You were my smile for every mensiversary complimented with an handmade card. You wrapped me in tales from the past, gazed forever into my soul, and escorted me home through the night. You were my home manifested into the skin of an imperfect human. You were the best friend that I wished I were not afraid to loose if I uttered that one four-letter word. It was as if God themselves had made a copy of everything that was me and changed my sex. It was as if they knew I needed someone to talk to about what all I questioned. It was as if I needed a night of mint chocolate chip ice cream before meditation. It was as if I had to know that I could develop feelings so quickly. For you were the only one who I was brave enough to trade numbers with while on the clock, because you are my Sunday morning.
And somehow, you were more than my sunshine. You watched my every move out of fear that you could not keep me. You didn’t listen to me when I said no. You lied to me about accidents and stood me up three times. You preferred the company of alcohol and cigarettes than me. You were always searching for something else or someone else. You suffered greatly of fernweh. Your heart was preoccupied. And unfortunately for me, you need time to work on your own holistic health.
There’s nothing more that 20 somethings like to talk more about than love. It is this fascinating mystery which is televised as high school sweethearts and uncontrollable foot pops. It takes a while to get through the myths and learn from mistakes, but once you get here, you question everything. While some found one of their soul mates and live in the butterflies every day, others have been let down and hurt. At this age, I am surrounded by young adults who are learning what adulthood means which includes how to develop and sustain relationships. We talk about love, because we all want to believe that it still exists. We want to know that it doesn’t have to be toxic, painful, confusing, forced, or just not right.
My first two paragraphs were statements about all of the boys and men I have encountered thus far. We remember people through emotions and experience. While the details may not remain, I remember who made me feel that I was never enough and who reminded me that I was a Queen. Against everyone’s advice, I have never let go of those relationships, because for me they define romantic and platonic relationships. Although these memories circulate within my mind as I date new men, I still allow for a new slate. However, I am still triggered by certain words or movements which remind me of those from my past. I honestly think there’s no way to avoid it either.
For us 20 somethings, many of our relationships are measured and outlined according to our past experiences. I’ve recently ventured into the territory of online dating which I wrote about in an earlier blog post. While it is fairly simple to find decent people to chat with, it is so much harder to find someone who’s a great match. Also, a good number of people online opted into the dating sites, because they find it difficult to find and talk to people in real life. After trying out a number of sites, I discovered that it was not going to me my path to a lasting romantic relationship (unless you want to be married asap, because there a plenty of people who can’t wait to get to the altar). I also realized that I have just as great of a chance going out to events and finding people. Even when I do that, I still get people who like the idea of love, but are too afraid or not emotionally available to dive into something new.
This reality makes me reconsider my own priorities. What is my goal? Do I want a romantic relationship? Do I just want friendships? Do I just enjoy flirting and the chase? Do I want more or will I accept having access to only a small piece of someone’s heart? But most importantly, do I even care? Right now, I have so many other things that are more important than figuring out who will buy me chocolate for Valentine’s Day. In short, Romance for the 20 somethings is confusing, exciting, ever changing, emotional, and different for everyone. It is defined by moments in life. It has new perspectives. It is a wondrous mystery which we dream about.