A Many-Splendored Thing

Love is . . .

I’ve never been in a serious relationship with anyone. The few times I ever got close to someone romantically were more learning experiences than happy memories. I’m now a 31-year-old man who has never had a girlfriend and wonders how desirable he actually is to the opposite sex.

On the plus side, I belong to a large group of people; bachelors. All of us are born into this world single. No shame exists in being an individual. Getting into a relationship with someone shouldn’t have to be a stressful experience. People’s messed up expectations of love is what makes it stressful.

Practicing Perfection

Some people worry about making dating count. Others see dating as just a frivolous thing you do to pass the time. I elect to use both viewpoints. Everyone you date is practice for when you finally meet the person you want to go long-term with. Nobody knows how to make a romantic relationship work before starting their first one. You have to get good at it by trial and error. Unfortunately, someone has to receive the brunt of that failure. I feel sorry for the woman who agrees to be my first girlfriend. She will be the recipient of all my inexperience in love.

Tempting Templates

We think we know what we want. We think we know what is good for us. And so we play a game of Where’s Waldo? without realizing we can’t expect to a find a person we don’t know anything about. You don’t know what your future spouse looks like before you meet them. You can’t assume which interests you are going to have in common with this person. Don’t look for a person who fits a list you already filled out. Embrace the unknown and let other people have a chance at introducing you to new loves you couldn’t imagine for yourself. You may find a personality type you didn’t know fits you. You may learn to enjoy interests you passed up before. Realize you have yet to experience all the joys this world has to offer.

Fearing Friendship

Being a friend is a privilege. It frustrates me when people use the term “just friends” as if friendship was an inferior relationship to all others. Being in the “friend zone” should not be an insult. I refuse to be like people I know and divide all women into two groups; the ones worth dating and the rest. I feel people fail to understand what friendship truly is. I would rather make friends with everyone and decide who I wish to pursue romantically from among them. So many people have lost interest in me completely when they decided I wasn’t dating material. As if dating was all that mattered.

Learning Love

Romantic advice is meaningless. No one can claim to be an expert in love. Love is a living thing and doesn’t follow any set pattern. And it can’t be forced into existence. No one makes love a reality by saying the right words or making the right moves. It’s not about wining people over or convincing them you actually are attractive despite their first impressions.

I already love the woman I will one day marry with all my heart. She is living her life right now somewhere in the world. Everything I do is for her. I can’t afford to be bad at dating if I want to meet her.

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