Just in case you haven’t read some of my other posts, I’ll give you a quick run down. I have “untraditional” views when it comes to dating and relationships. I don’t feel that innate need to have kids and I have no desire to get married. Click here if you’re interested in more about this. This doesn’t mean that I’m not open to love or a long-term partnership. It does make me less susceptible to pressure by family, society, media to ‘settle down’. Man, fuck that shit! The only person who has to live my life is me, so you better believe I’m going to make damn sure my choices ensure my happiness.
I will not be a proxy for someone else’s dreams, aspirations or shortcomings.
Alright, rant over. Single life is allowing me to explore myself and people in ways I never imagined. The learning is fascinating, exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.
What you see is what you get with me. I will say what I want and don’t want plainly (without being hurtful). Plus my face and my body language read like an open book. If I’m upset, I couldn’t hide it if I tried. This stems from confidence and decisiveness. None of these traits can be helped. I mean that I couldn’t pretend to be unconfident, indecisive or fake happiness when I’m mad. I cannot believably pretend to be someone who I’m not because not only can I not imagine ever wanting to do that but I’m just physically incapable and always have been. And this is where the problem comes in.
If you present as something, the expectation is that is who you are and you mean what you say. Why? Well because that’s what I would do, duh! I have no energy to waste on acting like someone I’m not or saying something I don’t mean. There is no real and long-term return on that investment so why the fuck would anyone do that? Here’s what I’ve discovered:
ONE: They’re playing a short, disconnected game.
Yeah man. Of course. Instant gratification. Who doesn’t want to get what they want right when they want it??? To be present, be in the moment and all that good shit. But your life is not a series of disconnected snaps. It’s fucking Game of Thrones. It’s a series of connected events where every decision you make affects another, whether it’s now or years from now. I’m playing a long game and while five minute shorts can be intense and exciting eventually you have to ask, how does this serve me? I’ll stick with the holistic approach.
TWO: They’re in recovery.
Everyone has baggage. Everyone. Myself included. This doesn’t need to be discussed on a first date or anything but don’t pretend that it doesn’t exist. We make decisions based on our past experiences. We compare partners and relationships to past partners and relationships. It’s impossible not to do; we do it to comprehend this new data (person). To organize and understand how it fits with us. So fucking accept it people! Accepting that we do this is the first step towards not using it to condemn the new person.
THREE: They don’t really know what they want.
I’m learning about motivations. That the drive behind what people say they want is more important than what they are saying. My drive behind saying that I’m not looking for a traditional relationship is that I’ve realized I need to be free. I’m my best, most creative, happy self when I’m not in a relationship. While I desire sex, I don’t desire companionship in the way others do.
Now while some say they feel the same way I do, it doesn’t mean their drive is the same. Their drive to be single may be that they’re still in recovery. Deep down they actually don’t want to be alone. So why is it so fucking hard to say that you’re confused, conflicted, lost? Why does that have to be a sign of weakness? We say something and then change our mind, that’s cool; own it.
My drive allows me to not be afraid to fall for someone. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t work out, sure I’ll be sad for a bit, but I will get over it. It won’t define me. Now if someone’s drive to be single is that they’re in recovery but they really don’t want to be alone, well I’m thinking they’re going to be terrified of falling for someone. Terrified of failure.
I’m terrified of failure too. But, no matter how terrified I am, I refuse to let it cripple me. Every aspect of my life doesn’t have to be Instagram, showreel worthy and it isn’t. I promise you, yours doesn’t either. The long-term benefits come from authenticity and I’m not concerned about how this will turn out.