Before I delve right into the projectile vomit of my thoughts, I want to say this post was inspired by the question, “what was your longest relationship” and the title was inspired by “Cool Girl” by Tove Lo. In the song, she sings, “Fuck if I know how to put it romantic, Speaking my truth, there’s no need to panic” and I thought that was a really brilliant line. As much as I’m a believer of this is my truth now tell me yours, my over thinking brain goes bat shit crazy and panics. (My brain, it sucks.) I know I’m not the only one. Sometimes I hear, Jack Nicholson screaming, “you can’t handle the truth.”
Truth is, we all can handle it. Sometimes we just want to deny it, especially if it hurts.
First, Merriam-Websters definition of the word relationship:
noun re·la·tion·ship \-shən-ˌship\
-the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other
-a romantic or sexual
friendship connection between two people
(I struck out friendship because it makes me think of friends with benefits and that’s not what we’re talking about here)
-the way in which two or more people or things are connected
In this post, the bold definitions apply.
Any way, to answer the question, longest relationship was 3 years. That was 3 years of a defined, boyfriend and girlfriend, relationship. That relationship was almost 17 years ago. Yep, you read that right. 17 years ago. It started out as a good relationship and then somewhere along the way it went to shit. Actually, that’s a lie, I thought it started out as a good relationship. I was 20 when it started and I thought I was in love. I didn’t know what love was then, not sure I even know what it is now. The relationship ended and I married my work and never looked back.
Sure, there were 1 or 2 guys along the way where I thought, “dating, this is interesting” and then I realized, “yeah, no, you’re a douche nozzle, I’m out”. There was also the “I don’t have time for this” which was true because I gave every waking hour to work. My parents eventually stopped asking when are you going to settle down because they knew I was happy. I had everything I wanted which didn’t include a relationship.
After the above relationship, I sowed some wild oats and then stopped looking at guys, which lead to a 4 year no sex “drought” phase as a dear friend called it. I didn’t care. It wasn’t as if I was a teenage boy dying to bust a nut on everything with a pulse. I really, just didn’t care about sex or being with another human. Later on, I had a few booty calls, friends with benefits, or whatever the fuck they’re called. No strings attached sex. Do the deed, GTFO. It was not fulfilling in any sense, but it served a purpose. Sex. Sex does not equal love. Shit, sometimes it doesn’t even equate to like. Often, I’d be like a turtle and return back to my shell of not caring about sex or being with another human.
Somewhere in the Queensland Outback in Nov 2015, I had an epiphany that made me pull the car over and just stare at the road ahead of me. I felt like I had stared for hours but in reality it was a few minutes. I had said out loud, “Universe, I would like a relationship.” What the what? Where did that come from? I honestly had no clue I was feeling that way until the words slipped from my mouth. So as I continued my trek through the baking heat, I thought do I want a relationship or do I need one and what the heck is a relationship in my eyes? I didn’t need a relationship. At the time of the epiphany, I was chasing my dream of migrating permanently to Australia (still chasing, won’t stop chasing until I am a legal resident). I was happy (still am happy). So I knew I definitely did not need a relationship. Good. Whew. So there I sat, realizing, I wanted one. Which made me think, really, after all this time you decide now in the middle of the goddamn Outback you want someone in your life? The last living thing you saw was the bug that suicide bombed your windshield! I laughed at the whole situation. I knew Australia was going to be life changing for me, but I didn’t think about the foundation of my life changing. I think traveling alone through the Outback made me realize somewhere deep inside, I wanted someone I could talk to and laugh with at the end of the day. Which made me answer the question of what was a relationship in my eyes: a person I can be myself around. I didn’t say that forever kind of love my parents and grandparents have. I didn’t say marriage, a boyfriend, etc. I just wanted someone I could be myself around. Someone I could be comfortably silent with and someone I could be ridiculously silly with.
Fast forward to 2016…I joined the online dating world. It wasn’t because I wanted to date, I like my me time, but I wanted to meet new people and that’s was my self-challenge. Meet new people. As easy as it was to join, I wanted to run screaming into that good night. It was overwhelming and filled with a lot dick pics and endless and meaningless messaging. I went out on a couple of dates, realized I don’t know how to date in this day and age and almost tossed the whole idea into the trash can because it made me feel like trash. I mean, seriously, who dates to feel like a worthless pile of shit? I wasn’t having fun. It wasn’t fun. Met a couple of nice guys but none that reminded me of my epiphany. Most actually made me forget about it and made me build stronger and thicker walls to keep everyone out.
Somewhere along the way, I did meet one guy. The one that made my head (not my heart or soul), but my head, my “over analyzing, over thinking, let’s look at it from all angles” head say, “take a chance on this one”. So I listened to my head and took a chance. I remember my first encounter and these seriously were the thoughts I had in the first 5 seconds
-why is this guy single
-he’s way too handsome to be single
-his photos are great, but he’s even more handsome in person
-why did he say yes to me
-is this a joke, when are the cameras coming out
-don’t trip up the stairs
-seriously, he’s “hot, too hot” (in the voice of Dark Helmet from Spaceballs),
-please god, don’t trip
I’m grateful he gave me a 2nd date and 3rd and then a 4th, 5th, and so on and so on.
It became very clear to me at one point, that the energy I was giving him was’t like any other energy I was giving anyone else. I felt the most comfortable with him. I enjoyed myself more with him. I remember the day I deleted online dating. The accounts, the apps, the everything. I tried not to ghost and told the anyone I was chatting with that I had met someone that had fully captured my attention and energy. Surprisingly, all was very supportive and wished me the best of luck at taking a chance. On that day, I cried. I cried because I was taking a risk and my head was in on it and it was okay with it. Instead of running or having one foot out the door, I was firmly opening the door and stepping inside something or stepping outside my comfort zone.
Who the fuck was I becoming?
Then I remembered, “you’re looking for someone you can be around.” That was it. I could be myself around this person. My spirit was calmed and brain was quieted. Even better, my phone was on silent and away from me for hours on end.
I can hear someone right now saying, “but that’s not a relationship.”
It’s not your ideal relationship or your definition of a relationship..
My ideal relationship is this: someone I can be myself around.
In her book, “The Art of Asking”, Amanda Palmer describes her relationship with Neil Gaiman as this: “Open doors.” Doors that are open so she’s not smothered. Doors that are open so he can see out. They’re opposites. She needs a lot of freedom and trust. He needs safety and trust. He sees she’s not running away. She sees he’s not trying to suppress who she is. I understand their needs. I want my solitude time to do things I want that don’t include anyone else. No offense to the human population.
When I read Amands’s description of her relationship, I asked again, what is a relationship to me? What do I want?
- I don’t want a label of what we are. It’s really a label for others to be happy. We are two people choosing to be with each other. That’s enough for me.
- I don’t want to do anything with the relationship. Most people have an end goal, marriage, life partner, soul mate, whatever. For me, I don’t. I just want to enjoy the other’s company in whatever we are doing at the moment for as long as we choose to be in each other’s life.
- I don’t want to broadcast it to the world and I don’t want to make it Facebook official which I think is the 2nd worse thing you can do besides tattooing the other’s name on your body. Just don’t. I just want to do us without the compelling need to prove to the world we chose each other.
- I don’t want to see the other person 24/7 because when I do see the other person, it should be quality time over quantity any day of the week. We will make time for each other, but it doesn’t have to be all day, every day. I’m sure they’d want to punch me in the face during hockey season if they saw me 24/7. One or two days is fine by me. They’ve got their life to live and I’ve got mine. If we want more, we’ll work it out so we’re not driving each other bat shit crazy.
- I don’t want to have that all day of endless texting/calling/messaging as reassurance the other person woke up still liking me. Let’s say good morning, good night, share the important stuff, and when the day is done, recap our day for each other. If I send someone a random message during the day, it’s just my way of saying, “hey you were thought about at this moment.” Again, we’ve got shit to do. I respect that 110%.
- I don’t need a relationship. I am choosing a relationship.
A relationship and the person that comes with it doesn’t complete me.
I am already complete.
I have a complete life.
A relationship and the person that comes with it should compliment me and my life.
But what I do want from the other person is allowance.
- Allowing me to give my trust, respect, honesty, love, and joy.
- Allowing me to receive their trust, respect, honesty, love, and joy.
That’s how a relationship works to me. Two people choosing to allow the other and themselves to give and receive trust, respect, honesty, love, and joy without expectation. I am myself around them, they are themselves around me. There’s no judgement on anything said, thought, felt, etc. There’s total freedom for each of us to do ourselves individually and to exist together in the relationship we have chosen to allow between us.
I know someone will read this and go, “but you didn’t say you wanted a boyfriend, a husband, long lasting, serious, blah fucking blah”.
You’re absolutely correct because those are labels and those don’t define anything, they just label it.
Look at the definition of the word relationship again.
-a romantic or sexual connection between two people
-the way in which two or more people or things are connected
The relationship that I want is one of allowance that is of a romantic and sexual connection between me and a man because we are choosing to connect and allowing ourselves connect with each other. It’s not rocket science. It’s two people choosing.
End of story.
*As I was editing this post, I stumbled onto the below on Pinterest and I thought “wow” when I read it and I feel it kind of compliments what I wrote.
My favorite line is: “..does not destroy their individuality. In fact, it enhances it: they become more individual…”