Posts tagged with "dating"

the beginning of me wanting myself

I had a date around this time last year. She was a teacher-turned-librar­i­an in her mid-40s with two kids, a pix­ie-cut, and thrift store style.

Before we for­mal­ly intro­duced our­selves, I rec­og­nized her from across the room and was imme­di­ate­ly struck by the way she car­ried her­self. There was a con­fi­dence when mov­ing about; clear­ing a table to sit at with­out a momen­t’s hes­i­ta­tion as to whether any­one would mind; inter­act­ing with the staff; bump­ing into an old acquain­tance. Something com­mon among par­ents and peo­ple in the edu­ca­tion sys­tem, lest they show weak­ness to a group of chil­dren (and the com­plete oppo­site of Heather, who’s shy and awk­ward and always tries to take up as lit­tle space as pos­si­ble).

We both under­stood how dif­fi­cult it can be to get to know some­one through a screen, and agreed it would be bet­ter to meet soon­er rather than lat­er. That meant I did­n’t know too much about her, aside from the details in her pro­file. I was com­fort­ed by the fact that she men­tioned All About Love by bell hooks under “A book every­one should read”, because Tiana hap­pened to rec­om­mend it to me ear­li­er that year and it became a big influ­ence on the way I approach my rela­tion­ships. Also by the fact that one of her needs was “under­stand­ing of sys­tems of oppres­sion”; as I drift fur­ther to the left on the polit­i­cal spec­trum, I’ve learned that I tend to get along bet­ter with peo­ple who have an aware­ness of social inequal­i­ty.

Continue read­ing “the begin­ning of me want­i­ng myself”…


I hope I’m not belabour­ing the point when I say I’ve suf­fered a lone­ly exis­tence. For much of my life, I’ve kept those clos­est to me at arms-length, out of a sub­con­scious fear that they’d hurt me. I could nev­er turn to my par­ents for any kind of sup­port, cause they were more con­cerned about how I made them appear than how I felt; I had no sib­lings with which to form an alliance when they became my great­est ene­my. The best friend I car­ried into adult­hood was a per­son who nev­er tru­ly under­stood me, and my best friend after that aban­doned me at the first sign of dif­fi­cul­ty.

Managing my rela­tion­ship needs has been a life­long strug­gle. Much of the grow­ing I’ve done (or been forced to do) is inter­twined with the soli­tude I’ve faced; being able to change myself gives me a small sense of con­trol in what would oth­er­wise be a messy and chaot­ic exis­tence. An added dif­fi­cul­ty is that I keep evolv­ing, and my social needs evolve in turn. It takes years to devel­op the kinds of rela­tion­ships that nur­ture me. I’m in the mid­dle of a tran­si­tion, and my sup­port net­work is the small­est it’s ever been.

Living with a part­ner has helped, but at some point my attach­ment to Heather grew unhealthy. It’s not fair for me to put so much pres­sure on her to be my lover, friend, ther­a­pist, care­tak­er, gam­ing bud­dy…every­thing. When I start to resent her for my needs going unmet, I know I’m in a bad place and need to check myself.

Continue read­ing “semi-poly”…

everybody's gotta learn sometime

It’s strange to feel like I’m ready for a rela­tion­ship at only this point in my life. It did­n’t seem right that any­one should love me if I did­n’t love myself, and that did­n’t real­ly start until recent­ly.

It also took a good round of ther­a­py to fig­ure out that I was sab­o­tag­ing my rela­tion­ships so no one could have the chance to hurt me. If I con­sid­er which ones would have worked out had that not been an issue that caused me to break up with my girl­friends in order to pro­tect myself, I can only think of one. But that was a long time ago, and while we may have worked then, it’s no guar­an­tee for the peo­ple we’ve become, as I’m sure there’s been a lot of growth on both our ends. It’s only now that I feel like my per­son­al evo­lu­tion has reached a peak, a place where I’m sat­is­fied with who I am, and there won’t like­ly be any more dras­tic changes that may affect the dynam­ics of a rela­tion­ship.

I’ve been able to rec­og­nize that the risk of get­ting hurt is insep­a­ra­ble from the trust we place in the peo­ple we love, and that risk is always worth it. I’ve left behind my bag­gage, some­thing no one else should have to deal with, and I’ve had enough expe­ri­ence to know exact­ly what I’m look­ing for in a rela­tion­ship and what kind of peo­ple work with me.

Took me 30 years to fig­ure it all out, but every­body’s got­ta learn some­time.

romantically vulnerable

I’m left feel­ing very vul­ner­a­ble and won­der­ing if I can be tru­ly attract­ed to some­one for who they are, instead of the idea of a rela­tion­ship and the asso­ci­at­ed com­fort of famil­iar­i­ty and phys­i­cal con­nec­tion. I miss affec­tion­ate text mes­sage con­ver­sa­tions, spon­ta­neous plans to cud­dle, and hav­ing some­one to spoil, but I need more time to sort out my feel­ings, and to get over the last one.

This is the exact rea­son I had to take a break from her. I haven’t had any con­tact in a while, and even though I sel­dom think of her these days, I’d be lying if I said I’ve for­got­ten com­plete­ly.

There are morn­ings I wake up with the mem­o­ry of her next to me in bed, pass­ing hours with only del­i­cate grazes between us. It’s as if my sub­con­scious is still lin­ger­ing on what we had, even though my con­scious has giv­en up on what could have been. Wanting to live my life with her became such a habit that I still catch myself wish­ing she could be there to share in my con­tent­ment when I’m sit­ting out­side with the breeze against my skin on sun­ny Spring days.

She nev­er under­stood why such a break would take so long1, or why I could­n’t give her a sol­id time-frame, but now I know it was the right deci­sion. Even though the pain and jeal­ousy have left me, I have to let go of the good mem­o­ries just as much.

Not that I can’t be in a rela­tion­ship with some­one right now. Rather, I should­n’t, cause it’d be unfair to the oth­er per­son; I still catch myself mak­ing com­par­isons to her, believ­ing that no one will be as dynam­ic, inspir­ing, or good for me. Or wish­ing I could some­how relive those mem­o­ries through some­one else, even though I know that new, won­der­ful, unique expe­ri­ences are cre­at­ed with every rela­tion­ship and every part­ner.

I know where I need to be before I’m ready to be with some­one again. I’ve been com­plete­ly tak­en with peo­ple in the past, and even­tu­al­ly I tru­ly get over them. It may take years, but one day I wake up and the mem­o­ries don’t affect me any­more, though they remain as beau­ti­ful as they are impor­tant.

  1. And this break was with the expec­ta­tion that we’d even­tu­al­ly be in con­tact again, which would assured­ly take even longer! []