Lost in Txtlation

These are the cookie crumbs for my depreciating mind.

Tag: romance (page 1 of 4)

You can’t always be comfortable.

People are idiots when it comes to boundaries of their partners and understanding not EVERYONE is the same. Trust works differently for different people. And the best way to be a good PARTNER to your PARTNER is to understand their comfort and your comfort and meet in the middle of said comfort so everyone is comfortable. And then realize SOMETIMES, SOMETIMES, you won’t be fucking comfortable!.

Sustainable Relationships

We need to stop treating our potential significant others so carefully, formulaically, differently.

Ya know that crude you, you show to your best friend? Or that goofy side to your family? Or that weird crazy side to your cat or dog?

THAT is what you should be showing to someone you want to get to know. The small moments of you. The moments that when you add them all up over time, make who you are unique and personable. Choosing the perfect text, or trying to come up with the best jokes, or getting your outfit just right has zero context in the grand scheme of the time it takes to get to know someone. It is sterile and boring.

Time, this crazy little thing we all have to endure, is the only way to really know someone, so why waste it? One day at a time you learn who someone is, and if you are enjoying today, you should look forward to tomorrow as well, and then when you have a day you don’t enjoy, you ask: Why? And if the “why” is more important than the time spent, you know it won’t work, but if the “why” was just a bump in the road of getting to know another human’s complexities, you go to the next day more informed and stronger together.

I mean sure there is a level of “lovey” or “puppy dog” personality that goes with a new relationship but that should be in addition to you. Not a subtraction.

Why do we need to facade for x amount a “societal determined acceptable standard” days or months or even years or titles; “Well you aren’t my boyfriend” “Well you are a stranger” “Well all we have done is texted”. No shit, we are meeting in a new inorganic yet oddly similar to real life way of meeting with online dating: “See cute person, say hello”. We are missing the 3D aspects of it and the sensations of real life, yes, always tempted by the next swipe, but it is still very similar if you take it to the core of what it is.

My wish is that people would treat me like we’ve known each other for years, even if we just exchanged a “hello”, but with a strong enough sense of self to be careful and protective of their own experiences, sharing with me as we go so I can know what you experienced the last X amount of years of your life. I am not asking you to be flapping in the wind vulnerable, I expect you to be somewhat guarded, but also open to yourself and others, so it isn’t a struggle but a dance getting to know one another.

But what I find is people are just less communicative. Less themselves. Less goofy. Less real. More closed off. More guarded.

Do you call your friends on the phone? Or FaceTime them silly shit? Why can’t the potential significant other you just met see that. It’s always a game. But it isn’t a fun game for one party. Time doesn’t go slower the more you hide. So stop wasting it. Open yourself up to rejection. If you swiped the face you thought was pretty, awesome! Nothing wrong with that, but the face only gets the conversation started, because if the conversation sucks, the face means nothing. So start a conversation! A real conversation.

Instead of embracing it as the main form of dating now, we are wasting our time making excuses about how it is horrible and inorganic. We use it as a social experiment for an ego boost or we blame our failures on it because of it.We make up personas. And instead of choosing how it works and how we use it, we just make it an uncomfortable place to be.

We are wasting our time. We are wasting others time. We aren’t ourselves and therefore we aren’t truly allowing others in. What happens if the other person likes this fictitious version of you? I’ve been in that relationship, it sucks when the other person finally decides to change for themselves and you realize you have no idea who they are and that it really isn’t someone you liked to begin with.

Who has time to make so many rules to who they can and can’t be. Just be one human. Yourself. And let it be what it will be. The truth. And if that means someone may not like you it means they wouldn’t have liked you even if you were fake, because eventually we are all just in our rocking chairs yelling at the kids to get off our lawn.

Don’t even get me started about the stigma of going to the bathroom on a first date… (everyone poops)

But speaking of that first date, what about just the first text? People do everything they can to avoid interaction these days that is beyond an emoji. Hiding behind the guise of “If we knew each other, it would be different”. Ironically(for multitudes of reasons including how do you get to know someone if they don’t let you get to know them), when you disconnect from them because you know, personally, you dislike that approach, all of a sudden they try to reach out to you in every form of contact available(all social media), just to tell you what a mistake you made, and how they are different when you get to know them.

Well STOP that. Be YOU before I get to know you. And perhaps I won’t feel the constant need to move away from the small talk and 2 – 3 day waits for 1 line sentences about the weather. I need more than banter. I need more than knowing you like hiking or sarcasm. I need the in between. That is what makes you and that is what invigorates me to want to share my time, my life, and maybe, if we get there over time, my love with you.

The more we “like” the less we see.

“Cool photo you took!”

And with that I double click it, and scroll to the next, thinking to myself, I’ll see it again later cause Instagram stores my likes, but guess what, I never do. So I spend less time properly absorbing what is in-front of me, and more time, scrolling to the next.

The average user spends less than 3 seconds per image on Instagram, that includes time to click like.

We are archiving the things we are seeing these days and putting them into meaningless “lists”, never to be seen again. Kinda like that time you shot the fireworks on your phone’s camera and later in the year were like:

“FUCK YEAH I AM SO GLAD I SHOT THESE FIREWORKS ON MY SHITTY ASS CAMERA WITH A HORRIBLE MIC, I AM WATCHING THIS AGAIN!”.

But if it wasn’t bad enough that we endlessly scroll through each “firework” of our social media lives now we create “Pods” and “Bots” to do the scrolling for us. We automate the scrolling and liking process because we want to grow our “influence” faster.

But what are you influencing when 99% of the instagram nobody is doing the exact same thing. You are converting a society that created Beethoven’s Symphony, put men in space, into the digital simulated “drones” that Elon Musk believes we are living in. And even if we are not in a simulation, powering our alter simulations lives, we have pretty much become so many steps disconnected from actually connecting with one another that the idea of others botting us as we bot them to grow our “influence” doesn’t seem to matter.

Why doesn’t anyone understand that the like or “Awesome!” comment on their photo means absolutely nothing if no one is actually there to mean it? Or to spend the time walking between photos or places or people and interating with them like you might in a museum, or intimate party, or exotic vacation. Without documenting it, just looking at it, seeing it. Soaking it in for more than the 3 seconds allocated for an archival process never to be looked at again.

Barney Bailey could sell you fire in water, but this is far worse and you all, myself included, bought in. Because we know, or we hope, that perhaps if I bot longer than subject 2917271 bots that I will grow .1% more followers and likes and “engagements” to be recognized for a brand deal that actually pays me for all this time I am spending.

Engagements.. Haha how do we even quantify this anymore. I comment on your photo, hoping you comment on my photo, hoping that will drive me into the algorithm of “seen posts” and someone else will comment on the photo, but they are commenting on the most popular photo in hopes that someone else will comment on their… DO YOU SEE THE ENDLESS FUCKING LOOP OF ABSOLUTE NOTHING?

We have created a system in which nothing, not a damn interaction, not the “color scheme” of your page, your content, your “engagement”, matters. Not even brands who endorse “influencers” understand this shit fully, and to be honest, if I were you and you have paid endorsements, ride it the fuck out hard until it eventually either implodes or our new currency in life becomes likes. Like cryptocurrency mining, but like and “engagement” mining. We are already putting enough energy and “effort” into these kinds of actions that we could most likely have randomly typed Shakespeare faster than the monkeys if the likes were random keystrokes.

But this is the world right now. Never seeing, only archiving, with no intent of looking back. Wondering why they feel empty, alone, and stuck without a sense of permanence in the world. We created this world.

We fuel this world.

Wake the fuck up and fight for your right to be human again and not an automated system.

We define how technology defines us, not the other way around. But if you keep clicking “like” in hopes for your “like” or because “well I will look at it later”, the cycle continues and those who benefit from it, will encourage you to continue feeding the system that makes them money.

We have more choices than we think when we decide what defines as in society, online, commercially. We have the power to stop using a product, stop putting money into things that hurt us or we dislike, and we have the power to change a lot, by smacking those in the wallet who would try to have only their own interests in mind to stop it from happening.

So let’s challenge ourselves in 2019 to be present more and utilize technology to make us better not… automated.

The “Romantic Spark” is Burning Your Chances

“I’m sorry I just didn’t feel the Romantic Spark”

This is what I was told just recently after asking if I could call someone I swiped on from an online dating site. I thought, let’s see if we can hold a conversation before we meet so make sure we don’t waste time at an awkward dinner or coffee meeting. If anything I wonder why more people don’t want to do this! It is a great way to weed out the weirdos! But that aside, we talked for about 20 minutes as she got ready to go to a class and was running around her house getting dressed and seemed kinda stressed. No biggie, nothing big was being talked about, it was just a general, “Hello, I am real, you are real, nice to hear your voice with inflection!”

The next day I texted to see if they wanted to grab a coffee and I got the response above.

I sat there for a moment, kinda dumbfounded. Is this how quickly people expect to find romance? To feel the “connection” to another human being that is multi faceted? Someone you never met, never smelled, never looked into their eyes? Never shared physical space with?

I was talking to my trainer about it this morning and I said, it is kind of like if someone came in for a session, worked out hard, and at the end of the session looked in the mirror and told him, “Yeah, I don’t see any results, this isn’t working.”

What the fuck has happened to us as human beings? Are we that addicted to the dopamine of the instant “click”, the “excitement of new people that if we don’t have the nearly 1 in a million experience of “love at first sight” (yes I was on the pilot for that show), that knowing we can keep swiping until we get our fix for it, we can just toss away the idea of anything that remotely resembles “getting to know someone” and “learning to love them for who they are, what they believe in, how we get along, and in person interactions experiences we have together”?

Shit if you want fireworks that badly at the first meeting, if you have iMessage I can send them right away!

Now there is the one obvious answer to all of this which is that people are just not strong enough to tell you the truth as to why they are not interested in you. So they make up a reason that they feel is the least intrusive. But seriously, in this case it’s OK to tell the truth. It is OK to answer a text with an unpopular answer. It is OK to tell someone what is on your mind. It is OK to be uncomfortable doing it as well! (I have talked about how we really need to start “getting hurt” again) So stop with the “I didn’t feel a romantic click” lines after texting someone for 10 seconds and just say “I don’t think we are compatible for X reason”. 99/100 times it will give everyone closure.

Mind you there are the crazies, but they don’t define the majority of us.

So please, just be honest. Shit I have gone on a date where I told the person when I met them in person, “I am sorry you don’t look like your photos and I feel a bit deceived, so I am going to head out, but thank you for coming to meet me regardless. Good luck!”

But to me I think it is a deeper problem. An addiction to the feeling of “new romance” the addiction to the massive exposure to so many people and the excitement of puppy love, that what is happening is people are no longer aware of how to actually build a foundation for a relationship. How love comes in time. How you can grow your love based on experiences and interactions together. How love doesn’t always have a set path or reason. How it isn’t a rush to the finish but a step at a time, enjoying the moments you get to spend with another human and allow them into your life, and to share yours with them. The love that comes from truly “falling in love” not pretending we are legos and “clicking” it all together.

So again, I am taken aback by the way we as a society are assimilating to what these dating sites tell us to do. How we should feel. How we should interact. Taking out more and more of the personalizations and adding more emojis, quick responses, canned responses, and cheesy “List your fav color for match percentages”. These dating sites have a business model. And if you actually form a long lasting relationship, guess which site doesn’t get paid? Think about that for a second. Now take those extra seconds and give people a chance with the extra time. Don’t take excitement and enthusiasm as bad signs, but use them to grow. Stop swiping just for a minute, figure out if we can create some moments together, and inspire each other! Then let that go wherever it may go, even if it ends up not working. One must be open to conversation and not afraid of debate as if it is confrontation. Opening yourself up for rejection to see if you truly understand the complexities of another person.

Hardest part though is this all starts with you. So yes perhaps there was another reason that text was sent, but from my experience, it is no longer the logical answer, but the illogical endorphin rush needed to make the tedious task of swiping and telling your favorite color over and over entertaining and feeling worthwhile, but at the expense of true connections.

Mindful Explanations

One of the things I had to learn in life that has been instrumental in building me as a human being has been the ability to tell people when something bothers me at the time of it bothering me. Often times I find myself or others will hold in these things until they boil over which never ends well for anyone. Being able to say “Hey, I know you had no ill intent with your comment, but it bothered me and here are the reasons why. Perhaps in the future you could be mindful that this has history with me and while I do not feel you need to censor yourself around me, when it comes to this specific thing, it would be great if you could approach it will care”

This sometimes backfires. I often get told:

“Well how can I be myself around you?”

“Now I have to censor my way of speaking?”

“I am an honest person and will always tell you what i am thinking”

To the last one, I love honesty, and I would never want someone to feel hindered in their ability to talk to me honestly, but I think there is a difference between honesty and understanding another person’s life experiences and feelings due to them. Being courteous of how you phrase something so not to trigger a bad experience or past moment is important. However I have always found those boundaries are hard to explain and even harder to express in the moment.

But, with work, I have gotten pretty good at it. And, let me tell you, it has helped me so much in my relationships. First if the person is open to hearing why the thing they said may have made me uncomfortable that is a great start. Second if they broach it in a different way the next time it may come up, allowing them to still be open and honest, but not invasive on my own personal “space” it is truly a magical moment. To be aware of how what you say can affect others is so important, especially in the age of inflectionaless texts.

So, while I am not some poor snowflake that will crumble, there are things from my experiences in life that will make my brain go “EEEEKKK” and can affect my entire mood. But if someone is aware of those, and I make a conscious effort to inform them, as they will have no way of knowing as we get to know each other, I feel like we can grow together, being mindful of each others triggers and past experiences that are not specific to one another but can still make one another uncomfortable. So that freedom to speak up at the moment is so important to me and it is important that others do it with me too. I cannot dodge every mine laid down in the field by past experiences, relationships, etc. Eventually I will hit one. And as unintentional as it may be, as I have no intention to cause harm or discomfort, letting me know, or I letting you know when you hit one, can help two people really move forward in the communication that truly builds a relationship, friendship, or amicable human interaction.

We all have some baggage. We all have bad experiences. But we also don’t know these things when we are new to one another. Exploration is part of getting to know someone, so if both people approach it with this attitude, I find those “oops” moments to be something less of a “FUCK THIS IS NEVER GOING TO WORK” and more of a “My bad, learned, noted, will broach differently next time”. This isn’t censorship, this is compassion and understanding of a fellow human.

So please feel free to step on all my mines. Just know I have learned over time, to let you know at the time of explosion, what just happened, why it happened, what it makes me feel like, and how I would prefer we approach it in the future. And if you have a suggestion of your own as well, please feel free to chime in and I will do the same for you! Afterall, even though with all the left and right swipes of people we can bring in and out of our lives, we are both getting to know one another for the first time uniquely.

If we hold onto to too many of our past experiences and judge others upon them without speaking up, just looking at them as “oh man they are about to step on that moment in my life, they must be just like the last person who placed it” the other person has no chance in hell to ever navigate the “minefield” of “experiences”. So please help me navigate and I will you so that even if we do happen to stumble, we know and can grow as humans, as two people together, and become stronger because of it.

So as important as it is to be mindful of others and how they feel. Being able to express your own comforts and discomforts is equally important.

Something I truly believe in is this: I am not your ex, but if you go into the relationship assuming I very likely could be, I stand no chance to be a unique person that grows with you as an individual. It is like gambling at that point and the house holds all the cards. This also lets you know a lot about how open a  person is to actually meeting someone new or if they need to do some self healing exploration first.

#mycomicreleifisonvacation

There is a big difference between “pissed off” and a rant made for myself with the intent of another reading it. I don’t know if I am just an old man now and my writing because I wrote it over the last decade is aging poorly, but people seem to think when I write I am angry… and in the day and age of overly enthusiastic yoga masters that live at the beach and other exotic locations, doing nothing but smiling, perhaps the Instagram generation would see anything with a strong opinion as angry. 

Over inflection to allow for comedic relief and enjoyment from the reader is all over my work. Just like in real life, my use of sarcasm and sardonic humor. Not dissimilar to telling a fable over a fire. There is no angst or anger in my writing. I am usually laughing out loud during the writing sessions depending on the topic. 

But on the other hand it doesn’t surprise me at all that it would be read differently specially in the social climate of 2018. Where people have forgotten debate is OK. And it isn’t always yelling. And sometimes things are not black and white. I am someone who jokes and laughs at about everything. I have a tattoo that says “and go the fools among” on my arm for a reason. I prefer to see the world that way rather than just wallowing in self pity over the crap I cannot change. 

Modern dating is fantastic if people knew how to use it properly. But alas, 98% of the population prefers to follow the road traveled to get to Point B from A. So finding someone who uses it in a unique way is often hard to find. And before you get upset that I am putting people into a bubble of generic, scroll through profiles, count the words: “sarcasm, travel, family, friends, and iPhone” Everyone is a fucking professional rock climber, with 1 million frequent flier miles, with stock in lulu lemon and sunsets.(even this sentence would sound jaded, so why don’t you read it like a stand up comedian going on a hilarious rant, because obviously I am awesome like that) 

Tell me something I don’t know already, and I get interested. Tell me your day wasn’t “Good, thanks” or that more than “nothing much” is up and you have my attention. So while yes I do think bringing a flower to a date is quite nice, I do not believe we have to go back in time to get he most out of the world in front of us. But we do need to embrace things out of our comfort zone to allow these apps to work. 

We need to start getting hurt again.

image

We are breeding a generation of pampered “feelings”. We are breeding a generation protected by the “block” button. We are breeding a generation of “ghosts”. We don’t understand what it is like to plan how you are going to meet a person face to face to let them know that things just aren’t working out.(because we used to believe a phone call, not a text, was too informal and rude) A ritual that used to take time, consideration, and thought. An uncomfortable situation, but one that ultimately gave closure be it with tears, screams, or a kiss on the cheek. You will remember this moment and grow from it. You won’t remember the person you erased from your life.

But why take the time to consider someone else’s feelings when we have been taught by every app, every program, every avenue of our life, that we can just “mute” the other person and focus on ourselves.

When I say a generation, I don’t just mean “millenials”, I mean everyone who is adopting online dating into their life. It is easier this way. It is convenient. Because honestly, no one likes being hurt, so if you show us a way to avoid it we will. It is part of human nature. We forget that our lack of pain, often brings it to others. But we are sheltering it so much, that instead of touching the hot pot and learning not to do it again, we “ghost” the stove.

Example: You are talking to someone, something during said conversation triggers you in one way or another, you say nothing. You wait until the conversation is over, and start frantically searching for the “block button” before they realize they even made a mistake or slipped up on a sentence that could have had different meaning. There are no second chances, there is just the rush to purge. Because immediately after the purge you don’t have to feel bad, have a moment of self reflection or healing. You just swipe right and start talking to the next person, waiting for them to trigger you and the process repeats.

I have talked about this “ready to purge” state in depth before. But I believe we need to look further than the consequence of our society and look at the process of resolving it. Receiving a little heartache or prepping human consideration in how you deliver the bad news to another is one of the missing ingredients. How can you grow, when you have all these apps and online portals holding your hand with the “block button” at the ready?

There is no more growing from our experiences, only pushing them down into a repressed memory state, called the block list. We have taken the human connection out of the human connection and it is hurting us as a species. The amount of times you could totally avoid the “weird text I got from my friends friend”, by just giving the other person the humane benefit of an explanation. But why should you do that? Facebook, instagram, okcupid, tinder, they all just have the block button. Why should I do anything above and beyond what society is shoving down my throat as the norm? Well I guess here in lies the rub. You don’t have to, but you should. You should start getting hurt again. You should be open to “hurting” as well. Because ultimately it will make you stronger, kinder, more compassionate, and less of an automated process in a system designed to keep you entwined. 99 out of 100 times someone will be happier to “move on” if you are honest with them, then waking up to “this person doesn’t exist”.

You think Tinder’s business model benefits from you finding love? No it benefits from you coming back. Think about that for a second.

Please stop caring!

I meet so many people who are under the assumption that I want them to “impress me” when I meet them. That I want them to be the ultimate version of themselves that is unsustainable for any elongated period of time. To be this person who will make me love them.

Only one problem, if I do fall in love with that person, when you stop caring, who the hell am I left with?

See, this is a major issue for me. I have written how “Love is not enough”. And this feeds directly into that. I myself am the same with my family as I am with my bosses as I am with my friends as I am with a first date. I don’t know how to be different. I only know how to give my all of who I am today, tomorrow, etc. I feel like it would be exhausting to create an alter ego to please you. If you don’t like who I am here and now, that is OK. I am happy to feel it out and go our separate ways if it isn’t meant to be.

But that is not what I encounter 99% of the time. 99% of the time I finally get to know the real person after I have told them “this isn’t going to work” because all of a sudden, a veil of “expectations” has been lifted from their shoulders and they make inappropriate jokes, use my bathroom, and tell me things they would tell their best friends. Isn’t the whole point of finding a partner to find a best friend you can have sex with? Share with? Experience everyday with?

From experience you may assume that is not the case, and it is about tricking the other person to put a ring on it, then letting it all loose and what then… yelling SURPRISE!

When I ask you what you want for dinner this isn’t code for “Figure out what he likes and pick that”. When I ask you how you are today, this isn’t code for “Great!” just to make the facade of happiness. See the problem on my end, and I have explained a little bit of it via “Give my Brain a Breather”, is that once I feel as though I can see the expressions and feel the connection, I often don’t look for the “facade”. The veil of “I will totally clean his dishes cause I want him to like me more”. To me I am thinking, wow how nice she is, and what a kind gesture that I can expect in the future. Not “well that was nice since we just met, but god if she does that after we fall in love, this shit is over!”. So when I end things in a relationship because I feel as though something is wrong, or too perfect, it often is because it was. And then this new person I meet is one hundred times more interesting. But at this point it is way too late to forget all the past experiences and meet them with a clean slate.

So please, please, please, please, stop caring! Stop treating me like anyone other than a best friend. Let me into the parts of you that might scare you. Who cares if we don’t work out, at least we gave it an honest try, with an honest version of ourselves, and didn’t waste time trying to please one another off of assumptions and half baked ideals created in our own minds. Because my problem is, because I don’t do it, I often don’t look for it in you, thus missing it completely and being caught way off guard when I get to meet this “real” you. The you I thought I could fall in love with.

Ready to purge, the modern form of love.

It seems like today we are just itching to purge people from our lives. We have forgotten what it is to disagree with others, what it was like to not have a swipe at our finger tips when we felt down or alone or loss. We forgot what it was like to debate, let alone get things wrong when we can just “google it”. But can you google the wrong inflection, a lapse of judgement, a misguided thought? No, but you can work together with someone to let them know how it makes you feel and see how they react from there…

But why have a confrontation when you can literally just hit “block friend”, “hide comments”, “block number”, “remove follower” from the new world, the online world.

Black Mirror is a TV Series that rides the edge of what could go terribly wrong with technology, yet it is not so far from the truth. Maybe we can’t block faces, and voices from right infront of us and we still have to deal with arguments and fights with people we love, but before we love, before we give the breadth to love, we are so damn eager to purge anything that isn’t exactly what we want at that very moment, no room for improvement, learning, growth, explanation, debate… anything less than instant gratification to our metaphorical lists of Do’s and Don’t, a click of a few keys and we have erased the barely a memory person from our life. And we swipe right again, saying “This time will be different”… “This time I won’t make the same mistakes”… “This time, I will find love”.

My question is how do you intent to change or find love when you never gave a memory enough time to learn from, an interaction enough time to grow, or a possible romantic encounter the life to have it’s ups and downs. You were so ready to purge you didn’t realize you were blocking your own ability to grow at the same time.

Interesting… So I am more of a “DO SOMETHING” don’t “SAY SOMETHING” but “say a little something to fuel the ego” lol

Relationships Post Swipe

The thing I am missing the most with this post “real life” encounter swipe to date world is the actual feeling of anticipation or joy after bolstering the courage to talk to someone. The most amazing feeling is when you actually click with said person. You know you are physically attracted them, so there is no worrying about fake profiles, old pictures, browsing their social media, it is about being in that moment, heart pumping, trying to form words, and stumbling on them. The most amazing part is when you stumble all over every word but they help pick you up and continue it.

It takes no courage to swipe or like. It takes zero effort to fill out a profile, although reading anyone’s online dating profile these days you might think the opposite as they bitch, moan, and complain about writing more than 140 characters. But let’s set aside my gripes with online dating: the mindset you need to adapt to be successful, and the fact that I don’t actually think people are truly ready for it yet, accepting it as an inorganic way of meeting, where if you embrace it for what it is, could truly be used properly.

I am here to talk about a feeling. A feeling I haven’t had since highschool and sporadically since. The feeling of “Wow, I just talked to her” and “Wow, she was beautiful and she gave me her number.” Or that amazing feeling when she texts you before you text her just saying her day was good, no prompt, no socially awkward expectations, no pre-defined etiquette, just two people who saw one another, made eye contact, heard each other’s voices, smelled each other, and didn’t run screaming in the opposite direction. But instead, two people who are genuinely excited for the next time they get to dive in deeper with one another. Then the fun stories when you do meet of what your or their friends said to you after, what you thought at first, etc.

I honestly think because of the way online dating is haphazardly thrown together and embraced, those who go out of there way to talk to someone in person and make that contact, have a leg up. It is like bringing a flower to a first date, sure it may be overly romantic, viewed as too invasive, but it still brings a smile to your face, because it is a gesture, a gesture that by all means was a norm at one point, but is now a surprise. It shows you went that little extra step out of your way to make the evening or day better. Maybe the day will turn to complete shit, but at least you got out there, gave it your all and decided to embrace it for whatever it could turn into. You embraced the fear of heartbreak. Because in the end, other than the fact that a relationship should just be two friends comfortable with each other in whatever environment they are, before you form that bond you have to be willing to let it all hang out and accept the hurt that comes with starting over.

I have started over so many times, I have created my own therapy sessions of reflection, my past, childhood, stories, and more. I have told my story. I have told it again. I have learned from my own words, reactions to my words, and so much more.

But what I miss out on these days, is that magic of day to day, that I have only ever experienced when I met someone in a form other than a swipe. That highschool romance, waiting for the final bell to ring to pick up the phone and talk for hours. The lack of needing to scan their social media for proof of life because you already saw it. The ability to think back to the day instead of look to their past. Cherishing a snap taken on your phone of a kiss. These are the things I have missed lately.

There is something in actually setting up that first meeting in person that gives the possible relationship feet. It allows our minds to wander and fantasize on that cute moment where we did trip on our words. It give us the knowledge that we both consciously made the effort to take the next step of a date. I miss all that comes with that too. The walks to nowhere talking, the trips to the park laying out trying to find that comfortable place to lay on one another without going too fast, that lack of fear of reaching out via a second medium too soon via a text or call.

I suppose I just miss the feeling that I wasn’t competing for the best opener or to fulfill some generic statement on a profile to be “sarcastic” and knowing that when you get someone to talk to you in person you have made a connection, big or small, and it is almost guaranteed you will at least get to enjoy the first date. And if there are dates after that, it is built on those dates, not on a self summary or likes and dislikes on a page. You aren’t scanning their photos over and over you are remembering their face.

That is a powerful feeling. One I miss.

P.S. Anyone who doesn’t post photos on online dating is doing it wrong. If I were to treat online dating like real life, I hate to say it, but I would approach you if there was an attraction. While sure, there could be a skillset or something in real life that made you more attractive to me than a picture, but I still saw your face, your body, your clothes, and such. I made the snap judgement and acted on it. But that is for another piece of writing.

Online dating is simple, you are the one making it complicated.


Tell me what conversation you can have on Tinder, OkCupid, or any dating app that is going to tell you more than an in person meeting?

If you have established the person is not a serial killer through sharing social media or other such mediums, why must there be some made up “online dating” etiquette to make everybody feel vindicated that they “followed the rules”.

Fuck your rules.

Your rules end up with a date with someone who you don’t like the smell of, has bad breath, a voice of a tiny rodent, and a horrible sense of self. And guess what? They just happened to be an amazing writer. Those twitter sized bite size faux texts on your dating app sure did save you time…

ONLINE DATING IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE AS SIMPLE AS:

  1. “Finding the other person attractive”

  2. “Seeing if there might be some similar likes/dislikes”

And that IS IT. And hey guess what… that is NO DIFFERENT THAN MEETING IN PUBLIC PLACES. For all of you who think online dating is inorganic, the only inorganic thing is the amount of choice and ease of approach. In person you have to get up the nerve to say hello, online you hit enter and never look back. In person you get to see the person, mind you with more depth perception and being able to compare them to yourself and see a 3D version of them, but the attraction is what makes you want to say hi, not their amazing ability for “sarcasm”. Shit an in person meet might not even get to number 2. It might just be getting the number and setting up a time to meet, AGAIN… IN PERSON…

You HAVE to meet, there are too many mitigating circumstances that go into dating and meeting someone for you to be able to make an educated decision or even know anything about the other person without it. But if you want to harp on the fact that X amount of messages were or weren’t sent, you want to go back to texting nothing of consequence, and making snap judgement without knowing a damn thing about the person, go ahead, but please for fucks sake stop swiping right on me.

Wish you were there.

I tickled you.. You laughed… then you snorted… then you punched me.. then I rolled over onto you and we kissed. It was cute, wish you were there.

Wish you were there. was originally published on Lost in Txtlation

Enough to feel connected, not enough to connect.

Lately I have been wondering how much we hinder our actual ability to form meaningful relationships because of the internet. We have this sense of being connected all the time, yet we are further apart than ever as well. It is like being in a “comfortable” relationship, not for the happiness or love, but because it brings us consistency and doesn’t impose on our comfort zones. Tell you what, I would rather be single and lonely than together and unhappy. We do this with so much in life, jobs, living arrangements, relationships; grasping onto that safety blanket of our own insecurities and the technology has the potential to unlock so much more for us but we choose to hide behind it. We grasp onto whatever semblance of anonymity we feel it holds for us still. A picture from yesterday on instagram with 1000 likes doesn’t satiate us for more than a fleeting second. We need to open our eyes and enjoy the world around us, using the tech to enhance it, not as a passive blockade, sheltering ourselves from mystery, intrigue, and the unknown.

This bubble of tech we have created around us is not healthy. Not just the internet, but texts, emails, and any other forms of communication that require electricity(minus the infamous phone call which I truly miss with all my heart.)) I loved talking on the phone. It brought me happiness. Sure you can text and chat with people all day at the computer or on your phone, but you get no human inflection, voice, or warm fuzzy feelings when you see someone’s name pop up on your caller ID. Instead we get annoyed, and ask for features built into our phones to send automated texts to allow us to skip calls with courtesy. I still leave messages, and they are damn amusing, but when is the last time you did when you weren’t feeling playful? A voicemail account being setup these days is rare, and even rarer for us not to instinctually hang up immediately when we hear the start of an intro to it telling us to leave one. I remember when I was younger, not getting a phone call every day at least 3 or 4 times sent you into a spiral of depression, now I feel like the constant “connection” can do the exact same thing.

How are we to really connect with someone and fight for things we truly think are worthwhile when we are stuck in the digital void where we say enough to feel connected but never pull the trigger of connecting.  And if we do meet someone it is like a job interview, with 10 others lined up afterwards on both ends, we want to be there but at the same time we find “in person” to be a waste of time. Then on top of it all we don’t give ourselves the disconnect needed to let each person we meet sink in. We are constantly missing opportunities to meet people because it is so “convenient” to stay in “limbo”, messaging just enough to stay on the radar but never actually making the effort to go beyond avoiding opening a text, forbid we let the other person know it was “read” before we are “ready”.

I mean you all know what I am talking about, who doesn’t open up Facebook messenger or texts and skim the first few words to avoid that “read” receipt. It is a cyber warfare against true connection and we are all the ones to blame. This goes beyond hunger games and just starves us of humanity and interpersonal connections we need.

We fight for minutes in the day so we can snap judge character and personalities, yet when we only pursue the “instant connection”. And from what I have seen these connections don’t last because they too are based on instant gratification. What if that person we had in queue didn’t have that instant connection due to mitigating circumstances? What if the “perfect first date” which doesn’t exist, was a flop, but the second one would have been truly mind blowing. I believe 100% that you can fall in love, and by that I mean letting time give you the full picture of a person in-front of you making you want more and more of the addictive drug.

I miss the days of talking for hours on the phone with someone I knew I couldn’t see but wanted to so badly. I miss not looking at read receipts and wondering if the other person would reply. I also miss delayed gratification.

I dunno, I enjoy what technology provides for us, but I find it to be a very lonely place where we literally are surrounded by people 24/7. I think there was something to be said about not having instant access to all the information at once, something that inspired us, made us better, and taught us the value of debate/conversation over facts.

So for me, it is going to be a conscious effort for less digital-shenanigans, and more “going on that first date”, second date, and hopefully third.

Give my brain a breather…

Trauma in my past built in this amazing ability to process a thousand possible scenarios from something as simple as a sudden breath, micro expression on a face, or even the lack of words. When you have to protect yourself by being prepared for every possible outcome, you learn to adapt. It comes in handy now because it gives me an insight I don’t think I would have had otherwise. There is a reason I tattoo’d “And go The Fools among” on my arm. I am The Fool, seeing the world for what it truly is, but being allowed a glimpse of others lives and jesting at opportune moments.

The problem is I am no longer having this trauma in my life, so when I am with someone else, especially in a romantic situation, it is so goddamn important for them to tell me what is on their mind and not leave me fishing. Sure these thousands of scenarios, I process, happen in a millisecond, but they are exhausting. 

All I can hope for is someone in my life that can understand that when they are honest, open, and transparent with me, it allows me to be with them on such a deeper level. By giving my brain a breather, I don’t have to be defensive beyond my control(not even a visible defense), but I can hold their hand, and trust where we will lead each other, because I don’t have to concentrate on their face or lack of words, but what is ahead of us both, enjoying it together, in the moment.

This is my baggage. What’s yours?

Mariaaaaa

I would rather sing a song like Maria on my way home after a date and think of the moments just passed than go home and play it off Spotify while stalking their Facebook.

The key to my heart is telling me the things that I can see in your eyes but saying them outloud anyway

LostInTxtlation

An intimate and candid story about everyday love, shot entirely on the iPhone 6 to capture even the tiniest nuances of

“Romance in NYC”

Take a journey through their life enjoying an everyday in NYC, but capturing the tiny nuances that are romance, even in the most mundane situations, with NYC as a beautiful backdrop.

The tip jar is activated on this preview to help us with post production costs that our Kickstarter was unable to afford. We are extremely grateful for all the help this far and any further help with be met with love and affection.
Follow the entire story from conception to kickstarter here: kickstarter.com/projects/165580313/romance-in-nyc-shot-entirely-on-the-iphone

Or check out updates here: tristanpope.com/portfolio/category/blog/

“Making Love” – When our eyes become the dialogue.

Have you ever fucked? I have. But have you ever made love without cringing at the thought of some love infused, inflated hallmark bullshit moment of clarity, unobtainable in a society filled with euphemisms and broken promises of the next best thing, let alone even be able to mouth the words “make love” without throwing up in ones mouth slightly, while giggling? I have.

I laid in a bed and rested my arms on the pillow beside her head. My chest lightly resting on hers, my elbows folded and arms arms by her ears, hands around her head.  My position not indicative of any motion other than perhaps a small tilt back and forth. Yet even after years of numbing internet porn and personal fetishes and kinks, I will never forget what it felt like… to not care about the foreplay, the outfit, the music, or the right motion for pleasing myself or her because in that moment, in that locked moment both physically and emotionally, with all the images I could have brought to mind or ability to ravish her body with my eyes, me leaning over her in what can only be described as the most classical girl/boy position, I met her for the first time all over again.

This was not the first time we had sex. It was by far not the last, but it was certainly the most memorable and amazing sex I ever experienced. It all happened in the eyes. We were locked so close to one another, able to kiss softly where I could lift my head just enough to make out her face in a photographic depth of field blur causing the sides of her face to melt into the bed sheets and her eyes to pierce mine. As if I were 40 feet away but the distance causing the perfect Bokah effect of our faces. I looked into her eyes and her into mine. The lights were on dimly, we didn’t close our eyes to match expectations or fears of not doing it by the book. Yet we were in an almost missionary position that could bring yawns to most couples faces if asked in passing how they like to fuck in passing on the street… an Elizabethan approach on love making these days, but because of it’s traditional positioning, the man on top, the girl underneath him, the weight being equally distributed by some defying physics, and the feeling of safety that came from the cocoon we created around each other, and our eyes became the dialogue.  We stared at each other and I stayed inside her and her around me. We moved slightly but each time her eyes kept my gaze, every moment I knew she wasn’t going to look away, I became more aroused and more in love. My arms were around her causing an acoustical anomaly echoing every sound in this small world we had created, that could drown out the worst day, leaning in to kiss her neck and hearing my lips on her skin and her breath in my ear or her moan through the vibration of my lips…

She didn’t need a Disney princess and I didn’t need a modern day porn star. We just needed to know one anthers inflections of the eyes. And we spoke to one another with every single movement. We were pressed up against each other and our bodies did what came naturally, but our eyes gave us comfort, they gave us hope, they gave us a sense of calm. We would kiss, eyes wide open and then just rest on each other’s foreheads and stare. No motion changing the angle, no outside influence telling us what to do. We guided one another with our eyes and it became apparently clear in that moment what it truly meant to love someone and share it intimately.

I don’t believe in love at first site, I believe in attraction, pheromones, compatibility, likes, dislikes… In a world where we meet someone way before we “meet them” there are so many factors we can’t control: will we like their smell? Will we like their voice? Will our bodies fit in relation to one another? Personality and music taste is a characteristic not a predetermined part of us. We have so little control over so many of the big pieces of the dating puzzle, but when those pieces line up and we get to that moment where we are exposed and naked laying together, starring into each other’s eyes, allowing our breath in our chests to move our bodies, letting nature take over, if there is love, it is the most exotic, sensual love you can ever feel.

I can only hope everyone gets to that date or moment like I did. Mine didn’t last forever but I will never forget it and I will always remember it as if it is a bookmark of a chapter in a book I really must read again when I finally find the right book that is worth getting to the metaphorical end.

For now that book lays on my shelf and I eagerly await when I can read again but with all the experience and life under my belt to make the words new, the interpretations different, and the sensations unique to the person I say I love you too… again, but willingly, openly, and accepting of. I will allow my heart to break until I have to buy another book shelf to put the these moments on, if that means, eventually, I never have to read again.

Someone asked me, What is Love?

I thought really long about how to answer it… Love is hard to define let alone know the answer, if there is one.

I often find myself watching a lot of romantic comedies in hopes that one day the end of the movie will come with some sort of revelation or reveal as to what it actually is. Funny part is, I have, over the years, comes to enjoy the romantic comedies that leave the “answer” blank more than the ones that try to package in neatly in a box for the viewers. Sure love is about the ups and downs and laughs and crying you see in the films but when the film ends, the cameras stop rolling, those fictional characters carry on in their fictional world without an audience and regardless of it filming or not their lives are still in motion. And in that moment where we can’t see it, we can’t voyeuristically watch in hopes of the end all be all answer to “what is love” that is where I believe love is. The fact that regardless of the time when the cameras are rolling and lights blasting when it all goes dark the two people left continue to live their lives together… The montages and cuts from scene to scene are now flowing minute to minute and that relationship is built for those two characters to continue forward with, no fast forward, no rewind, no pause. Just each other. To me… That is love. 

Does he, did he care?

I have been in my fair share of breakups. I was recently talking with someone very close to me and she explained her recent breakup. It resonated with me. She told me how she felt as though she were ready for it, but regardless she sat there and cried. She even asked if she could have a moment to just sit and cry before leaving to go to work. The guy said, yes take all the time you need. This causing more tears to roll from her eyes. His kindness was comforting but felt dissociated and wrong because they were no longer a couple now.

She said to him, “I really do care about you and understand this and am going to be OK with it..” But what she asked next hit home, “I just need to know, as you seem really composed, do you care about this at all? Do you, did you care about me?”

That stone cold demeanor I am all too familiar with, because I have done it. When I have broken up with someone, I have put a lot of thought into it and have convinced myself as to why I have to make the hard step to ending the relationship, why I have to step away from the comfort, or hardship. This isn’t something I just came up with the night before but something I have been going over in my head for weeks at a time. So when it comes to the actual day when I say it, it feels disconnected because I am sitting there with multiple aspects of my mind guiding me:

-The need to make sure they understand we just didn’t have that connection to work and to not blame anyone for us not being compatible.

-The want to make sure that this person that I just spent a significant portion of my life with understands I am there for them at that moment in time.

-And finally the organization of the words I am going to use to do it.

It is like being in a defensive mode, ready for anything at any moment and preparing for it. It is almost as if because I have so many things going on in my head, my normal bubbly, excitable self, becomes for a lack of a better word, monotonous and business like. My face gets emotionless, my eyes blank hardly blinking, my body calm and lifeless. I already disconnected from the relationship maybe minutes or hours before I make the words come to my lips, “I think we should breakup”.

It is to prepare for every situation possible, something I have as a defense mechanism in my own body and mind due to the way I was raised and the childhood I had both at home and socially. I constantly tried to gauge those around me who were closed off or accepting of me, being on complete defense at all times, to prepare for what might be said, and if it was said, how I would diffuse it or recoil and hide.

This is not the healthiest way to live and I suppose one of the reasons my relationships haven’t done so well in the past, but it is also why I am in need of someone very sensitive to the fact that I don’t just want to know what is on their mind, but I need to know what is on their mind for the first few months, years etc, just so that I can fully trust them to not throw in a wrench like my family used to or my “friends” did. (I was not the popular kid, let’s just leave it at that) And even more so I can get out of my head, analyzing every breath, sigh, or micro expression, and just be there with them. So I don’t have to have my mind going on so many different scenarios every millisecond that I get to breath and be with them.

So when I heard my friend tell me about what had happened, I told her the truth, people like me, and often men in general have a different reaction to breakups, especially if they are the one instigating it. Men and myself tend to get through the initial breakup with what seems like ease and an emotionless display, meanwhile women usually let the hurt and struggle of the breakup to the front immediately. But ask anyone like me, ask them, “What happens a month or 2 down the road after the breakup?” We cry. We cry or we feel the loss. What takes women seconds to do, us men take a serious mental break before we truly feel it. And trust me we feel it. We don’t skip that part, we just go on a mini brain vacation prior. But when we get our first sensory memory of you and it brings back the comfort or love we had with each other, we let it out. And then we take a slightly longer time to recover. I feel as though women rebound for the first month whereas men are a little more dangerous. We could feel OK right away and even date again right away, but when we get that sting a month or so later, we can self destruct whatever we just built.

So women, yes we feel, but we are in a “stance” during the breakup. We are protecting either ourselves, you, or validating it in a different way. Healthy or not, there is a lot of truth here.

“Fun” fact most breakups happen around holidays, birthdays, and important moments in life when we would want it least, not because it is being insensitive but because these moments make us reflect on what we can invest emotionally and even monetarily in our significant other, which can often reveal a lot about how we actually feel.

Romance in NYC – Shot ENTIRELY on the iPhone

Romance in NYC – Shot ENTIRELY on the iPhone

Will I ever find someone who is willing to jump into traffic with me and together we will not only make it through unscathed, but not have to worry if the other person can handle it or not.

LostinTxtlation

Multi Task Me

Reading a book is stimulating and it has things like structure and grammar etc. However a book seems like a comfort.

A book is something that has an ending, a preconceived idea. It has a direction and follows it, or intentionally breaks it for drama comedy or action.

A book caters to the idea of needing that closure or that happy ending regardless of happy or sad that say a movie does.

But a txt message or an email or a conversation… Those are the tough ones. They may not have the best grammar, or even a complete though, but looking and reading them and actually hearing them determine the next chapter.

Every phrase I say fits into this story I conceptualize when I wake up, when I sleep at night, etc.

Why is it so hard to see bigger than the sentence or lines or script I have made for myself day by day.

I just want you(meaning anyone) to read past the lines, I am not a dead poet but dammit a little analysis never hurt.

You can say write or act out a million things in a day, and it can all happen at once, analysis, your heart, feelings, future conversations, past thoughts. Please don’t try to read me like a book.

I will not fall into your structure nor will I fight against it for no reason. I will loose sight of things like anyone and humble when wrong. I can feel more from seeing your face or hearing your voice or reading a letter you wrote between lunches.

And that is just it, I will and want that feel.

My process to feel may be a bit different but it isn’t closed to the affects.

Multi task me.

I like your face! I think…

I like your face!

I think…

So online dating has taught me something new, I have to be really critical of people’s faces. God, Tristan, you are so shallow!

Wait let me explain… So an online dating profile is comprised of 10 or so images of the person. First factor in: The person picked the photos they think best portray who they are, then take into consideration that you have different angles, lighting, and no actual three dimensional view of their face in these photos.

Let me first disclaimer this with: the beauty of these photos is obviously subjective to who is looking, what they like, what attracts them to another human being, and so forth. No one is being called out for being ugly, just for not fitting what I or another may be looking for or find attractive.

Ok now with that out of the way, let’s say you see one image you absolutely love. And you go, WOW. This person is gorgeous, I want to know more about her! Then you swipe to the right and see image 2, you brush it off because it doesn’t have the same effect but her ass looks great, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, same reaction but to different parts of her, except the face… But you don’t care, you know she is “gorgeous” in photo one and fits the physical criteria you have set. Wrong. You have become fixated on what you want the person to look like, not the overall.

I am a victim of this. Whether you have 3 images or 100, you can literally get so consumed by one shot that really plays to what you are looking for that you ignore the other images. You are not looking at the whole picture. I am a photographer, I understand angles, lighting, and makeup… yet even I find myself having to remind myself to look at the images together. If I am attracted to 10% of her face in photos, this is not going to work. When you meet in person you are going to essentially put together all those photos like a 3D printer would, piecing together a real person not a flat image.

It is so important to like 90% or more of someone’s face in their photos because they portray a complete picture of this person. They show their good and bad sides whether intentional or not. If you can feel connection from the bad sides and the good, the real life meet is going to blow your mind. You are going to be sitting there waiting for them to walk into whatever place you are meeting, and when they finally do, you are going to forget how to be cool and how to keep it together as you oogle them. Their eyes now having shine to them, their skin complexion, their hair motion… everything turns into a beautiful moving image, what people before online dating would have called real life.

I used to be so fixated on making sure someone took care of their body, wasn’t out of shape, and presented themselves truthfully, but I was so focused on that, I would often overlook the face. The face is the part that stays as you age, the eyes don’t change, the lips don’t change, etc. This is the most important part of the body(other than your mind, haters)! The part you see when you kiss, the part you see when you wake up, the part you look at while talking about your day, the part you wanna smoosh when they are being a doofus. (I do have a two face theory as well if you are interested: http://lostintxtlation.tumblr.com/post/74653633662/the-two-face-theory )

Don’t get me wrong I still think it is important to take care of your physical as much as you take care of your mental state of health, but the face is something we can literally forget about when it comes to online dating and seeing image after image of people, flicking through them like a deck of cards. You become numb to the details. But if I can offer any advice, it is that if you don’t feel with almost 100% confidence that you are attracted to someone’s face, don’t go on the date, delete the match. Sure you might have gotten along really well as friends, and sure someones mind and personality truly do makeup for more than 70% of attraction, and it is true, I have experienced the process of getting to know someone more and finding them more attractive the more I knew, but the face is so important, it tells so much of the story. So don’t sell yourself short. Even when I have felt that deeper connection with someone, I always loved their face in every photo, in person, and in general. The rest of the body be damned.

With online dating this is even more important because when you don’t have the ability to assess them through your sunglasses on the subway, understand the dimensions, feel that strange “connection” or “attraction” first hand, see them part their hair to the side of their face, and are just skimming through a bunch of “headshots” never getting to see them act or a reel, you really need to make sure you want to kiss them every day, for the rest of your life. I know, crazy talk, but I honestly believe it. This shit isn’t organic, so embrace it and perhaps you will have a better chance of not feeling disappointed by yourself for casting your own smoke and mirrors, just to get to the “date”. It is OK to say no and it is OK to be picky. There is something for everyone when it comes to what attracts us, so make sure you are looking for the right things. That is what I am trying to do, stumbling as I go, but learning each time I stumble. And just so I feel better about writing this outloud, no I am not “trying to hard”, I am literally just writing outloud how my brain works. This is me, for better or worse, I will think about forever after before I even meet someone, but I don’t go into it expecting a fairy tale ending, I let myself be, and through being, I take a step at a time, with many educated jumps ahead of me.

« Older posts

© 2020 Lost in Txtlation

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑