I used to believe there was this conscious effort that went into finding the right person quicker than others. I am not talking about meeting them and then getting to know each other, but through personal exploration, sense of self, cultural differences, there was a possibility to see fireworks/ hear music the first time you met. That to me seeing multiple people at once, I.E. “Dating”, was a waste of time where you could be learning the most you could about one person to see if it would work or not, then move on. Shoot like an arrow so to say.
Movies like 500 days of summer made me wince as she took on multiple relationships at once, mind you a very different and intense version of “dating” but one I figured was and is happening all around. People who are afraid to commit, so they just wait until enough time has passed where a decision is made for them on which side of the coin they choose versus flipping it.
But what I am realizing as I learn more about myself is that sometimes that first date is nothing even close to who we are regardless of how self aware we are. In my case, being hyper aware of my surroundings caused me to unintentionally act differently. Validating myself so the person across from me would accept me, putting our needs as whole to the side and worrying about what they thought. The simplest example is being unsure how to tell someone upon first meet “I don’t think this is going to work out” and remove myself from the situation, without becoming uncomfortable.
So now that I am becoming aware of what it is to be myself and to act myself, I can see that obviously others have to be going through the same thing. Then take that and multiply it by how far they have thought about it or how much effort they have put into themselves. So it is no longer me thinking that “giving all up front” is the key(although I believe being open is still important), but being able to “be consciously yourself upfront” is an important first step to getting to know someone.
My projections of how someone may date and the such apply to this newer idea as well. To just date 5 people at once is still weird in my head, but I understand it if you are going into it without an act and honestly just trying to let the organic nature of human interaction take its course. We really don’t know the other person on the other end of the relationship and won’t for quite some time. We may feel an attraction and it feels great, but knowing and feeling “happy” are so different.
You can bring in the talk of sex here but I think it goes beyond the physical. It is about the part of you that doesn’t need that sensation.
For me, I feel like my biggest step lately is just understanding, knowing I am struggling and constantly consciously working on being me on a date, that the other person is too. And regardless of the outcome, I am OK with it because I am being me. I can only bring myself to the table. I no longer have interested in “turning the tables”. By learning and applying that I myself become calm, collected, and meditative on what might otherwise be a struggled date through the above, it has made the simple act of breathing out in between sentences and stumbling over context or conversation a comfort and normal.
It feels wonderful when you are OK with it yourself and even better when the person with you accepts it as well. I think it benefits both people, it turns a “first date” best face forward, into a conversation between two people. It opens you up to stories, memories, and things that can bring you joy and intrigue. The two of us are laying the groundwork for a friendship.
I still believe in being an open book, but my book now has a cover to help let me close it if I don’t want to read anymore/need a break or give that great crackling sound down the binding if I want to read more.