So lately I’ve been thinking about what is a relationship to me, exactly? What I have come to believe is that a relationship is building something with someone while growing together, simultaneously. But, I don’t even know if we can build with anybody anymore. I think we all just have differing needs that go unfulfilled. Basically we have an idea of a relationship. Then, we meet someone else who also has an idea of a relationship. Ultimately, we both have two very distinct philosophies of what we want and need. I also think we have different stages where we want different things. I’m in my 20’s and I cannot really base this on any other decade so this is what I define as the different stages of maturity by my understanding.
Early 20’s: Collegiate Years And/Or Early Adulthood
When I was in my early 20’s I honestly did not want to be in a relationship. I am a serious person when it comes to relationships so I did not want to kid myself. In high school, I had about two long, meaningful relationships (in my eyes at the time) and I just wanted to explore the world with fresh eyes. I didn’t want to be tied down to anyone. But, as a “relationship” person I was only kidding myself. For example, I am hot or cold. I like you or I don’t. I want to build with you or not. So, while I thought I was “dating”, which I thought was just casually getting to know people, I was going about it with conflicting wants and needs. I was saying, “I do not want a relationship right now” while giving off relationship vibes. When you are a relationship person you cannot control your body language or the vibes you give off. Okay, people in general cannot control their body language or the vibes that they give off. Consequently, I think this was a confusing time for me and all parties involved.
Mid-20’s: Working Adult and Life Gets Real
I am currently here. I am still working towards who I am becoming. Learning to be comfortable in my own skin. I think I am more open to building with someone. Or more like, identifying my partner and who I choose to build with in a relationship. I also think about my peers. Because my significant other will be from a group of my peers. I don’t think everyone is on the same page as me, however. Like, in early adulthood, most men were definitely not interested in building with someone or taking someone seriously. But, I thought I didn’t care, then. (Sike, I totally cared because I was a relationship person pretending to be a casual dater.) As I think whether my peers are ready at this point, I am inclined to say maybe, so. I think at this stage we are open to love and the hard work involved. Except, we are that ready to do the work. I think a relationship should be seen as journey to build and grow together because it is a lot manual labor to maintain a lasting one. Between guys having to thwart attempts from unsavory characters and girls having to deal with unsavory characters as potential suitors, I believe this stage is still a hot mess. We are beginning to define what we want in a partner but cannot seem to find someone on the same wavelength.
Late 20’s: Oops, Time to Find Someone Because We Are Only Getting Older
I would like to believe that we will have everything figured out here. I also would like to believe there is someone else who is ready to navigate the difficult task of a relationship with us. But, there are those people who figured it out way before this point. They met in high school, decided this is who I’m gonna build with, and then started the journey. For them, this stage could be nearing the big commitment stage (marriage, kids, etc.) or they are already there. I do think things get in the way. Previous hurt is a big factor. For instance, I’ve been hurt before and I am sure if you are on the receiving end of this post you have, also. (Or, you are some crazy, rare exception lol) But, I think previous pain creates a barrier for some people which they rather not take off even if they meet their perfect match way earlier. Again, we are at different stages. Also, this could lead people to choose career and a care-free lifestyle over all the work that a relationship requires. I am victim of this method. That’s why I think that this will be the moment for me because my career goals won’t be fully realized until this time-frame. I’m trying not to block myself from love, however. Except, it takes more than love to make a relationship work. It takes more than just enjoying your mate’s company or what you do with your time together. There are so many complications and intricacies in this process (which has also caused me to give up in the early stages). I wonder if at this point I could honestly say it would be worth it to let down my guard and grow with someone. Trust them and just know that I’m willing to do the work.