Yeah, has 2020 changed how we view relationships, whether romantic or platonic or any form of one.
If there’s one thing that I’ve thought about a lot this year, it’s been how human connection evolves during the changes this year has brought to our lives. It has challenged us in many ways, the level of intensity varying depending where you live and how drastic the changes have been to your everyday life.
It has broken so many connections and relationships, some that had been doing the work of dying out for some time, some that just died before they even started properly, some changed and broke in a ugly way due to how we operate in a crisis that just keeps on going.
The thing with crisis is that it shows our true nature, one way or another. We won’t be able to hide our true selves for too long before it all seeps out and we’re left with the truth and reality. Some are pure empathy and love, some are pure selfish ways of thinking ourselves first and blaming others for all that’s happening around us. We all end up going through these all in one way or another too, so no need to be all high and mighty either. None of us had the tools to be prepared for a worldwide pandemic.
In the end I think this all brings out the “ends” of our personality to the front, no hiding. When pushed to a corner, something is bound to happen. This has slowed us down, shown sides to our humanity that has been hidden due to the pace of living we’ve all been able to do before we were stopped.
Originally I had this idea of a piece about love and how romantic relationships have possible changed this year, as it’s been a topic I’ve spoken about with couple of friends and also thought about myself. But then all of that other stuff wanted to be written first.
Possibly because my track record with romantic love is not something I can boast too much about, not sure if I even would need to do that. Does anyone actually care in the end? We also tend to hide some parts of our past when it comes to love, it feels easier than to really tell how we feel about it all.
As we all know, love is absolutely terrifying.
There’s these certain “rules” in our society when it comes to love, or it feels like that these days. Like, don’t answer straight back to a text, you might seem too interested or eager. Act like you don’t care that much, because god forbid they would know you are interested or care about them. Ghost them when you loose your interest, yeah that one is a must. Overthink every text message like it’s a secret code to a space shuttle. Never say what you really truly feel in your heart.
BUT then at the same time we’re expected to be as open and honest as possible. So what the hell are we supposed to do?
I read that these days dating is harder because we’ve become so comfortable with being on our own. So it’s extra hard for us to let someone in to our lives, because we’ve build lives that are ours and exactly what we want them to be.
Makes sense in a way, or at least I see myself in that a bit. I would find it hard to welcome someone in my life right at this moment in a full blown relationship kind of way. There’s few reasons for that.
I’ve been on my own or single, however you want to call it for the past 5 years(shit it’s out there now) and for few of the first for a good reason. I had gotten out of a abusive and very hurtful relationship and knew that if I don’t fix my wounds from that, I would carry all that hate, anger, sadness, hurt to the next one and that person does not deserve something that has nothing to do with them. I wanted to heal, feel comfortable as possible in my own skin and just with myself. The thing is, I’ve never found it hard to be on my own, so this part wasn’t the worst scenario that I could think of.
Secondly, I had messed up my finances in my early twenties and one of the biggest things for me was to sort that mess. I wanted to figure how and what to do to fix my debt and hopefully be able to move on with my life. And not feel trapped and weighed down by the shame that all can bring. Because let me tell you, that is exactly what it does. But let’s leave that for another post.
Also, I had noticed that when it came to love, I felt that my own relationship with the idea of a romantic relationship might be a bit confused.
I remember in my late teens/early twenties I used sex as a way to “know” if someone liked me, and I know I’m not the only one with this. I know it’s partly because of an incident in my younger teens, where I was assaulted and nearly raped. That messes up your relationship with being physically close with someone you like. I’m very truly lucky that my first sexual experience was with someone who really liked me and who I liked, we were each others first true loves and the whole experience was a awkward and beautiful, just as it’s supposed to be. And we explored those early experiences together, that build a healthier base to that earlier experience. But when you’re young and trying to figure out yourself and all of that, physicality can kind of be a tool through it all, not always a healthy way but it’s part of it all.
It’s funny how these days my views of it all has changed quite a bit, I know myself better and because of that and all my past relationships I’ve learned what feels good for myself. I might be highly physical in all my human connections while still being very introverted, but also reserve certain parts of my physicality to only some.
I’ve never been big on one night stands because my mind just can’t handle the idea of having a connection and then just not having it when you wake up. And I’m fairly old school minded in general with good ol’ dash of romance thrown in. So try to be all slow paced and romantic and straight forward and you, when you are also impatient and always in a hurry because I guess I’m afraid of losing what I thought that I had. And did I mention overthinking, yeah that one, the dream as it’s also called!
So, I’ve been living it up on my own for the past 5 years with couple unlucky crushes thrown in there to keep me humble. I haven’t had sex in close to 3 years(well double shit), yeah thanks for asking I’m actually very used to it and it doesn’t bother me, it seems to bother others more if I say it. Not that I don’t miss sex or just the weight of a man on top of me. But there’s also this shame or guilt if I say it out loud, like we’re supposed to be trying someone new every week or what ever is the pace. Why is it so?
Why the fact that I feel that I don’t want to share my body with someone I’m not sure about is such a bad thing? For myself sharing myself and my body in a personal way means that I trust the person in way that I can share my insecurities and that special moment when you let your guards down and just enjoy yourself and your partner. That needs certain type of trust in my books. I don’t want to dim my passion for anyone.
So when will I get to the relationship part, maybe now. Though sex is a vital part of a relationship, to me at least.
I might have been single for too long for my own good, when it comes to how I think of the idea of a relationship. I might have seen too many romantic movies, definitely. But what I end up missing when I do, are the simplest things.
I miss waking up next to my person and then shifting close to be in their nook or spoon, I miss figuring out what to eat, I miss having inside jokes that make you look at each other in a certain way and smile in that one smile we all know, I miss being hugged from behind, I miss going for long Sunday walks to nowhere, I miss being held and hold someone tight who I love, I miss saying I love you in that different way that comes from saying it to your person, I miss arguing about something complete nonsense because we’re both a bit hangry, I miss being there for my person, to remind them that it all will be okay, to hold them when they feel it all, to be held when I feel it all, share laughs and cries, to be a person to other that is theirs. I miss sharing the mundane everyday life. Obviously I could write million more reasons.
This year I’ve felt ready finally, to have room in my life, to feel like I have it in me to try again. I have someone I’m interested in knowing more about, not a full blown crush but an interest. I’ve noticed that with the pandemic things move slower and I like it, even though my old ways of moving and knowing it all as fast as possible are trying to mess with my mind.
With my romantic mind, the idea of writing letters by hand and snail mailing them to each other, it’s just the thing.
I’m in a place for the first time where I truly want to get to know someone before anything else, to know who they are in a slow manner, maybe talking on the phone or facetiming. The idea of just talking and having honest and open conversations about everything just makes sense. Not having the opportunity to be physical with one another straight away, to ruin the pace and making things different before they need to be.
It would feel so “normal” to ask what someone thinks of me or if they are interested in knowing me this way too, but why the rush, is it needed?
I have absolutely no idea how I truly feel about this one or what they think of me, and I think that’s a good thing. If they even know or have figured out that I’m thinking these of them. Who knows! But there’s something about them that keeps me on my toes in that good kind of way. There’s this feeling of wanting to know more, but being able to go on with my days with no thought given to them too, which I like. This might be something to do with being a grown up, does it?
I guess the point of this suuuuper long piece is that this year has slowed down the pace of our lives, and I personally really like that. The relationships that I’ve held close and felt that are supposed to be in my life, have gotten closer and more open, some have broken off and left my life. All has been just the way they are supposed to be. There’s been a clearing of sorts. I’ve had difficult conversations with people I never thought could be as close to me as they are now, but there lies the beauty of difficult conversations, they tend to clear the direction of that relationship. If more of those conversations would be had, we would feel a lot better, that I know for sure. Some of those conversations have shown me the true colors of someone I never thought I would not have in my life like they used to be. Maybe I should just tell that person that hey I find you interesting as a person and would like to get to know you more, without it meaning that something has to come out of it. Or I just see how it evolves.
What I like is that I’m opening up to the possibility of someone being in my life again. And I think a real, good relationship while is forever a working progress should also feel fairly easy and natural. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my years on this planet, it is that communication truly is a key, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel at times.
So here we are, a piece that was supposed to be easy and clear, ended up being a true testament of rusty writing fingers finding their way on the keyboard and telling a tale of someone who’s figuring out her life as she lives it all.
And yes, I think 2020 has changed our views on relationships, it has made us slow down, think and communicate in a way we were in a too much of a hurry before.
Love hard and never forget to tell your people what they mean to you!