Has 2020 Changed How We View Relationships?

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!

PMA ❤

 

Let’s Be Honest… About Love

IMG_1016-0I’ve written quite a few times about love, but probably never this honest. About how it really makes me feel and how it has changed over the years and how I feel about it now. So, let’s be honest… About love.

“Accept that you deserve more than painful love. Life is moving. The healthiest thing for your heart is to move with it.”

I’ve always been really brave when it comes to love, and now I’m finding myself being terrified of it. I feel like my trust and wings have been burned so badly in my last two relationships. I’ve grown, learned and loved more than ever before in those two. But also, really been hurt more than before. Felt like I’ve been stabbed with something that I didn’t want to believe really exists. The thing that sometimes people aren’t too nice to you, whether you’ve been good to them, it doesn’t always matter.

This subject isn’t an easy thing to write about, at least when it comes to really being honest. Love is one of those things that makes the world go round. I’ve learned finally, after hating myself for so long, to love myself. I have more love than ever before in my life. I have friends that I truly love and who love me. I’ve learned to love without expecting anything back, which is how you should love. I’ve always been a huge believer in love, that it will conquer all else, without even always understanding why I do believe so. Maybe because of that, I’ve gotten hurt so bad. Because I want to believe that people aren’t bad and that they don’t mean to hurt you. But even though how much I love, I can’t fix someone else if they aren’t ready to fix themselves. I can only love. But sometimes it’s love to walk away. To let go and take care of yourself first. That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve finally learned and really understood.

“She’s known sadness, and it has made her kind.”

-Nathan Filer, The Shock of the Fall

I needed to get hurt and treated really badly to get mad enough to understand that I deserve so much better than I thought before. Being too nice, and believing the best always can be sometimes bad thing too. People love to use that kindness for their own good. I’ve been there for people who have just used me. Which I really shouldn’t have been tolerating, it was wrong on so many levels, but I wanted to believe in the good. But when the other person sucks the positivity and happiness out of you, you need to let go.

I remember when I felt really strongly that without having someone in my life, I’m not whole. Now I am enough alone, which I absolutely love. But I think I would love to share my life with someone. But for the first time in my life I don’t feel like I need that, I have a great life without that too. But I also am afraid, for the first time, that will I ever find or be found by someone.

I didn’t have a crisis when I turned 30, but I feel that I am having one now, or at least having thoughts about this all. I’m not worried about what to do with my life, or my work life, or any of that. I know that those will figure themselves out. I trust in that. I wasn’t ready to give myself a chance to really show what I can do before, I am now and I am getting those opportunities. But I am having these moments when I think that will I be a Mom one day before it’s too late, or if it’s even possible. I am turning 32 next March, I know that I am not old but I do feel this weird pressure at times when I am surrounded by my age peers who have those things, family and relationships. And still, I don’t feel like I need to really do anything “extra” about it. There’s a hope in me that wants to believe that it will work out too.

Then again, I don’t think I have been ready before to really be loved, ever. I’m still learning the whole thing of how to love myself. Getting pretty good at it, even if I say it myself. Maybe this is one of those things that takes time to be ready. Maybe I am getting ready for that all now.

“Love is patient, and that is the hardest part of love.”

-T.B. LaBerge, Unwritten Letters to You

One thing that makes me think that, and this whole thing in a completely different way, is that right now I have a crush. I have one of those things where you kind of like someone, but have no idea what to do with that whole thing. I’ve lost my bravery when it comes to that. I would love to be brave enough to say it to that person, but I am so afraid. The fact that I have been hurt and my trust have been used in the wrong way, it’s hard to take that step and open my heart,  for that possible rejection. Which in a way would be a relief, because then I could “release” this feeling. I actually really hate that there’s couple of people who were able to shake that hard work built trust in me. I’ve had so much trust issues since my childhood and I’ve worked really hard to understand other peoples behaviour doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with me.

With all that’s happened, I’ve found myself being afraid of the things I love the most. I do know, inside of myself, that I do deserve all the love just like anyone else. But I also do tend to think in those dark moments that what if that’s not meant for me. And then I get a bit bored of that old me and shake that off. Why wouldn’t I deserve it all?! Why would I be some kind of exception?

It’s weird to be in a situation with yourself that you really are happy with your life as it is, without needing to have someone in it. To have that change from need to choice. To being in a situation where you can honestly say, I wouldn’t need someone in my life, but I would love to share my life with someone. I’ve never been in this place with myself before. It’s really confusing and amazing at the same time.

“We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realise we only have one.”

-Tom Hiddleston

It’s also funny how I used to, when I was a lot younger, confused sex with love. How I used that physical attraction to believe that someone likes me, or even loves me. I think that’s part of the journey to you as you. You need to, or I needed to find my way through all that. How easy it is to hurt yourself in that search too. I remember how I finally, long time ago, decided that I want to stop that and really find what makes me happy and how I see myself. And how different it is to be in that situation when you are healed and good with yourself. To enjoy those moments of grown up pleasure with someone without needing it to be something else. To feel confident and sexy and strong, sensual grown woman. Being confident and happy with your skin, finally!

One really funny thing to notice is that I suck big time at flirting when I actually am interested in someone, possibly liking them. I can easily flirt and tease when there’s not any real “thread” of the situation going anywhere, but now when there’s someone on the other end that I really would love to get to know more, I get shy like never before and don’t have a clue of what to say. Maybe trying too hard, and then deciding to not say anything at all. I don’t get easily too silent, I’ve always been quite loud and talkative, and now… nothing. I wish and miss sometimes that brave me that was able to just say that “hey, I like you, and I think I am interested in you”. Where’s that me now? Am I protecting myself because of my past or what?

Also, when you come to this age, over 30, there comes this new aspect of being and meeting new people. We all have different kind of baggage than before, when we were younger. There might be kids, marriages or other “bigger” situations that we heal and move on from. That means that we all might have a bit more “protection” around us and not so much of that yeah let’s jump to this. I have to be honest, I am definitely afraid of getting hurt again. But then there’s this tiny voice in me that reminds me that if I don’t jump I never know.

One thing that I really almost hate at times these days, is the way social media is making things wayyyy harder to understand. I suck big time in understanding what the other one means when I text or chat with someone. I’m old school and I would way rather talk on the phone or meeting face to face. We throw emojis around like nothing and then when you think someone is being all cute to you, they write those same emojis to someone else and you are confused as fuck. All those winky emojis and no idea what they mean. Maybe it’s my old school self, that introverted and shy one that would love to think that some things are only for someone special, which almost sounds ridiculous now that I am writing it down here. What I’m saying here is that it’s not easy to be and want to be as open hearted as I would love to be in this world of ours these days.

“Continue to share your heart with people even if it has been broken.”

– Amy Poehler

The thing is, I think I’ve finally understood what loving someone means, or is about. I love myself in a way I never thought possible, I love my friends and others with a fiery heart, which I am very proud to own. It would be very easy to me to go back to that old miserable one who didn’t think that I would ever find someone and deserve anything good, it would. But then again, I just am nothing like that one these days. It’s okay to be terrified of love, damn it should be terrifying when you open yourself and jump to unknown with no idea what will happen on the other end. It would also be very easy to get all bitter and hate on guys, but then again, I’ve always been the other one in every situation I’ve been. So I can’t really hate on only the other one and not take any responsibility of the situation and what has happened and how I’ve reacted. In every situation with two people, there’s two people dealing it too. If I can be honest with myself with how I dealt it all and how I am dealing it, I’m good. I can forgive and let go, whatever there is to forgive and let go of.

I guess what I’m realising while writing this is that it’s okay to be afraid of love and what happens in my future, but it’s not good enough reason to stop loving and trying and being brave. What do I really have to lose?

“In the end, I want my heart to be covered stretch marks.”

-Andrea Gibson

PMA ❤