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!.
Tag: dating (Page 1 of 3)
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.
In a world where anxiety is overused as “I have so much to do today, I have so much anxiety”
When you are trying to explain to someone how you have clinical anxiety, such as ptsd anxiety, it can be a real challenge. Let alone if you are prescribed medication for the anxiety. (The medication which just makes you not have anxiety, no feeling weird, acting different, just something to bring the cortisol levels to normal.)
But in relationships or when dating, especially new ones, it is hard to get this information to your partner. They might not understand what it means, they may feel like they might have to walk on egg shells with you or think perhaps you just have too much work to do and are feeling “stress”. So you try to explain it, and it just gets messy, as if you are explaining some crazy disease that they can catch and forces you to be no fun ever.
Recently I got off all anxiety medication to see how I did without it after 15 years with a doctor’s help. Well turns out, I truly need it. So I am now back on it but a different dose because it added up and got pretty bad for a month or two. So as I actively work on balancing out my brain again, proactively doing things to be a better human, I feel judged.
I feel judged when my erection at 35 doesn’t fully meet expectations occasionally.
I feel judged when I have to take my medication.
I feel judged because I know how much I need and having to take a little more because of mitigating circumstances at this very moment is rough because I don’t like taking drugs in general.
And heaven forbid you get sexual and the drug counteracts your bodies natural ability to perform as well, they think you don’t like them. WHAT?! Why can’t you listen to my words and hear my reactions. Why must this damn dick of mine that can’t stay hard for 4 hours straight be the gauge for sexual pleasure and attraction?
I’ve even looked into viagra, because I didn’t want to disappoint someone who didn’t understand how this shit works. Suddenly this person who I was enjoying my night with, had reversed their insecurities about my openness of actually liking them enough to stick my dick inside them to making me feel as though, an involuntary reaction due to my own self care, was my fault. Which doesn’t help performance, when you are feeling judged harder now. (hehe harder) Now mind you it is rare when it happens but when you are on a higher dose of medication it can happen. And you just feel like crap because you are enjoying the moment, loving the feelings, but your body is just reacting to a medicine. Something you have had to come to grips with, but sometimes when dating, the other person just doesn’t get it.
I often feel as though explaining to someone that I have anxiety is explaining to someone I am missing a limb or I am broken. The understanding of true anxiety and not the generalized form synonymous with stress is not something people really understand. And if they do understand it, and they too suffer from it, they think, hmmm perhaps we can’t work together because I need someone who can take care of me and since he has it, he is incapable.
There are so many misconceptions and stigmas and projections when you tell someone you have anxiety and take medication for it, it is baffling.
For me I know this: I experimented with doctor supervision what I could and couldn’t do with my brain chemistry and now I am taking the active role to make sure I am a functioning human of society. This should be commendable. This should be something I am proud of. And if there was no one else around, I would be. But those judgement moments make it all kinda hard.
“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.
“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.
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! 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 physically compatible” or whatever the case may be. 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!”
As someone with anxiety I understand the importance of comfort in a new space or environment. So I try to make my space as welcoming with as many of life’s comforts as possible. You should see my bathroom: Fans for sound, smelly things, shower stuff, candles, extra toilet paper(the soft kind!), you name it!
Not only that the lighting is warm and inviting. The chairs are comfy, the sheets are soft, the temperature is appropriate, the bed is softer than a baby butt!
I want you to go in my fridge and grab food or snacks if you need them. I show you where everything is so you feel at home. Because I know when I am at someone else’s place I often miss the comforts what one may call a “safety blanket” i.e. my home.
So while I end up doing all of this to make you comfortable in my space, when I start to be taken advantage of in my own space, be it plans changing, being disrespectful of the space, there is a certain time where I need to look to myself and go, OK, I have worked X hard to make sure they are comfortable, are they doing the same for me? Often I realize, people are just not as respectful of the comfort level difference between being in your own space and being in your own space with someone else.
So when someone starts to make you feel uncomfortable in your own space by ignoring the effort you go to to make sure they are comfortable that is when things become shitty. Changing plans last minute, when you may have had to re-arranging your own life to make things work is one example. Finishing work early, working late hours so you can spend more time with them, only to have them tell you “I am going to wing it” last minute kinda fucks with your head and your efforts applied to making them comfortable and maximizing time together. Complaining about the cold when maybe they smoke and you ask them not to hotbox your house and do it out the window since they will get arrested on the street. Not cleaning up after themselves especially if for you keeping a clean home is important(and perhaps not your forte) but even more so if you clean specifically harder for when someone comes over. I mean how hard is it to not leave the next day without washing your glass or leaving your tea cup on the window sill or in the sink?
It seems small and neurotic when typed out loud. But it is about respecting the fact that someone is comfortable enough with you and excited enough to invite you into their space for an extended period of time, regardless of how it changes the space for them(we are not talking one night stands here). So unless we are at the point where we are both watching weekend long binges of netflix in our underwear with chinese food boxes on our naked bodies, a little courtesy goes a long way.
Comfort goes both ways, and I guess I just really need someone who is conscious not only of the effort that someone makes to accommodate their needs but does the same in return.
I’ll tell you when it suits me…
I have run into this so many times more than I wish I did:
You do something that upsets someone or is triggering.(something I have gotten very good at telling someone when it happens to me right there in the moment, as of course we all have our own pasts that people are not aware of when they are just getting to know us and are inevitably going to stumble onto) They brush it off as a mistake. (which in all reality, it probably was). Then you do it again with something else. Still, no one tells you. Rinse repeat for however many times or days until they decide to fire.
So in your world all is well. But then eventually the explosion comes. The “I’ve noticed troubling behavior and patterns in the last few weeks/months that has to do with X Y Z” XYZ being things you have probably no memory of because out of context and not in that moment you tend to not retain the things that didn’t bother you. But because they said nothing and it bothered them, it is crystal clear in their mind putting both parties in an uncomfortable situation.
I met someone once who asked me: “Do you want to discuss issues, like right as they happen?” to which I said yes. They nodded and sunk inside a bit. Why is this type of communication so scary? Why is the idea that words are just that words, things that can be changed, explained, or apologized for depending on the situation? Are people that stubborn that we force our sig others to hold onto all of these “moments” as ammunition for the ultimate fight or way out? When in reality, both people are assuming one another was saying one thing but meaning the other. And in a world of texts, this can increase ten fold. But the last thing we think to do is call each other or meet in person to have the “semi uncomfortable” in the beginning conversation with inflections about what just happened. Instead we “need time to reflect” and then both people get to do the following:
1. Wait longer to hear back from the person about what I have written while the longer I wait the more I grow frustrated, defensive, and forgetful of what exactly I am waiting for.
2. Harp on an idea of an idea, until it burns in as fact and fruition.
3. Combine the two and end up with a conclusion based off miscommunications to save feelings never meant to be hurt in the first place, leaving even the idea of a discussion dead in the water.
I am tired of being ambushed with “I need time to think” moments. I am happy to give you space to gather thoughts and such, especially because I use written word to try to succinctly express thoughts, so often I will give a little context if it is misunderstood and let someone re read. But when that re-reading goes on too long and becomes harping and dwelling and combining the past things not relative to said conversation, I might as well have gone to war giving you an entire year to build your military, and I just bring a spoon.
And the ultimate goal here for me is to not fight or to even have an argument it is to communicate properly in a world filled with so many ways to mis-communicate. So because I am a nice guy, I am more than happy to let you have time to decompress from an argument or conversation, but understand eventually I am going to forget why we were arguing in the first place, and while that may mean that the argument was pointless in the first place, if you come back guns loaded, this is gonna end messy.
A conversation is just that a conversation, things can be said and then changed. People are very stuck in “OMG YOU SAID WHAT!” instead of expressing why they disagree and giving you an opposite opinion without yelling.
That is the beauty of conversation you are free to correct and fuck up things. We are not perfect, we will never be perfect, so give us a chance to iron out those imperfections through conversation and with the possibility we may not ultimately agree but we can still be humane with one another and not cut the cord because of the simple fact that we disagree.
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.
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 – 2020. 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 and integrate the benefits of traditional methods for a beautiful hybrid.
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.
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.
Online dating has a major catch. I call it the “Oh and one more thing”. This will probably be the name of my book or the next stand up comedy routine. These are the things you will not find out about a person until you are
A: About to centimeters away from their vagina. (before sex)
B: They are laying on you naked afterwards. (after sex)
C: You just won’t find out until you have had at least a month of dates. (lots of sex)
It doesn’t matter how many correspondents you have enjoyed with the person, how many texts have been exchanged, how many facetime calls you have done. These are the things where you are sitting there thinking, “Oh, this is nice, I wonder what she is doing tomorrow….” Then bam, they start saying, “OH AND ONE MORE THING”.
Now before I get into the heavy ones, let’s talk about the normal things you can expect to experience on online dating before even getting to the OOMT’s. (Yes that is the abbreviation I have created for it)
First you have the normal “white lies”.
Profile: I am 20, see my amazing awesome modeling pictures?
Reality: I was 20, 20 years ago, when I posted those pictures, 20 years before that.
This can break off into I am “athletic, skinny, fit, etc”
The weirdest part about this one is, do you think I am going to like you more or less if you told me your actual age? Because you tell me when we meet. So why are we bullshitting and setting up the meeting on a lie?
Now you have the subtle ones:
Profile: I like traveling, people who are sarcastic, long walks on the beach, love dogs, have a kid, and kitty cats.
Or it is a little more subtle…
Profile: Photo on their profile of them at a Gwar concert doing shots and in the background is a tiny child holding up a sign that says Mom and an arrow pointing at them.
And lastly before we get into the “OOMT” ones expect many people to have these following reasons for being on online dating:
I wanted an ego boost.
I just broke up with an ex, in no way am I ready to date, but I signed up because I didn’t know what else to do.
Feels inadequate for some reason.
Friend made them do it.
Wants to fuck.
One thing you will never have to worry about finding out later:
“I am a vegan”
Usually followed by, “but this doesn’t mean you have to be one and I can eat anywhere.” Which is a blatant lie, unless of course you don’t eat pizza, hamburgers, or are a Vegan as well. But don’t worry they will make sure to hold that Vegan status up in the air like Rafiki did to Simba over the cliff.
Ok, now here are the OOMT’s I have encountered in my time with Online Dating:
Setup: We had a beautiful day of talking, laying in the park, having dinner, maybe some drinks, and we go back to her place fall asleep together without having sex. Wake up the next day, go sunbathing on their rooftop, walk around NYC for a little and head back to get take out. So what do you think would happen next after such a nice two day excurtion, if you guessed sex, you are correct.
OOMT: So I am about a hair length away from consummating this wonderful extended date as she leans into my ear and whispers, “Oh by the way, I have herpes”. To which my penis retracts into my throat and I am not sure what to do as I am suspended only by my now wobbling muscles. I get up, sit on the side of the bed, I ask “uhm, can you explain this more to me…” and they say “most guys don’t mind”. Yup. The infamous, get him to think with his dick so he doesn’t make an educated decision on whether or not he wants to engage in this. While this is one of those situations where I am not upset with the person because an STD sucks and I am not sure when the best time is to tell someone, I definitely know it isn’t when you are about a centimeter away from her vagina.
Setup: Meet at the bar, sit down for drinks, they say they are hungry and begin to order an extraordinary amount of food. Which at first seems awesome, because they are comfortable eating infront of you and just being comfortable.. However…
OOMT: After the order is placed they say, “I am just looking for a friend right now” the catch, and usually not verbally said, “that will buy me dinner”.
Setup: You meet a very nice person. You get along extremely well. Shit you even have a connection that feels out of this world good. You can see in her eyes she likes you back, the conversation is fantastic, everything is just going well. Around the second or third date you go to kiss her.
OOMT: She pulls away and says, “I currently live with my ex boyfriend because it makes sense monetarily, I just broke up with a guy who broke my heart, but we still text regularly, and I am just not emotionally available for someone in my life right now.” SO WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU DOING ON A DATING SITE?! You can break this one into a two parter as well, where you meet someone and they say they live with their ex and it is over, but if they find out about you, they will flip the fuck out and ruin the others life. To which they will hold you accountable for it and daemonize you regardless of the time you spent together.
Setup: You have had a few dates and are at the point where they come over to have sex. You begin to kiss and get naked and start sexing…
OOMT: They have a traumatic past with rape and submission to the point where all of a sudden this person is pushing at you, squirming, and saying no very loudly. You jump off because you are now scared shitless that you hurt them, read the signs wrong, or did something wrong. You ask if they are OK, they say yes, sorry, and to keep going, so you try one more time and are met with the exact same reaction. You get up, take your condom, immediately flush it down the toilet because at this point you don’t know what the fuck is happening, come back into the room, they are smoking a cigarette at the window. You sit down next to them and ask, what just happened? Are you OK? They look at you with a confused look on their face and say, “What? I thought you were done.” To which you then explain what just happened and they say, no that didn’t happen. You ask them kindly to leave, they then tell you about their rape fantasy due to past trauma which they basically were blacking out not remembering the moment for the time being. At this point you let them sober up and walk them to their car, not sure what the hell to think and trying to figure out how to change your address.
Setup: You meet someone who you believe is kind and you would like to spend more time with. You end up spending a good amount of your time getting to know them and growing your connection. Then…
OOMT: You find out they are self medicating for severe bipolar disorder and don’t believe in doctors to help because they have their shit together. On top of that they are only a vegan because it allows them to foster their eating disorder. Ultimately leading to them sitting in your bathtub telling you they are afraid of your moving boxes and threatening to kill themselves, so when you call the cops, you are shocked when confronted by someone with a badge how all of a sudden they are coherent and no longer afraid of your moving boxes, leading you to only one logical next move… ask the police to stay while she gathers her stuff and leaves.
Setup: You fall madly in love with someone who says they used to have a problem with drugs but they fixed it. Knowing little about addiction of this magnitude you take them on face value.
OOMT: Eventually they look up what an overdose of vicodin is and take triple the dose before coming over to your house where you have to hold them in the shower, call a hotline, and almost call a hospital. In my case this eventually lead to me learning a lot more about addiction, how she was an EMT but could only function if she took morphine, eventually helping her check into rehab, and realizing I was no longer able to be a part of her life because she needed to change so much that I didn’t even really know her anymore. All while being cheated on with her ex drug dealer boyfriend and so many other wonderful moments. Honestly though this one was one of the most amazing moments for me because I learned a lot about the subject and people in general.
Setup: You have gone on a few dates with someone and everything has been pretty great. You ask her to dinner again and she accepts. You meet at her place and suggest a few places. She says OK to your first choice of Thai food.
OOMT: As you walk into the restaurant she loudly says, this place smells like they eat cats here. She is overtly rude to the waiter for no reason, she coffs at the two languages on the menu and emotes loudly via huffs and puffs about how everything sounds horrible and she hates these people’s food. You realize, holy shit, this girl is racist. You ask if she wants to leave as you are secretly apologizing to the staff around you while she isn’t looking and she insists that you should stay since you are already there. Her food comes, probably with a side of spit, takes one bite and goes, “wow this is really good”.
Setup: You are on your 3rd or 4th week of dating and you go to a restaurant. The check comes, you ask her if she wouldn’t mind splitting it after carrying the bill for the previous dates.
OOMT: Her face goes blank, she slaps her card on the table, she stops talking to you for remainder of the dinner. As you are walking her home, you try to figure out what the hell just happened and finally get out of her, “I have never had to split a dinner with any of my previous dates or boyfriends, I don’t know how to react to this. It’s fine… it’s fine… ” But it is not fine. Now let me be clear sure I could pay for all the dinners, but I want a partner in everything in my life, not just the romance, but the mental parts, the financial parts, the partnership of life. I don’t see it as a disconnect from chivalry but a realistic approach to a sustainable relationship.
Money has always been something I have loved and hated, had lots of it, had very little of it. So to me it is just something you work on together, and when it is assumed immediately that as the guy you are supposed to support everything it is a turn off to what i see as an unbalanced relationship this day and age.
Setup: You go over to a girl you have been seeing for a bit’s house to watch a movie. She gives you her laptop to pick a netflix movie while she freshens up. As you are browsing Netflix you see the other open tabs on her laptop.
OOMT: Tab 1: “Sugar Daddie.com” Tab 2: “Whats Your Price.org” Tab 3: “Miss Travel.net”
And then you combine everything you just experienced into one:
Setup: You meet someone, everything is going really well, you have great chemistry, conversation, interactions. You have some really great sex. As she lays on you afterwards and you are in your happy place thinking, this she be nice to continue to get to know more about and the awkward parts are out of the way, she says
OOMT: “Oh by the way, I have a sugar daddy. I fuck him 1 or 2 times a week and he pays for everything for me, bills, expenses, etc. I don’t plan on stopping.” Then on top of that she says, “I don’t really want a relationship and don’t see you as someone I would marry because you won’t financially support me and you want an equal relationship monetarily, but I think we would make great partners until that time comes when I want that.” Meanwhile you are butt ass naked, her on top of you, unable to move because you don’t know how to react to everything you were just hit with, and stay quiet for majority of the evening before she leaves. Now thinking, why would I want to share my life with you for an extended period of time, knowing I am not the person you are looking for, thus wasting my time, just for some sex?
Do I want to spend time getting to know you, knowing I am not your money maker? Do I want to share my experiences and life with you knowing I will eventually have to retell it to the person I actually want to end up with afterwards?
Setup: You meet someone, you have a wonderful time. You date quite a few times. You obviously have sex at some point. Eventually it doesn’t work out and you end it.
OOMT: You get a text at 1am saying “I am pregnant”. Now this from a person who if they broke their nail would send you 50 texts throughout the day about said nail, you have a feeling this is some fucked up vindictive way to get back at you for ending the relationship. But you sit there for weeks with a pit in your stomach wondering if they will call or say more or if you should just wait it out. Wanting to do the right thing regardless, you are stuck feeling the worst you will ever feel. Spoiler: it was a vindictive lie.
Setup: You have a fantastic conversation via text and email before meeting. You find their textul wit and intelligence fascinating and you are looking forward to meeting in person.
OOMT: This one get’s it’s own story:http://lostintxtlation.tumblr.com/post/64058433964/eyes-to-brain-fuck-my-okcupid-date
So these are just some of the “Oh and one more thing” moments I have experienced. I am never prepared for them. I never see them coming and I consider myself a pretty intuitive person. But unfortunately online dating has become this place where people use it as the last bastion of internet anonymity. Thinking that if they either play off your hormones or “relationship status” they can drop things on you that are absolutely relationship changing tidbits of information. So whether they made the profile for an ego boost, a low sense of self confidence, believing online dating is a place where they can be what their profile says they are, or the infamous OOMT, you are stuck looking at your ceiling, uncomfortable and questioning why the fuck you are still on these apps. And since most dating is done through apps these days, if you will actually find someone who uses the app for the same reasons you do: because it is a wonderful way to meet people if you don’t feel like frequenting a bar that smells like piss and regret every night, it could be quite pleasant. For now though, I continue to stare at my ceiling in disbelief.
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.
I am tired of this paradigm of “I want to feel protected by my man”.
If the guy was raised with any fucking morals or compass to good, of course he is going to fight for you and “protect you”. it is an instinct. It is something built into the core of our beings we fight for the things we love. But being Chivalrous and Caring is just gestures it isn’t a partnership. It isn’t an equality. Just because I make you feel safe, doesn’t mean you make me feel loved. If anything you wanting to just lay in my arms feeling safe makes me feel empty as fuck.
Why can’t more people want to share the passion of a relationship and grow with one another? Why can’t the entire relationship be dominant. Why do we have to fulfill roles? One is submissive one is the other. Fuck that shit, if I pull your hair, pull mine right back. Show some initiative in a relationship so I know I am not just dating my cat. I can get all this from a furry friend with way less effort.
The reason I want a human is to be inspired, to help inspire, to become partners in crime in this world that needs to be stolen day by day. Stop hiding behind your “I don’t want to get my heart broken” and your “I open up when I know you better” ‘s let this shit hang out and fly free. Because the worst that happens is you realize sooner and faster if you are meant to be and you can dive into the meat of things. You can achieve love.
But if your idea of love is me being some sort of prince charming, you are cruelly mistaken. Prince charming is a rebound for a girl who just got fucked up by a wicked spell. I don’t want to be your rebound. I will happily carry you over puddles and open your door and kiss your forehead, but if I have no inspiration to continue doing it after you open up to me… perhaps this is the reason many women think men just put up a front when they first meet. Because at the end of the day it just isn’t inspiring anymore to do the chivalry because we are not getting an equal relationship.
Meh, most guys are dicks, societally influenced to be alpha. But me, 5 sisters, abusive mother, absent father, I want someone to tackle the world together. I want to create our own memories, traditions, and for us to be stronger together than we would alone. Never wondering if “Am I sacrificing my career choices and ambitions for this relationship” because the work done together in the relationship is what is actually driving us both to become better at it all.
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.
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:
“Finding the other person attractive”
“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.
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.
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?
Something I have been getting much better at lately is telling others how I feel, how what they say makes me feel, and drawing boundaries for myself. This is unique for me, because I always believed in being the open open book. However, it turns out I benefit from a little bit of a cover. Not that this means I am any less open, it just means my “open” is a little bit more protected from dirt.
This I find, however, is not something easily accepted by others. Others might do it as well, but they may not be in the same place as you to truly accept it. They might be doing it not as an open conversation, but as a conversation stopper. And they may not have learned it the same way, so you get some pretty big clashes by being honest.
I used to think that I would meet someone who I could find that could agree with me that life is too short to spend it taking jabs at one another and treating each other with sarcasm, versus encouragement and support. But what I am also learning is that these things are things you do for so long over a lifetime that you cannot switch them off overnight, and some sort of banter is necessary to survive the support.
I am a sensitive being. I can get hurt quickly, I am weak in certain areas, I am fast to form an opinion, so when you combine that with text conversations and an equally sensitive partner, you find the opposite of fireworks, you just get internal explosions no one else can see. This causes quiet secrets, that are not meant to hurt, but created by both parties to protect one another from hypotheticals.
I also have the inate ability to recover from shit being flown my way. I have had to deal with it as a child, teen, adult, etc. I taught myself due to extreme circumstances growing up where I got hit with it a lot. So combine that with me now sharing when something feels wrong and you have a very interesting explanation of self, especially for someone who doesn’t know your “self”.
We have been living with our own demons and pasts so long, getting someone to understand them as well is hard. It is a true test of wills. But at the same time are we supposed to just “click” or are we just supposed to “click” on specific things, allowing the non clicked moments to feel less impactful. Opposites attract… yet I always feel that if I met someone who put as much thought into the idea of people, the context of valuing humanity over physical and tangible achievements, that it could be truly magical. I suppose the opposites are best defined as being things that you can contribute to one another in a way that lets growth live and breath with each other.
But it isn’t just about being able to agree upon things, it is about being able to have a thicker skin when shit doesn’t mix and being able to work through it without letting the past define us too much. I know my past has the potential to throw some serious wrenches all over the place. At the same time I also know my past does not control my future as long as I am open to letting it out and in when need be. But on top of that if you are feeling as though instead of “hearing” another being is just “accepting” it is the same as brushing off an acknowledgement. It becomes increasingly frustrating. There has to be a sense that two people are working together equally, not just setting up boundaries at every turn. Actually understanding the boundaries is more important than the boundaries themselves.
“I learned to understand my Leo by understanding that he needed positive reinforcement for the little things. He needed me to be open to letting it all hang out with him or he tended to think I was not interested or had anything interesting to offer. This was out of my comfort zone but when I let go a little bit to him, it was a warm embrace that followed”
I am just rambling, because I did meet a similar person, and that similarity seemed to be only similar in brand not by make. Created completely differently, not actually riding the rails side by side, but being on opposite hemispheres thus having an entirely different type of passenger that we let aboard.
Who knows, maybe one day we will be universal to one another, but for now we continue our daily commute with a completely different schedule.
Oh well, derailed for a moment today, back on track tomorrow. And with that… enough train metaphors.
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
You should see me, when the proud Leo gets all self conscious and nervous. It’s either adorable or frightening. Not sure yet.
I’m all “social situations master” but when I like someone I get derpy.
That to me is what it is all about though. Not love. But the act of getting to know someone and knowing if it is a good mix. When all your past experiences and knowledge get tossed out the window for what is right in front of you and you stumble and derp, but regardless your core and theirs line up in such a way that either you both don’t notice or you just feel comfortable figuring out how to interact together as human being beyond the simple physical.
And allowing yourself to do that is what makes or breaks 99% of relationships before they start because one or the other isn’t willing to do it. To be open to that vulnerability is important.
Maybe it comes down to timing or instinct or defense. Whatever it is, it can either mimic the song Maria from west side story or be a really bad Kanye riff.
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.
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.