Double-Takes during a First Relationship

I’ve been keeping something from you.  As of today, I have been with my first boyfriend for exactly a month.

During the road to this small milestone, I’ve experienced many revelations regarding relationships.  Revelations that I’m sure most people have already learned twice as easily, but it’s all new to me.  Everything about this is new to me.

Here’s an early opinion I’ve had for a long time about relationships: the occurrence of two people going out has to be one of the most bizarre phenomenons that this world has to offer.  Consider the likelihood of two people — two — out of billions of human beings — knowing each other at just the right place.  At the right time.  And, by some miracle, they both have feelings for each other, some sort of pull.  The fact that relationships aren’t the rarest occurrence in the world blows my mind.

Well, guess what?  I still think this is absolutely true (laughs).  Occasionally I still find myself doing a double-take and thinking woah.  I have a boyfriend.  Someone likes me and I like them.  And I need a moment to re-absorb this fact.

Another reason that this is such a shock to me:  It had always seemed to me that people who dated were wildly successful, attractive, and social. And so I surrendered to the idea that I hadn’t developed into “girlfriend material” yet. Now that I’m in a relationship (by some random bizarre miracle), I could fool myself into thinking that I’m part of that elite, but what’s the point of shitting around? I spend 90% of my life in bed (alone, mind you) eating snacks and watching shows. My most consistent companion is my SAT study guide. I still make hilariously ugly faces for snapchat and my mirror. Just the other day, I scrolled through my entire Pacific Rim tag while crying like a fucking infant. The truth is, there’s no such thing as girlfriend or boyfriend material. Dating is simply a result of two people liking each other. No additional criteria required. That is all there is to it.  That and shit-ton of luck.

Other interesting things I’ve discovered:

  • Dating isn’t just for cool kids.  Dating is also for losers and dating doesn’t turn losers into cool kids, either.
  • I used to think that relationships developed in this exact sequence of events:
    • strangers–>acquaintances–>friends–>best friends–>DATING!
  • and it doesn’t have to!  Relationships merely have to spring from mutual feelings of attraction and fondness.  If those feelings are apparent in a pretty early stage, then what are you waiting for my friend?
    • However if you do follow this path then you’ll quickly come to realize that the stereotype of relationships starting out spectacular doesn’t apply for everything. In fact at first things might feel a little formal and restrained.  Itchy.
  • Dating is not a declaration of love, it is not a pledge of commitment etched into the heavens.  Dating is a trial period (and should be treated more like one).  So don’t be afraid of jumping in and (sadly) jumping out.

The strangest thing that I’ve taken out of this so far is the fact that, even though I’m finally dating, I feel more comfortable with the idea of being single.  Weird, right?  This is definitely the opposite feeling that I was expecting.  But I think that being told that I am pretty, smart, and fun by a wonderful dork has finally made me realize the shocking truth: I am quite pretty, smart, and fun.  I’ve been that way before I had a boyfriend, and I’ll be that way when we part ways, too.  If someone likes me a lot, then it gives me a lot of reasons to like myself a lot.  And so the rumor that relationships provide a great confidence boost is another discovery that I am very pleased to confirm.  

Thanks for reading,

-M.L.

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