I don't date often. Not so much that I don't enjoy dating, I do. More often than not, it just doesn't go as planned for me and my heart is left battered. I'm not much of a dater, but I'm a closeted hopeless romantic. I say closeted, because in the society we were raised in, yes, it's seemingly embarrassing. I don't utter the word often. Yes, I have a wild spirit, but I have a calm heart. If I promise it to you, it's yours and only yours, until circumstance demands otherwise.
I wonder: why is it in our society that the idea of romance is so off-putting? The simple act of proving you care for another person in ways greater than 140 characters? Gross!
Surprises are my favorite. I don't know how I know this on a count of I have never been surprised, but I imagine it would be great. Just once to not have a set plan, just go out on a whim, and have someone tell me they'll pick me up in five minutes, and we'll figure it out from there. That will probably never happen. This is a high paced world we're living in. People want to know that their time won't be wasted. They want to know where they're going, they want a signed and notarized contract from Google maps on where the place is, they want to know how long they can expect to be there, who else will be in proximity. Everything is pre-determined. God forbid something wonderful happened. Something spontaneous. Let your guard down. Allow yourself to live, and deviate from the plan you so eloquently developed for yourself. Everyone has a plan for themselves, what are the chances the numbers in your plan systematically match up with another person's plan? Let it go.
I get it, though. This world is tough. Barriers are built, steel walls with alligator-filled moats surround your heart to protect the chance that God forbid you fall in love and something beautiful happens. Why do we do this? We want promises. We fear the unknown, and we fear rejection. If you never jump, you can never fall. In the same breath, if you never fall, you can never heal.
Another thing I never understood is why people let a day dictate when they're going to show love for someone they love? I don't want your flowers on Valentine's day. I want them on February 1st, or November 10. I don't want to be waiting in the doorway, tapping my foot with my hand out. I don't want to expect anything. Don't buy me gifts for Christmas that I needed in October. Be nice, because you want to, not because the florist told you to, and you couldn't pass up a 2-for-1 deal getting flowers for your mother and me in one shot.
What can we do to bring it back?:
- First things first, stop playing games. If you have feelings for someone, let them know. Don't analyze how long you should wait before texting back, how often you should be busy, etc. Text back when you open the message, and see them as often as you're free.
- Drop the plans. Instead of "do you want to hang out?" and "what do you want to do?," try "I'll pick you up in ten minutes for dinner."
- Drop the notion that everything is about money. Not everyone is after your below-average pay check. Get over yourself. Go for a walk on the beach, go hiking, rent a movie, it's simply about being together.
- Forget dates. Yes, I said that. Giving flowers on Valentine's day is super cheesy. Try giving flowers when it's least expected or when you feel someone needs them. The gesture will go better appreciated.
- If there's a problem, talk about it. People can't read minds, therefore aren't going to always understand when and why you're upset. Life is too short to leave words unsaid, the only person you're harming is yourself. Holding grudges causes wrinkles. Open up, and let things go [within reason].
- Relationships are a mutual effort. If one person is pulling all of the weight and making all of the sacrifices, there is an unbalance that needs to be worked out, in order to avoid tension later on.
- Relationships should be easy. If you often spend a lot of time fighting, making it feel like a chore to talk to one another, it's time to cut the line. Enough of this notion that you "invested so much time," blah, blah, blah. If you're more miserable than you are happy, it might be time to throw in the towel. You'll start to breathe easier.
- Stop the crazy. Trust is essential. No snooping.
- Be loyal. Face reality. Cheating on your significant other will not turn you into Leonardo Dicaprio, or Kim Kardashian. Cheating makes you an asshole. That's a fact.
- Break down those walls, let the alligators loose and fill in that moat. Open up your heart. It could be as simple as that.