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But my last relationship had made me realize that I want the forever romance. I talked about this to friends, my mom, and a therapist, who, luckily, I’d started going to right before my breakup. ” He’d posed this question before, and I’d sort of hmmmmed it away. Did anyone really care, except the guy in front of me whom I to care? “You need to be able to say what you want — and put it on whatever dating profile you’re using — because if you don’t say it, it’s that much harder to get,” he said. Of course, after a breakup, once you start putting the clues together, it seems like you never should have expected anything else – the red flags were lined up in a row waving in your face, and the only reason you failed to see them was that you didn’t want to look. I was ever more sure he had never Tindered; he probably met all his girlfriends at psychology conventions or walking through Paris in the springtime. Still, I took it like a champ — at least, I thought so. Our series of true dating stories continues with today’s essay by Jen Doll. Why was it that being clever and sarcastic and keeping people on their toes was more “acceptable” than asserting what you wanted and letting the possible dates sort themselves into those who wanted the same things, and those who would walk away and wish you well? This idea of knowing what you wanted and actually saying it, it was scary — but it resonated. I wanted someone who knows himself, a good driver (I’ve ridden with too many bad ones), a person who was aligned with me politically.After going through a rough break up, she turned to a therapist for support. For so long, I’d accepted the guys who liked me first, who seemed like they might get me , and I’d tried to make myself fit around them, to make us work. I also bragged about being able to ski on one ski — sometimes you’ve got to be a little bit funny while also tooting your own horn. Jen Doll has written for The Atlantic, Elle, New York Magazine, The New York Times Book Review and other publications.