Advice from a girl: Date more
I was recently catching up with a close friend, Alma, who flew in from Europe to pay a short visit to Seattle. She was on a brief break following months pursuing her life’s passion, giving refugees in desperate situations a moment of relief and hope for a better future.
As much as Alma’s focused the last 6 months on giving everything to those in need, she’s gained at least as much in personal growth. She returned with an authentic confidence I’d never seen in her before. She exhibited new perspectives, deep levels of introspection, and an enriched understanding of romance and relationships.
When Alma sees a new photo on my bookshelf, a photo of me and Vera, she asks about her. I tell her about how much time we spend together, how amazing our connection is, and how I want so much to be with her. I also tell her how scared I am. How I really don’t know if I’m ready for a committed relationship.
[Side note: This conversation happened on 12/20/2015]
In the grander scheme of things, I haven’t been single that long. Moreover, I sacrificed 8 prime years of my life to a broken relationship. That’s 8 years that would have otherwise gone into formative romantic experiences. It’s 8 years of unanswered questions.
I’m scared I’ll get bored with Vera. That my craving for novelty will get the better of me. That I’ll trade away the most beautiful thing I’ve ever felt because it becomes too familiar.
In her usual hippy-ish overtones, Alma tells me,
“If it’s meant to be, it’ll be.”
I don’t believe in fate, but I do see a certain truth in this. My belief system is structured around accepting what is. It doesn’t pivot around universally defined notions of things being good or bad, but of things just being. Whether life is wonderful or shitty doesn’t depend on whether I’m in any kind of relationship with Vera. It depends on what I make of life in any set of circumstances.
Alma goes on to share several experiences she’s had that form her base of confidence in what she does and doesn’t want in romance. I haven’t had those. It’s seems kind of messed up to commit to something knowing there’ll be a bunch of doubts lingering over my head.
It’s fair to say that the experiences I seek come from being in committed relationship, but how can I risk that with Vera? She deserves the world and with so many uncertainties in my mind, how could I possibly give it to her?
I’m convinced I need to date more before committing to Vera. Otherwise, I’ll do a disservice to both her and myself.