Lessons of love
This is probably one of the most personal stories I have ever shared, but I feel the urge to write it down and share. There was something I recently realised deep down in me that has stopped me to find love the past few years. It’s pretty painful to admit, but I think many of us struggle with the same issue in the times of fast-paced life and continuous mental stimulation (read: distraction).
Okay, first a little bit of the background to help you understand me better. I’m 29 years old, I live in Amsterdam and I have had more dates in the last couple of years than most people have in their lifetime (maybe not in my generation, but little older for sure). Tinder, happn, you name it, I have tried them all. Not necessary to find a relationship, because I broke up a few years ago from a 5-year-relationship, and was definitely not seeking a replacement. My intention was to meet interesting people, chase excitement and attention. Whenever I saw the other half was noticeably more interested than me, it was time for me to escape. In fear of commitment, maybe, but I think I just didn’t feel the same and I didn’t want to continue from unequal base.
During these years I met many unbelievably funny, intelligent and amazing men. They just weren’t for me. However, a few times I met a guy that I sincerely liked, but it led to nowhere. Back then I had no idea what happened, but now I know that I had a wrong pattern that didn’t even possibly allow any ‘contact’ to develop anything meaningful. I see this so clearly now. I had a pattern of rushing. Rushing through intense first dates, building up excitement through passionate second and third dates until the passion expresses itself physically. What happens after is the strange emptiness and awkwardness. Feeling like you don’t know the other person at all, that you don’t even know what to say. What kind of work is he doing again? What does he value in life? What are his dreams and what makes him smile? No clue. Because I never even asked.
Usually, after 3–4 dates the cloud-castle disappears. In other words, neither of us initiates the next date and after a brief texting, the case is closed. Next one! And the same pattern continues. Until now, when I finally realised this is the pattern that keeps me from building up lasting relationships where I feel safe and loved. Because this is what everyone, I believe, wants. This what I want. I realise now that you should not rush through human relationships, because like all good things, they take time to evolve. There’s no way to really get to know somebody after 3–4 dates. You can definitely get a good glimpse of someone’s personality and energy he brings into the room, but getting to know somebody will take a whole lot more time. I have had no patience to get to know somebody as I was always in search for excitement, adventure and new stimulation. No wonder it left me broken and empty at the end of the day.
We are on this planet to learn about ourselves and life, and learning is what you do with trial-and-error. What I have learned from this dating-rollercoaster is that what comes easy, goes easy. As simple as that. Human relationships take time and it’s okay. Like I want to give more time to my next ‘date’, I also want to take time to reveal myself. Oldfashioned, but for me new-fashioned, because I want to build meaningful connections. Relationships are no MacDonald’s meals that are delivered within 2 minutes. If they are, you have your quick meal, you walk away and in an half an hour you don’t even remember what you ate.
Good luck with building your meaningful relationships and learning your lessons.