Thursday, January 14, 2010

Grab a Lighter

The other day I was having a conversation with a friend about dating when I mentioned that I have issues even committing to asking a woman out. I seem to find something incompatible before I even give it a chance. My neighbors joke about how I have such high interest and in a week or less I have changed my mind. Why drive down a dead end road when you are hoping for a long drive? I have had plenty of short drives.

I do not believe in love at first sight. I think it is impossible since you absolutely do not know the person at all. I think we can instantly fall in love with the idea of that person. Possibly what we think they represent is appealing instantly. It is easy to in your head make them whatever you want them to be. However, I do believe in lust at first sight. To me this makes more sense because of what I just stated. I am not saying that something true and meaningful can not come from either situation but the odds are very slim. To get to know someone is to truly love them, the whole of them.

In many ways I have become too practical for love at first sight. The more experience I gain from dating the more time I spend analyzing. But this keeps me from getting caught up in the moment, and to fully experience things we must let go. If I allow myself to the edge I will jump, but getting me there is very difficult. I confuse myself before anyone else even has a chance to. Painful experiences in our past keeps us from taking as many chances. We learned that the boiling pot on the stove will burn our hand unless we protect it from those very elements. I may have experience, but wisdom is using that and not making the same mistakes.

At this point in my life, physical attention seems to be basic human need. I am sure if I had not had amazing experiences I would know no different. If you grow up in a third world country and have never had the privilege of running tap water would you miss it? Intimacy is amazing. What happens afterwards is complicated.

I have a friend who jokes that people pay hookers to leave, not for sex. I find some strange truth in this. When you allow your hormones to lead you into physical intimacy quickly then you skip so much of getting to know each other and there's no going back. Suddenly you're in a situation you must move forward with or get out of and if you blindly jumped in then where is forward?

This brings me to the question of how long should someone wait to be intimate with someone? One friend says possibly after the 'DTR' talk. After the 'define the relationship' talk it could go either way. Another friend told me that before sex they have an eight to ten date policy. Unfortunately, that doesn't always work since sometimes eight dates can fit into two weeks. In my opinion, that's not a long time to know someone. Everyone is different but to me setting such finite rules sets you up to fail. There is always a way to get around 'rules' if you want to. I think physical intimacy should be a turning point in the relationship not a number. After time, I think it is the defining moment that takes it to the next level.

I guess it depends on your self discipline. Personally, I have struggled with periods of discipline but I think it comes down to respect. You should always respect yourself but sometimes you must have respect for others even if they don't respect themselves. I try to measure experiences by what I have had and not opportunities I have missed. It is good to want things and I also think it is good to not always get what you want. Sometimes the best experiences are the ones you have not had. Consider it like potential; if you do not use it you still have it.

We have all made mistakes and we will make more no matter what. Making mistakes and still going forward with someone is a huge success. Most people choose flight instead of fight when they get the cart (sex) before the horse (relationship).

So is it unrealistic to believe in 'movie love'? Well, I think so. After all, it is a fabricated replica of life so it can be manipulated into whatever the filmmaker wants. The fact that 'chick flicks' are so popular is a testament that it gives many of us hope. That hope translates in to feeling good about ourselves and our future. We all want to be happy don't we?

A friend in college had her own visual analogy of love. She called it 'Hearts, stars and rainbows'. Call it fireworks, explosions, love at first sight, movie love or hearts, stars and rainbows. No matter what we call it, we are all looking for signs that represent happiness with someone else.

I am looking for explosions, not sparklers. Sure, sparkles are pretty but they are small, burn out fast and leave you wanting more with smoke in your eyes. Explosions can shake you to the core, burn your retina and make your ears bleed. They are monumental and unforgettable. In the end, to have any chance for explosions we have to at least light the fuse.

By Trey Mitchell

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