My last relationship ended because we were two people founded by passion and comfort but on two different pages about the life we wanted. My ex was not the person for me, so I let myself weep and heal and eventually thrust myself back into the world of dating. This time I had more intention than just passing time, I knew I wanted to enjoy someone else's company and physicality but without over promising, verbally committing and allowing the pressures of a traditional romantic relationship in. I wanted something different but not a confusing situationship or disconnected friend with benefits.
In my past, dating was a little bit all over the place – searching for love and indulging in flings. I had trust and commitment issues. I was insecure and dealing with trauma, so sometimes sex felt like the answer. I wanted to love and to be loved, but there was so much chaos within me that I didn’t understand myself. Whatever I tried in love didn't make me happy. I was in relationships for longer than I should have been in, I was anxious with lovers I didn't even care about, and I compromised my beliefs just to have someone, whether it was for a year or for a night.
Being single this time around after undergoing much therapy and having grown an immense amount, made me realised I wasn't after something traditional for the time being. In this new chapter I wanted to be more intentional, realistic, and honest. I wanted to cultivate a casual dating scenario that involves controlled attention and affection. Two people not asking too much of one another but allowing themselves to get to know and enjoy each other's company.
After some extensive swiping, I found myself experiencing this phenomenon with a previous brief romantic interest. We had enough familiarity to be able to be open and honest, but there was still much more to learn about one another, so there was enough for surprise and excitement. He is someone I can easily express myself around and the passion and intimacy are there. In this partnership, I can be myself and still feel accepted. I am allowing myself to be soft and revel the things I love most about companionship without having a commitment. We go on cute dates, spend bursts of time together and have amazing sex.
The situation may not appear unique as there are different stages in dating (i.e., situationships, exclusivity, friends with benefits etc). However, I find my stance unwilling to fit into those categories. I have created a new category for myself and it has been radical for me as it has taught me what is most important for myself in this moment but also for my future. I realised I deeply value connection, I do not wish to possess someone and vice versa, and that there are ways to enjoy romantic love without subscribing to all the ideas presented to us by tradition and media. I feel liberated to be able to care for someone without the anxiety.
The person I am choosing to be single with is still figuring out their life, what they want to do and where they want to be. I too am doing the same: I am undergoing a change which a serious and committed relationship could not handle. I believe we do ourselves a disservice by being in relationships when we can’t really give the best of ourselves to our partners. I think sometimes we get caught up in the thrill of feelings and fail to recognise if a relationship will be good for us or not.
Life is precarious and we will reach a time when we have to decide whether to give a relationship a chance or to part ways to find what we’re ideally looking for, but that’s okay, we understand that when our circumstances and desires change, we too are allowed to. If I’m to be with someone my expectations are different and the person I choose to be with has to know if they can meet them more often than not. Currently, I’m happy where I am. I’m not ready to give or receive more so there is no point in generating those expectations.
We are both single, we are not committed, exclusive or any other terms people want us to use. We, as singletons, are choosing to be together in the moments that suit us and allow our cravings for connection and passion to be fulfilled. It may confuse others, but my goal is to live my life and make decisions for my health and wellbeing, and this is the best for me right now. If you find that how you date hasn’t been working out for you, I encourage you to switch things up, open yourself to other possibilities and maybe you’ll find the unexpected works.
Written by Rudo Christine Gwaze
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