The winter season will transition into spring, and many of us will continue to end blue nights with the quiet cool of solo thoughts and our single relationship status. Love scars have left their marks on many of our hearts, often times making us fearful of being open and vulnerable to the possibility of entering into another, romantic union.
People often ask me why I am single. As I attempt to offer an explanation, it seems that the answer is constantly changing. Once upon a time, I thought that I would never fall in love again. It took years to emotionally heal from a very significant breakup. I felt as if I was mourning a death on most days. During that period in my life, trying to “get over” my ex was a very challenging and gut wrenching experience. However, my heart did eventually piece itself back together and I was able to once again entertain the idea of meeting new people. Though, I wasn’t confident in allowing myself to romantically attach to another individual. And I certainly had no interest in placing a title on the casual relationships that I had begun to form. I became extremely focused on trying to build my online platform once I realized that my voice and written words were reaching waves that extended beyond my core circle of friends. There were plenty of people who walked into my life, offering to stand alongside me and aid in the process of my artistic development. They wanted to exist as my romantic partner in every capacity imaginable. I was just so hell bent on walking this path alone that my attitude pushed good people into very dark spaces. As far as I was concerned, falling in love was a sign of weakness. My desire to control every aspect of my life left very little room to ignite an emotion that I could not turn off during moments of inconvenience. I missed out on various opportunities to solidify healthy, romantic bonds. I was told that if I continued to practice my push-away routine, that eventually I would grow lonely. I have. Now, as I approach the celebration of yet another birthday, I long to exist in the type of relationship where I’m unafraid to pour all of me into someone who consciously refuels my vulnerable spirit.
The problem I face in securing another long-term relationship is trying to exist organically in the initial, dating phase of learning a new individual. I find that I am either forcing myself to create comfort in the rigid chemistry that exists, or I am growing extremely frustrated by the inconsistency of the other person’s communication. Quite honestly, I am a very easy guy to connect to if the beginning stage of our relationship is framed with constant, face-to-face meetings. I express myself best in situations where I’m able to talk and physically engage with someone who is offering the same level of energy or passion. I lose interest very quickly in people who aren’t willing or able to immediately express their thoughts and directly open up to share their feelings about me, their personal lives and ultimate desires as well.
While I understand that some people reveal pieces of themselves slower than others, I do not have patience for those who timeline what they choose to show and tell.
If the energy is intense and we are growing close quicker than what magazine articles and other social standards dictate as appropriate dating rituals, I want to feel that the other person is willing to trust our unique process. It is never too soon to freely share with someone exactly how you feel about their existence in your life. I don’t necessarily think it’s a good idea to prematurely enter into marriage, moving in together or even claiming someone as a boyfriend or a girlfriend. However, there’s no reason why two people should feel embarrassed to acknowledge the fact that feelings of comfort or love or a strong affection are developing after only a few weeks of knowing one another. We, collectively, make ourselves feel silly or ashamed to love “too soon”.
While it seems that everyone desires a romance to pair them alongside a special someone, the idea of courting and “putting ourselves out there” is where the masses often fall short. We exist as the generation that fears being labeled as “thirsty” or pressed in our pursuit of getting to know someone of interest. In an effort to maintain the façade of being in control of our dating situations or somehow avoiding being stuck with the short end of the stick, many of us aren’t putting forth much effort at all. There is no such thing as replying to someone too quickly. Immediately responding to a text message, directly returning a phone call, accepting the first date invite or even being the first to like and comment the picture of a potential love interest is actually appealing.
To turn your read receipts on is to let down the walls that are guarding your pride and your fragile ego.
When we first meet someone new, it’s important to verbalize our feelings to that someone as our interest intensifies. Sometimes, we avoid extending compliments to this person because we assume they receive them on a fairly regular basis. And while the individual you’re getting to know may hear from strangers how attractive they are physically, there’s nothing more comforting than receiving that level of attention from the one whose opinion actually carries romantic weight. In order for the new man or woman in your life to feel that they serve a role more significant than simply someone you’re hanging out with, tell him or share with her that they turn you on physically, mentally and/or emotionally.
Do not runaway from an opportunity to be the first to send a morning text message or to initiate an afternoon, lunch date. Your initiative sends a direct message that this new guy or new girl has crossed your mind during different stages of your day. Even in instances when the text reply is delayed an hour or the face-to-face lunch is postponed as a result of a busy work schedule your effort contributes to the healthy fuel that keeps the dating process exciting. Of course, no one wants to feel that they are always the first to call or the only partner making couple plans. However, it’s silly to constantly wait for the other individual to take the control.
Turn your read receipts on by turning your inhibitions off. If you’re overly concerned about how your instincts to express your feelings are going to be interpreted by the one you’re falling for, the relationship may never exit the dating zone. People want to feel loved and desired. Even in situations where the love is fueling into someone’s life at the most inopportune moment, the comfort of the feeling tends to blanket any daily inconveniences. Open your heart to the possibility of meeting someone tomorrow, connecting to that person next week and by next month — the two of you are establishing the type of bond that doesn’t allow pride, ego or the perception of “thirst” to dictate the organic flow of your relationship.