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If You Like It, Don't Put A Ring On It

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I am in love with love. Falling in love, being in love, all of it is magnificent. Even living together... in separate apartments with an adjoining door. That said, no man will ever "put a ring on it."

My approach to romance is decidedly untraditional. The rule, as I understand it, is that within three months of dating someone, you should know where the relationship is going. It took me a full year just to commit to my percolator! After three months, my backstory for the man I'm dating is still thriving because we're not spilling secrets. I can't see myself committing to an axe murderer -- it's too uninspired -- but a sociopath who creates unspeakable works of art out of corpses a la Hannibal Lecter? Perhaps. (My psychiatrist says I have a savage imagination due to nightmares that rival a concentration camp survivor's.)

My best relationships unfold organically, pressure-free. Friends are surprised by my lackadaisical approach, because I'm so pushy, driven, and need end-goals in my professional life. Well, DUH. Professional and personal are hardly synonymous. My flight mechanism and ability to sabotage a relationship are epic. Not because I fear commitment, but because I just can't be pushed into feeling or doing something I don't want to do.

Unquestionably, I'm an exhausting pain in the ass. Sometimes the idea of someone dating me is overwhelming. Subjecting a stranger to my idiosyncrasies takes a minute. And, I have to be in the mood to vet their intentions. On a first date, it's easy to tell if someone has a relationship road map planned with Insert girl here. In that moment, I'm the girl who stands up and says, "Thanks for your time," pays the check and wraps it up by stating, "We're having closure now," and walks out.

If a man really loves me, he'll never propose or send virtual roses, or woo me with a piece of jewelry. When he returns from a trip, he'll bring me a rock and tell me where he was and what he was doing that made him think of me. That's swoon city.

The men I fall in love with are smart and funny and want to be my friend as much as they want to get into my pants. They don't treat me like property that requires ownership and would never ask that I treat them that way. "Putting a ring on it" makes me feel like I've been shoved in a cage, or listed as a stray -- as if I'm incapable of roaming the streets without a leash. Did I pee on someone's lawn?