HONESTY & RELATIONSHIPS
I have, for the longest time, thought that I knew exactly what kind of relationship I wanted.
I wanted what everybody else was having/wanting. The movie-like fairytale. I wanted all those romantic dates back to back every single day, shower the guy I dated with gifts and surprises everyday, then move in together, have the perfect house, with the perfect everything, do and love everything together all the time, have him define me, fill all my voids and make me happy. And of course live happily every after till death do us part. Duh.
Except none of that was really true.
Not that I didn’t mean those things when I did them. But it wasn’t really coming from me. They were ideas programmed in me long before I even had the ability to think of asking someone out on a date…. Aaand then reinforced over the course of my life by all the unrealistic examples I saw in the media. Plus my lack of self awareness and understanding didn’t help either.
I thought I was supposed to want all that and I thought I was supposed to do all those things. Then I looked around and realized that’s how most of us live. We just blindly follow whatever we are told we are “supposed” to be doing only to find ourselves miserable and resentful not that much later.
Being gay really helped as it opened my mind more to other possible arrangements that didn’t quite follow the standard rules that were so deeply imbedded in me. Then, over the years, I’ve learned about many other options from both my straight and gay friends, yet none of it was still quite clicking. And I felt like it was just a tip of an iceberg, because most of what they talked about was related to sex and that’s just one small part of relationships. It took a few years and lot of alone time for it to finally come to me.
All the dissapointments, discomfort and weirdness I put myself thru dating was mainly because I never took the time to sit down with myself to actually figure out who I really was and based on that, figure out what I really wanted. From myself and my relationships. I was clueless. And on top of that I was scared a) if people would judge me if went rogue and b)if I would end up completely alone because there’s nobody who would believe in or want the same things I do. So instead of taking that time to be alone and be honest with myself, I let my fears and my inherited limited views of what relationships are and how they ‘should be’ dictate my romantic life.
Every time I would date someone, I would forcefully try to create these ‘romantic’ moments and scenarios to try to navigate the situation/relationship to go a certain direction. You know, how it ‘should go’. Only realizing later that I didn’t even care for that person at all. But I was so stuck in my head on how things supposed to be and already created the idea of who the other person was, that I didn’t really pay attention to what was going on or listened to what they had to say. And if I did, it was thru my glittery rainbow sunrise filter, where I only heard what I wanted to hear and what fit the image I had created in my head. So the guy could literally call me an asshole, and I would be like (with googly eyes) , yeah totally, I love you too.
I witnessed so many of my friends moving in with someone, getting married or having children, when they out loud told me they don’t really want to but they believe that’s what they’re supposed to do and their girlfriend/boyfriend wants to so they might as well… Never really having an honest conversation with their partner about what they want or how they see relationships. Many of them just literally looking for someone to define them and not be alone. All because they haven’t spend any time actually asking themselves, what is it I really want? Who am I? What works for me? What would make me happy in a relationship? What kind of partner do I really need? Then finding themselves alone and divorced later, blaming the whole world and not even for a second taking some responsibility for their “might as well” attitude… But we all have lessons we need to learn on our own.
Looking back now, I am grateful that I made myself get away from all the noise, and figure out what it is I really want from a relationship. Just me, nobody else. And was very very honest with myself.
I realized there really are no rules. We are all individuals with our own unique needs and beliefs, values and priorities. How can we expect one set of rules to work for all? What works for me, doesn’t work for you. And vice versa. That’s why I believe, the two people in the relationship should crate their own. From scratch. Based in respect and honesty.
The idea of ’till death do us part’ was established around the time life expectancy was about 30. Then evolution happened. Now we get to live longer, but the rules haven’t changed. I am in no means against marriage but I do believe that going into something with the expectation of it lasting forever is most definitely setting ourselves up for a disappointment. Because by doing so, we’re already putting pressure not only on our partner but ourselves as well. And what’s even worse, because of all that expectation how things always ‘should’ be, we’ll miss out on experiencing and enjoying that person in the moment. (There is a difference between hope and expectation.)
What works for me now is just letting things happen and unfold in their own time. I’ve learned to open my mind and not try to force things to be something they’re not, but instead appreciate the moment, really listen and allow it become whatever it’s meant to be. I’ve noticed I am enjoying myself and others much more this way.
I have learned that…
Some people don’t rush into things and some do, and that’s ok
Some people don’t want to live together and some do, and that’s ok
Some people don’t want to see people every single day and some do, and that’s ok
Some people don’t want to do everything together all the time and some do, and that’s ok
Some people want monogamous relationships and some don’t, and that’s ok.
Some people want kids and some don’t, and that’s ok.
Some people only want to have sex on Wednesday and some want more, and that’s ok.
Some people never wanna get married and some do, and that’s ok.
Some people like cats and some like dogs, and that’s ok.
Some people want to know all my friends and some don’t , and that’s ok.
Some people will expect me to make them happy and some will be already happy, and that’s ok.
But the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that taking the time to figure out what I really want and being very honest with myself about what kind of relationship works for me is essential for me to be happy, and to find the right relationship. Instead of blindly following some obsolete rules set long time ago, created with a very different intentions in mind that were over time ‘normalized’ by society.