Every time I go on Instagram or Tik Tok, there’s an onslaught of relationship advice. People sharing their experiences and tips, ranging from: don’t be the first to text, wait a few hours before responding to them, pretend you’re busy even when you’re not. I find myself confused and overwhelmed by the amount of information out there, especially as I’ve started to date again. Most of it comes across as inauthentic to me. I find that, at this stage of my life, I’m not interested in playing games or toying with power dynamics in relationships. I have a deep seated desire for a wholesome and authentic love, one that resembles the truth of life.
If you’re interested in someone, let them know. If you have fun seeing them, see them. If you’re on the phone and you’re excited to get a message from them, respond right away. If you think about them, tell them.
I also find that I’m balancing the desire to progress the relationship forward by reaching out and setting up plans with releasing control. This means that, sometimes, I have to sit in the discomfort that the person I really enjoy getting to know has their own life and responsibilities to tend to and I have to occupy myself with something else. This seems difficult as my days are very free. I’ve gotten to the point in my life and career where I work less than 5 hours a week for a very comfortable salary, I don’t necessarily need to fill my schedule up all the time and my focus is on cultivating nurturing and nourishing relationships that bring me joy. It’s difficult at this moment because I feel like most of the people in my life have careers that tie them into a 9 to 5 work schedule. I miss the spontaneity of traveling, where the friends that I hung out with were on the same schedule as mine: free to lounge around, waiting for one of us to come up with a fun idea. Everyone was free to hang out all the time (reminiscent of childhood).
I find this is a slippery slope because I know myself and I tend to enjoy having hyper fixations (and favorite people) of the moment. I also find that dating again is activating triggers that I thought I had healed from: feeling rejected, fear of abandonment. I feel like I know exactly what I want and it feels frustrating when romantic partners aren’t on the same wavelength as me. Motherhood…matrimony…as a modern day feminist, I still feel a desire and urge to embody those traditional archetypes. I feel that it’s important to be clear on what you want but also to decentralize the focus on the seriousness of the connections and go back to basics: are you having fun? Because if you can have fun with a person, it means that it’ll make life so much better when you do eventually have to tackle the hard stuff. Someone who is on your team (and vice versa) when the going gets rough. Someone to share everything with.
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