The Girl Next Door

Someone once told me upon first meeting me that I am the “girl next door.”

After reading this definition, I couldn’t agree with it any more.

1. girl next door

Every guy may have his specific girl-next-door prototype, but in general, she’s the girl whom you always admired from afar and were afraid to approach, fearing that any erotic projection toward her would ruin her image as a decent, pure and almost virginal womanly ideal.

She’s (in your mind at least) untrodden ground; unspoiled by other men and so sweet-natured it almost frightens you to think of her in explicit sexual situations. Almost. Here’s another example: Picture your sister’s best friend from when you were kids. In your mind she’ll always be that 10-year-old cutie who played with you in the park. Only, when you catch up with her 10 years later, she’s still a cutie, but all grown up and someone you can trust and connect with on so many new levels. The intrigue grows.

Similarly, she could be a friend’s cousin whom you met at family occasions over the years. Or even a new employee at work who is shy and unassuming, but still gives you that “she seems so nice, I’d love to talk to her” feeling.

Think of Renee Zellweger’s character in Jerry Maguire

by Ask Men February 26, 2005

This runs along the idea that, when growing up, I was always naturally shy and reserved, perhaps afraid to profess my feelings to a boy or raise my voice against someone.

Or that I grew up as a hopeless romantic treasuring the pure, genuine and faithful kind of love that could set one’s heart in flight and sweep you off your feet.

The fact that I was that girl in high school that everyone adored and talked about and joked about “getting,” but never even got close to a slip of my hand or a brush of my smile.

She was unaffected. Pure. Innocent. But, in some ways a little quirky and smart in her own way.

For years this happened, with myself escaping into my own world, almost not present in the moment but present in herself.

And when that one fateful event happened that led me to take a chance to venture into this unknown world of romance, only to get caught in a triangle of uncertain, fleeting feelings and their unrequited feelings and ideas of “love,” I was led me to become more steadfast and sure of my decisions, choices and self. These were the only things I was ever sure about and had complete control over. I began to own myself, my happiness and relationships, and I embraced my independence.

And so I would blissfully live my life in my name, enjoying the simple joys and befriending all those who would walk into my life. I’ve felt love does not bother me, for I’ve faith that the right one will show up, by chance, someday, without my even taking notice of it. And suddenly I will find that unfamiliar feeling of surprise and wonder and unease and excitement.

Only when I was ready.

The girl next door: because I was always a “prized possession” admired from afar, from a suitor who once told me I deserved to be “put on a pedestal” and was not even worthy to be with me, to another who lived in a storybook fairytale with me that still clings closely to my heart.

Though, if that is the case, the girl next door will always remain that mysterious, ideal girl in one’s mind, seemingly unaffected yet strong-willed, passionate yet genuine—something true to her but causes others to feel fear in touching or reaching for a new place in her heart.

She will always just be that “girl next door”…


Me. Collage. Winter 2009.


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