it begins with a walk alone
Not everyone has accumulated the bravery to admit it, but they have all experienced the nightmare that is loneliness. Some of us, such as myself, have managed to thrive on and enjoy the embrace of solitude but that fulfillment is never permanent. When I was about 20 years old and full time Computer Science major in my second year of University, an unfortunate incident left me homeless. My plight was unknown to those around me and my pride would not allow me to have it any other way. I think back to the cold nights when I would attempt to rest on my campus and I can vividly remember no one being around me. The cold was an appropriate reflection of the support I lacked at the time; and much of the lack of people around me was my own doing. The feeling of being alone was bittersweet to me because while I enjoyed my own company, it would mean the world to me to simply have someone to hug. The funny thing here is that I actually had a girlfriend at the time and I would not even make her aware of the gravity of the situation.
Now, you could function in exactly the same way I did (and do today sometimes), or you could simply be the type of person that loves the company of others, but there is no denying that the desire for care, affirmation and belonging exists within us in some form.
The diversity of personality types in the world is what makes the difference in how loneliness is addressed. Humans literally cannot survive alone. If you ride the bus, chances are you’d crash it if you were required to drive it yourself. That phone you can’t stop using would probably not exist if it were left up to you to make it. Your clothing? Maybe if it were your responsibility, you’d be dressed in tree leaves. My point is, even if not for companionship, the inter-dependence of humans cannot be escaped. So why is love different? You think you’re above it and such trivial feelings don’t apply to you? You’re pretending. Someone broke your heart so the way to protect yourself is to never love again? If you drove your car into a pole and cost yourself a bunch of cash, would you never drive again to protect yourself? Maybe, but we all know that’s not the solution. The need for meaningful relationships is real and even when you have all the friends in the world, you know there’s still something missing.
The question is what will you do? Will you seek it or shy away from it? Will you say “love is for fools” and pretend like your sexcapades make you cool or fulfill you? Will you become the person that starts collecting cats only to realize that they can’t provide half the moral or financial support that you do for them? The way you deal with it is your choice alone, but understand that the consequences are also yours alone. Those mature enough to address it correctly will accept the risk that comes along with that but the potential reward makes the risk well worth it.
the one you actually like
The key to a long lasting relationship that can blossom into a marriage is being with the person you genuinely like. Now, you may not realize what that actually means. Do you know those old people who are celebrating their 45,000,000,000th anniversary and still look at each other with unconditional love in their eyes? If your response to that is “How did they do it?” or anything along that line, then you really have no idea what it’s like being with the person you actually like. Now, here is something that those old people know that you need to realize… Life… is… repetitive. To actually achieve a lifetime of love, you have to be with someone that you can happily go through a repetitive cycle with for years to come, and you can still be in love with that person on the other side.
Think about the type of people you are attracted to and why you are drawn to these persons? Is it because they make you feel butterflies? You know what’s really poetic about that? The average lifespan of a butterfly is a month. Monarch butterflies are considered to be able to live very long because they can live up to nine months. I’m sidetracking here but you get the idea, right? There are many things that really have no bearing on the potential longevity of an intimate relationship, but these are the things persons look at. “He buys me jewellery”, “Do you see that body?”, “The sex is good”, are all things that are much less important than many people think. I’m not saying they don’t matter because the truth is, some of us just will never escape liking certain things but there is more to look for.
If you find yourself entertained because a woman is awkward and it’s the cutest thing, chances are she’s gonna be awkward all her life. Does the man you like, go on and on in his geek language that you don’t understand but you think it’s super cool? Chances are he’s gonna be that way for life. These are things you can hold on to. Good sex ends one day. The sexy body is gonna look like that of the Michelin man with age. The jewellery he buys? That’s what you love and you can drift away when it stops coming.
If you can’t see the things that will make a lifetime of happiness then it’s not worth it and it’s important to remember that there are things that require time to emerge.
Here’s a cliche for you; do things on your own time and don’t follow the timelines of others. Your life is your own and there is no template that has a “one size fits all” property where love & marriage is concerned. You may have set your own timestamps for marriage and children which the people around you may disagree with. Whether it goes great or terribly, you and your partner will be the only ones feeling it which means you should be the only ones making the decisions. Are opinions welcome? Sure, they are but they should never be the decision makers in your relationship.
Even with your projections set, factors will pop-up in life that can affect your readiness and until you and your partner feel like the time is right to take a particular step, then it’s best left alone. If only one of you is ready for marriage, don’t do it. If only one is ready for sex, don’t do it. If only one of you wants a particular house, don’t buy it. Talk to each other and listen more than you respond. Listen with the intention of understanding the viewpoint that is not your own. Make decisions that affect you both together and you’ll find that you’ll both be in sync in your relationship and marriage.
you’re in love
When love is real, it cannot be explained. It may only be felt and given. Once you are at the point of being a unit and just being in love with the person, then not much else matters. You look forward to seeing the person daily for years to come. You pray for the person. You always want the best for that person even at your own detriment at times. You can’t explain why you do the things that you do for that person. You can’t even explain how you feel because the words simply do not exist. Best of all, you can tell the person feels the same towards you. That is it. You’re actually in love and nothing can stop you guys but you guys.
I’d like to thank you for taking the time to actually read what I’ve written. It really does mean the world to me to know that someone did that for me. Thank you very much and I love you.