“Hal notes that girls always seem to slip out of their shoes when they assume any kind of spectatorial posture…Girls literally embody the idea of making yourself at home. Males, when they come in from somewhere and sit down, project an air of transience. Remain suited up and mobile.”
-Infinite Jest, 703
Being a boy, I’ve always felt like it was natural and even expected for me to be on the move. Especially when exposed to home crafted pieces of “wisdom” such as
when a boy enters a relationship, he never sees his family again. When a girl enters a relationship, she brings that boy home.
-some family member(2)
Coming up we didn’t move a lot but it was enough to brand on my psyche the idea that everyone leaves and it’s best to figure out how to adapt to that rather than making an effort to hang on to relationships(3).
Then when I became old enough to begin, seriously, dating(4) I began seriously exploring the ideas of love, relationships, and marriage. I’ve never been crazy for the idea of getting married, never have wanted and still don’t want kids, and being a minimalist(5) I was never interested in buying a house or owning property(6). This sort of lifestyle, especially in more mature adulthood, inspires some thought about one’s future and what one wants in life because, clearly, it’s going to be a bumpy road.
This mind set also has shaped my love and relationship behaviors and preferences. Even though I never dreamed dreams of white lace and black silk I still had notions about long term love because at my core, regardless of being a fairly independent and solitary individual, I still have a deep desire to be loved and accepted physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
Given my state of perpetual movement(7), it’s always been a tricky proposition to find relationship happiness because in my experience I’ve found open commutation about the ridiculous improbability of expecting everyone to find one person to be “the one for ever and always” regardless of the laughably small window of time that serves as “peak” mate time (between ages of 22 and 29) is one that is generally not taken seriously or interpreted as “a scared little boy rationalizing because he’s a scared little boy”.
In the past this obstacle has been relatively easy to overcome because many girls that I’ve dated were under the impression “this is cute, I’ll change him over time” and decide that I’m worth their efforts to change because I wasn’t actually leaving for a while or was just planning my next move. However in the last two years since I’ve been single, after the end of a three year relationship, I’ve mostly had a disinterest in dating until this summer where for me it’s business as usual however for my potential partner, my proposal for a short term relationship, is not a philosophy but a reality: I am holding my plane ticket, I’m leaving and there’s nothing changing that. This reality seems to have had a negative shade on potential partners view of engaging in a relationship with me. Frequently what I’ve gotten is “it’s too bad you’re leaving” or “I wonder what could have been if…” which is deeply frustrating because I just want to say “I’M STILL HERE! I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE FOR 56 DAYS(8)! Please stop treating me like I’m already gone…”
In this five point essay, I would like to explain my proposal for why short term love should not be exclusively expressed in the language of the “sensitive hook up artist” but rather viewed more from a open minded point of view where not all love is made to last forever and sometimes short term love is not a failure waiting to happen but like anything else: something impermanent and should be valued for the time it exists rather than for the time it may not encompass. Continue reading