No Permanent Decisions About My Love Life In My 20's!
In 2015 when I called it quits with the person I thought I was going to experience my first relationship with, I decided that I was no longer going to try to enter a relationship in my 20's anymore.
I was no longer interested in trying to make a permanent connection work with anyone during a period in my life where things were going to change often. I don’t really have a want or desire to be fully in love in my 20's anymore. Which isn’t a bad thing, I believe when you can fully detach yourself from another you can actually get to know who that person is and not what you want them to be or make them up as someone else because you are severely affected with them.
I became aware that while living out my 20's I would become 2000 different people by the time I hit 30, and I wanted to be open to all the possibilities and experiences. I began to understand my tastes were going to change, my likes and dislike would possibly shift, and the way I view life and the things I value at 22-23 may not be the same things I value at 25-26, (and they aren’t).
So why am I trying to make a permanent connection with someone when I don’t really know who I am? During this time where everything was either going to be temporary or forever changing; it just wasn't/isn't a good idea. I began dedicating my 20's solely on having experiences, learning how to detach myself from moments and people and just letting these things come and go as they are meant and just live in the moment.
I also began devoting my 20's to undoing the cycle and conditioning/programming that took place during my childhood. I felt I had so much to catch up on and self-love and a well oiled mental health system were at the top of my list: versus trying to love another broken 20-something year old. I learned I couldn't begin loving someone with all the insecurities I was walking around with, the pain that was caused due to family and friends and the loss of my mother; the unsureness as to where my life was heading. I had to be dedicated to taking time out to deal with these things and just get my sh*t together before I could ever settle down with someone else. Being self-aware is what my 20's became all about.
Many of us come from broken homes, for either being gay, not agreeing with mom's choice of men, etc., and the love that may have been put on display in our homes may not have been "ideal" or even “real love.”
Take my mom for instance: I've seen my mother cause herself great pain because she loved everyone around her more than herself, even those outside of our family, who we thought were friends. One time, my mother moved in a family of five to live with her family of five. (Yes, ten people to a house). However, although I do view that as an act of love; to give and to expect nothing in return. I believe sometimes we give/offer/provide what we don’t have and it becomes too much. I grew up thinking real love was giving, giving, giving and I've learned that that's not true.
I will forever say my mom showed me how to care for others, and expect nothing in return. But, I do not necessarily want to love like my mom or my dad, for that matter. I would like to love as only Antoine can, and I can only do that by letting myself to become those 2000 people and allow life to happen for me.
I can say at 26, love to me is Freedom.
Love is letting a person BE and for them allowing me to be. For example, I crave solitude. I enjoy traveling alone; I enjoy being alone. I appreciate not talking on the phone every day, and I don't plan on giving that up. To some, I may look like I am stuck in my ways, but as an adult, I’ve learned that being alone gives me a sense of direction and I can grow my appreciation of self and the person I am getting to know.
To me, love is being able to do whatever I want whenever I want to do it. (and I am not speaking sexually. FYI, sex is actually better with one person when the two of them have developed a deeper connection with one another. It's amazing.) I do not always want to be joined at the hip with who I am with. Live your life, and I'll be here waiting for you when you get back and vice versa. I want to be my own person in love, and I want the same for who I am getting to know.
DO I DATE?
Yes, I do. I enjoy dating actually. I enjoy getting to know people, understanding them, where they come from, learning about their history and why they act the way that they do.
I love the idea of a union between two people where it's just them two. Like in Sex & The City when Big was writing his vow’s and called Carrie because he wanted reassurance that it was just them two. Then the next day as he waited in the car and left Carrie a voicemail that said, “I need to know that it’s still "US”? Can I just say I felt that on a spiritual level? I know exactly what he was feeling.
I love the conversations that take place only between that person and me. Not everyone needs to hear what I heard, and it can just stay with us. Back then I use to think if a person put me on display that meant they wanted to be with me. But as I've grown, I enjoy not being heard of; I don't know what it is. But I love the feeling where it's just "Us" in our safe space.
To me, that's better than any public announcement with the caption "Look at bae." I understand that's how some people show their affection, but I don't enjoy it, and the unnecessary attention isn't needed. Another reason why I enjoy dating is I begin to learn things about myself from the person that I am in this safe space with—from another comes me—I've learned that my way of showing appreciation for another is through time. My way of showing someone I care about them is by spending time with them, creating memories, and I've learned that's why I do not spend a lot of time with individuals or in certain environments.
Overall; I do not ever want someone to feel as if I own them, that I control them or enjoy telling them what to do etc. That just does not love to me. I've been learning so much about myself and learning how to detach yourself from ideas and what others have said "should be" is forever my goal. I am not a traditional guy, and I don't believe in some of the things others feel are ideal in love. I've learned that it's great to love or be loved by someone, but it's profound to understand and be understood by them. If we can just understand each other, then what we have is love.