Dating through the ages

I am very happy with the man in my life. He ticks all the boxes, including a few I never thought about before. However, part of the total package is a little bit of baggage. And I haven’t packed light either.

This got me thinking … I am at an age where everyone around me is getting married. At the very least, my peers are in a relationship. And this got me thinking about something an ex said: as you get older, there is more of yourself to explain. It seems like everyone wants to couple up before they become even more fucked up, because, let’s be honest, a lot happens in around 30 years.

Image from Stephen James on Flickr

I don’t know what conditions us to seek out relationships. It manifests as early as our toddler years. Even if you claimed that boys/girls are gross and have germs, chances are that you had a secret crush. Inevitably, this resulted in serious rejection and cries of “Ewwww … You’re a girl!” or your hair being pulled, or maybe he really was a bad boy and pushed you into some mud. This is not a great start to romance.

Photo by cindy47452 on Flickr

Then, primary school and that most horrible of all occasions: Valentine’s Day. I’m pretty sure the flowers I got every year were sent by my mother and the boy I sent chocolates to never suspected it was me (I told him years later, but it was too late because he had moved to Australia). Sometimes children ‘date’. This involves sending letters to each other about how much you like each other. You never make eye contact, you never talk; you just send notes. But young love is fickle and an ex comes into the picture, wanting you back, or a new classmate takes your fancy. Now there is more rejection, someone probably feels jealous, there’s anger and disappointed tears.

A few years later, our hormones kick in and the desire to date becomes physical. Unfortunately, this is the same time that human beings go through an awkward stage, probably have pimples and little self-esteem. Teenagers not only have to figure out who they are, but also have a primal need to rub themselves against another teenager. Some manage to develop relationships (some even last a few months), others don’t (but crushes are almost as good). Any ‘love’ felt at this stage is hormone stew that somehow feels like heartache when the statistically probable breakup occurs.

Image from @Doug88888 on Flickr

So, the average person hasn’t even turned 18 yet and has had to go through all of the above. At least from 18 it becomes a little more fun. Booze is involved, lowering inhibitions. Granted it’s probably bad sex, but that doesn’t matter because you’re actually having sex. Some young adults go off to university or move out, so there is an added element of freedom. Others are still dating their highschool sweethearts. Most are dating anyone who says yes. Promiscuity (not necessarily sexual) and experimentation occur. Some ‘serious’ relationships develop and end and develop and end and develop and end.

By the time we turn 25, we’ve experienced a fair amount of drama. The urge to settle down kicks in. We become calmer and more mature. Couples celebrating their third and onwards anniversaries is as common as a white Toyota. People get married. The time is right. Life seems to be falling into place. Things don’t always work out, but that’s okay too.

Image by Jennuine Captures on Flickr

Then you reach that next awkward phase. Your late 20s. A dating grey area. There is a lot of pressure to commit and be in a serious relationship. At the same time, the accumulated baggage makes it increasingly difficult to find a suitable person to date. You’re the odd one out at dinner parties, and, when you’re not, you find it challenging to explain yourself and at the same time appear to be sane (especially when you have no intention of ever getting married).

I guess the best you can hope for is finding someone who gets you and lets you be what you are, someone who isn’t terrified of your explanations or past experiences. So if my peers have that in their significant others, then it’s fine and I wish them all the best.

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Dating through the ages

Man of the year

Today I was sent a very offensive email. The subject line said something about ‘Husband of the Year 2012’ and you will be able to see the pictures that were included below (with a few others I found). However, I think that the images were not interpreted correctly. I would like to clarify what was going on here.

I think this is really sweet. This couple live in a very rural area. There are no gyms and to shake the holiday weight, the locals need to improvise. This man is supporting his partner in her efforts.
This picture shows what true love is all about. The man probably has a bad back, and his partner is helping him out.
We all know that women are not good with directions. So here the man is leading the way.
This is what I think of as team work. Clearly the boat has a hole in it. The man weighs more and his weight is needed to life the bow. This ensures that the couple will reach the shore dry and happy.
Here is an example of a crazy woman. She is stalking the guy in the tent. She has in the past liberated his stuff for her crazy shrine to him. Therefore, he needs to be able to protect himself. She found him camping in the woods after all, and no one can hear you scream in the woods.
Man of the year

25.5

About two weeks ago I hit the middle of being 25. Now I’m heading towards my late 20’s pretty quickly, and I’m okay with that. Because I’m all about knowledge, and I’ve learnt a lot. This post has been a long time coming, these lessons have been a long time in their making, but now I can make them facts.

I have concluded that peanut butter is one of the best things ever and gherkins can bring about world peace. Sushi is still one of the tastiest things I can put into my body and curry fixes everything. Getting free stuff will always be cool, even if the ‘gift’ has no logical use, finding an alternative stimulates creativity. Music is still a sanctuary and reading is a neglected love and not by choice. Red wine goes with just about everything, but nothing beats a beer on a Friday night. Shooters are no longer as interesting as they were, and I would rather have a Red Bull when I want a buzz. I am too old for clubbing and I like to be in bed before 23:00.

How is it possible for something to be this good?

I now know that relationships will end, and sometimes you really can’t work it out and should stop trying. It hurts, but that’s alright. Because even pain goes away eventually. And the lingering heartache is just because good memories cancel out the bad ones. Moving on is not terrifying and the alternative to happily ever after is not that bad.

Working from 8 to 5 (on a good day) is what happens in the real world, and it’s not the worst way to spend time. Stress happens, but so does shit and there is no getting away from either. There are worse places to be than the office on a Sunday – I could be unemployed.

The truth - it hurts

Having friends, really good friends, is a blessing. 95% of people will misunderstand me and I don’t like the way 95% of people do things. But those are my problems and I am not theirs. But those who care about me, those who really care about me, help me take on my problems, and I am happy to help them with theirs. I will never underestimate an ear to whine into, a shoulder to cry on and a hug from someone who at that moment (and probably most of the time) has more inner strength than I do.

Breaking down is okay – I am not a fortress. Being made out of stone is unhealthy and dysfunctional. I am by no means a fully functional human being, but maybe one day when I grow up I will be. I will make mistakes, but they are only mistakes if I don’t learn from them.

There is great beauty in the world. And it’s worth pausing for. There are moments of such inescapable beauty that will happen and when they do, it’s okay to cry.

One perfect moment out of many

My horse, Ashgar Leam, is my rock. He’s frightfully handsome and is my soul mate. Our relationship is one of complete trust, thorough understanding and deep love. We were made for each other and get each other so completely I will not even try to explain, because there aren’t words and I don’t care if you don’t get it. I do and he does and that’s enough. Nothing else in this world matters as much as his four legs, his brown eyes and everything else that makes him horse.

This is what real love looks like

Strangers are best avoided, but when necessary there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of their kindness. I have been saved from disaster several times in the past six months by people I will never see again.

Living in the millennium is not an excuse to neglect the past. Good books were written before 2000. Amazing music was produced before Britney Spears and filling my collection with ‘classics’ is a worthy investment. Just because it’s not a best seller does not mean it should be passed over.

Too classic - too awesome

I’m still grappling with this one – but I should never be near my phone when I’ve been drinking. I do dumb things, I say things I never would to people I probably shouldn’t. This hasn’t led to any serious disasters, but things can’t be recalled once they have been sent into the universe via technology.

Moments of immaturity are fine. Silly things should be laughed at. Stupid people should be mocked (in private). Using the language of teenagers colours dialogue – as long as punctuation is still a priority.

Amazing people should be recognized and learnt from. Getting over my own ego has been tough; sadly I am not that smart (yet). Industry leaders in whatever field are wonderful to talk to.

Doing stuff alone is empowering. I crave time on my own and I am now happy to go to function without a plus one or colleague. I will go out and meet new people and if we never cross paths again I still had a few hours to enjoy their company and learn.

alone does not equate sad! This is not what alone looks like!

The past can’t ever be changed. Letting go of guilt is a challenge. Ultimately there are two choices in life, rolling over in submission or standing up, finding balance and taking on the next hurdle. Taking some time to gather your strength is advisable and then fully forward, because reverse is a gear you should only use when driving. Bring it!

Yeah!

And bring on the next five months, bring on 26 – I can’t wait for what will happen next.

Before I forget – I would like to add that I like steak. Steak is awesome. It’s good knowing A-grade meat is out there.

And one day I’ll get over saying AWESOME all the time.

25.5