This was written in the past, either yesterday or several years ago. Neither the date, nor the subject, matter. I was browsing through pages I wrote here and there over the years and thought it did a decent job of summarizing the love-life of a young traveler, or anyone in our generation really. So I updated some of it and figured I’d share it.
I Met Someone.
I met someone this weekend.
It’s such a strange an exhilarating feeling, to meet someone new. Not just someone, but someone, I mean. I’ve known this girl for years, and have always thought she was breathtakingly beautiful, strong, independent, artsy, and intelligent—so probably out of my reach, uninterested in anything serious, or unavailable. The usual for most of us, right? The person we’re into, doesn’t like us back. The person who likes us, we’re not into.
We’d never really hung out until this weekend but from the moment I started talking to her, I didn’t want to stop. Chemical overload. The way she moves, the way she’s passionate about her art, even the way she was openly anxious about being around all those people yet somehow confident at the same time. And in addition to those qualities she makes me laugh, which is a quality on top of all others which draws me to someone.
In a way, I almost dislike when this happens. It’s a defense mechanism. I tend to get my hopes up too fast, become infatuated, and then squander my chances by coming on too strong. “Playing it cool” has never come easy to me when it comes to someone I really like. Sometimes I manage to pull it off outwardly, but in my head I feel like a bad actor in a budget movie, stumbling through my lines.
With this girl, for example. I would love nothing more than to say to her—“Put on a pretty dress, I want to take you out to dinner somewhere nice.” I want to tell her that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her since we started flirting on Friday night. I want to tell her that I’ve admired her from afar for some time now. That I’ve secretly wondered for months how a guy like me could ever find a way to “convince” a girl like her into being his girlfriend. But I can’t say any of those things. Anything like that too early on would be, metaphorically speaking, suicidal.
On the positive side of the coin, there’s nothing quite like that intoxicating feeling of getting to know someone and feeling like they’re enjoying getting to know you as well. In most cases, one party is more interested than the other, even if only slightly. Infatuation is frustrating like that, albeit natural (you can’t expect every person you meet to be a compatible partner). So when you meet someone new and it feels like you’re both digging each other equally, it’s special. At least it feels special to me.
Still, it’s best not to let my passionate side take control and ruin things. Human nature, for some fickle and emotionally torturous reason, seems to prompt us to lose interest once we feel like someone is too interested in us. It could stem from a variety of reasons. Maybe we view ourselves so negatively that when someone is attracted to us, we have to wonder what’s wrong with them. Maybe we’ve been hurt in the past and the thought of a new, emotionally intimate and committed relationship scares us. Maybe the thought that they were out of reach is what attracted us to them in the first place and once we feel like we have a chance, we lose interest.
Hypocritically, though I have absolute disdain for many of strange and sometimes laughably illogical mannerisms of our generation’s mating rituals, I find myself guilty of some of them… Probably more of them and more often than I’d like to admit.
But every once in a great while, amidst the ostensibly infinite pitfalls of modern dating, you meet someone, and you’re both into each other in the same way. Genuine, organic, mutual swoonfest. *high five*
I’ve always said the “perfect relationship,” at its hypothetical core, consists of two people who both feel like their significant other is out of their league. Two people who thank their good fortune to have found someone like this—or more colloquially, each wonder “how in the fuck am I pulling this off?!”
Still, even when you find someone you connect with like this, you have to be careful at first. As a romantic-at-heart, I meet someone I really like and instantly start imagining a life with them. Dates, making dinner together, even just relaxing in front of the TV or reading a book in bed while they sleep next to me. Leaving little notes for them before they leave for work the next morning. Buying gifts for no reason. Writing songs about them. Traveling together. Telling them how much I appreciate them. I miss all of that stuff about a relationship.
So, I’ll build all of this up in my head and then overthink it. Or I won’t think about it enough. Or I’ll say something stupid. Or I’ll suddenly lose interest and stop talking to her. Or she suddenly loses interest and stops talking to me. Or, as has happened many times, feel like I did everything just right but things still don’t work out for whatever reason.
So what happens when none of the above happens, things organically (if even awkwardly) progress forward, and she still likes me? And we end up dating? For me, it only happens once in a long while.
Again, I’m a perpetrator of the same crimes I loathe so much within our dating culture. I find something wrong with people when they get too close, or I lose interest because I’m so busy with my own life. Maybe I find that I’m just not as attracted to them as I thought once the dopamine and serotonin wear off. So is it really fair for me to judge anyone else for doing the same? Of course not. Don’t hate the player, hate the game, right? I’m not good at sports. Swing, and a miss.
That’s the honest and straightforward reality of it all, I guess. If you like someone, all you can do is your best, and if they don’t end up liking you back then that’s just not the way things were meant to play out. Don’t fret it, just move on.
I’ve always wondered how some people can float from one relationship to the next. It seems like it takes me years to recover from a failed relationship. Partly due to my involuntary habit of pushing people away to avoid heartbreak or avoid breaking their heart because I don’t think I’m ready to commit, and partly because I get so involved with my business, hobbies, and other things that I just don’t put in the time or effort to date unless I really like someone.
In addition to everything else, for myself and many others like me, there’s the added variable of coming and going. Traveling. I want to see as much of the world as I can while I’m still sitting on it, which means I generally haven’t stayed in the same place for too long. Usually this translates to: he’s not ready for commitment, he’s not stable, he’s not looking for anything serious, etc. Which are all fair assumptions, and some or all of them have certainly been true in the past.
Of course if I had it my way, my perfect companion would be someone who travels with me! My dream relationship, if that’s a thing, is both a home life together and a life on the road together whenever possible.
But as I’ve said many times before, if you want to be a traveler, get used to “goodbyes” instead of “good mornings.”
Whether we like it or not, most of our love is fleeting. There was that girl in Peru with those eyes. We spent a night salsa dancing before she left for Ecuador. The girl in Germany. The girl back home who knows I’ll be leaving again. The love interest from years ago that might of been and maybe should have, but won’t be because the paths we’ve taken have led us to different corners of the world for the foreseeable future.
Demographics play a huge part in finding compatible partners as travelers, as I think I’ve finally learned in the past year (after much research into the matter, you might say). For example, if you want to travel full time or be spontaneous, don’t go after the woman or man with young children to take care of, or the person who rarely leaves the house.
Nothing against that person, in fact you might be wildly attracted to them and the chemistry could permeate through each of you like flames onto gasoline. But if you aren’t willing to compromise something major, and she’s not, it probably won’t work as a serious relationship. Opposites attract, but completely opposite lifestyles generally don’t pan out.
Maybe you can travel a month here or there out of the year, and she/he’s cool with that. Or maybe she/he can come with you. But if you ask her to join you for six or eight months through South America or wherever, it’s probably not going to work out how you’d like.
It’s taken me a long time to come to grips with the fact that two people can be completely attracted to each other, and still never have a chance at a relationship because of other factors at play. I’ve only recently learned to just shrug and move on when this happens. Not much you can do about it.
There are so many variables for two people to meet and fall in love, that it seems impossible at times. We see people jump from relationship to relationship, but maybe some people just have it easier than others for no discernible reason. Some people need relationships to be happy with their lives, and others don’t. Some are hardwired for courtship, others struggle more than your grandma trying to use Facebook from a Razr flip phone. We’re all different, after all.
All I know is when I do meet someone I really like, and I feel like they feel the same way towards me, it’s a symphony of whirling emotions. I’m smitten, hopeful, scared, anxious, and lustful all at once.
As Jim Morrison once said about a night of drinking—“It’s like rolling the dice… you never know what’s gonna happen.”
So this weekend I met a girl. And I have no idea what that means.