond excited to experience a new dating pool. Back home, I never felt like I connected with anyone mainly from the part there was this small town mentality where everyone knew each other since kindergarten. Just my luck, I was the girl who did not start attending the public school until eighth grade. Even then, I was placed in the regular class track, but quickly got moved up into the exclusive, "honors kid" clique. These select group of kids had classes together since the dawn of time, and I was brand spanking new.
Nobody knew me.
My mindset reached beyond our small Western Pennsylvania town, and that made me different than most in my classes. I challenged their day to day routine and pushed to make my high school experience the best I could with the limited sources given.
With that being established, the guys who were looking to date were only interested in having sex and smoking weed. They did not care about their academics or trying to make a name for themselves.
I've always been the type of person to generally surround myself with people who had common interests and brought out the best side of me. Why shouldn't I expect my partner to carry the same attributes? I never felt like I was meant to stay in the area where my hometown is because it is a dying area. The people there have a tendency to complain about there being a lack of change yet do not take action to see that change come about. Everyone normally stays there, so they never get the chance to go out and explore. Often, they believe a trip to Walmart is thrilling.
This concluded with often feeling lonely, and my mom's infamous quote, "you can easily have a boyfriend if you wanted but you never want to jus settle. You want to wait for the right person. You know never know, maybe the guy you are meant to be with just is not ready to date you."
When I decided to move five hours away from home, I was excited to encounter new people. And with that, possibly get into a relationship that I always desired in having. That was when I met him. He was the first guy that I could seriously see myself getting together, so I took a chance. I let myself be vulnerable to him.
Our short-lived love story began when we met in my political science class. He had a strong passion for the subject, and it was evident every week that we talked about a new political theory. The drive he expressed towards his academics was what made me fall for you, at first. There is also the fact he had a tendency to geek out about rock music like I did, which was just a bonus. I found it easy to talk to him, which is something I never really felt back home.
Sure, we might have only known each other for a month, but I could really see us going somewhere more serious besides the short conversations in class and going to grab coffee after class.
However, last week, he decided to drop a major wake up call. We went to our usual coffee spot, talking about the final project due this upcoming month. It was lighthearted and fun as we stood among the crowd of tired college students who were also waiting for their coffee.
That was when he said it. "Look, I'm sorry, but I can't date a girl like you."
Let me just add that we were in public, and I knew people were listening. I could feel people around us staring.
In the past, I would have over analyzed what was said to me. I would have taken it as a reference to my weight or maybe my complexion. I use to be very insecure in high school and question myself when comparing them to others. Of course, I still face some obstacles in that aspect of my mental health, but I am making an effort to fix it.
I have to give myself credit for looking at this guy, who I obviously had strong feelings for, and asked calmly for him to explain himself. I mean, that shows that I am kind of adulting by communicating my needs, right? That was when he expressed that he felt intimidated that I came across as smarter than him and that apparently stroked fear.
He was afraid of being seen weaker when and if he would ever introduce me to his friends or family because "a girl simply can't be smarter than the guy. That's not how genetics works."
Good thing that this boy is not in a science field because he would be failing.
And I guess he was right when he pointed out that I was smarter than him. Sure, I have gained knowledge just over the past year from experiencing my senior year of high school and becoming more aware of who I am. I also know that not to be intimidated because someone who might have more experience than me or by someone who can help me improve.
Frankly, I never even noticed that I was "smarter than you." I admired his thought process and how we shared similar ambitions as I. When he said that reason for not pursuing a relationship with me, I felt ashamed of who I was. Looking back on it, over a week later, I realize that my intelligence is not a sign of something wrong.
Actually, I am proud of how smart I am for realizing that I should not be wasting my time being heartbroken over someone who will not embrace that about myself. I am sorry that I challenge his gender roles and his traditional mindset in the fact that the girl must be inferior to her male partner.
To the other smart girls out there, be unapologetically yourself. Go out into this world and show off the knowledge you have to share with the world. Someone is out there waiting for you, so they can embrace you properly.
Lesson #1: Sometimes people try to limit who you are. Do not limit yourself for anyone especially in a relationship. The right person will come around eventually.