I was a teenager the last time I started a relationship with someone. In fact, I believe I was a teenager the last time I got dumped. It was all so different then. I remember the beginning was the best time. So fast, so passionate. You met and you knew right away there was a special connection, maybe you thought you were in love, but it was fast, and you were ‘going out’, a couple right away. Spending so much time together. Happy. The whole of the other person was so new to you that it was a constant discovery just to be with them, and you were so happy to be discovering someone you had such a connection with. There were no jobs or responsibilities or emotional baggage to get in the way, so every hour you didn’t hear from them was too long and every day you didn’t see them was torture. The unspeakable distance of an entire week could mean everything was over; it was all so compressed in time and the future was something you dreamed of, not something you planned for.
I haven’t had anything else. I’ve tried now and again, and I may have actually succeeded a little, here and there, but … I’m not sure I know what I’m looking for anymore when I scour my memory. There certainly hasn’t been that beginning, so close to someone and so passionate as we explore each other with wild abandon. Could there have been a middle without a beginning? I remember faces that I feel the same way about now as a couple of those who had beginnings, middles, and ends, but for whom I can remember no such delineations today.
When you’re a teenager, everything just comes to you. You haven’t started living yet, though most teenagers think they have. You see a pretty face, you say hello, it all just went so easily from there back then. Now I see a pretty face, I saw hello, and I don’t know what’s supposed to come next. I’ve tried being brief, I’ve tried mysterious, long-winded, deeply personal, secretive, coy, charming, sweet, and everything else I know how to be. I’ve said right out that I want to see them again, I’ve tried just implying it, I’ve tried saying less and tried saying more, and I can’t get where I want to be.
I’m not sure, but I think I’m still expecting that passionate beginning. Maybe it isn’t coming. Maybe I’ve missed out on opporunities to be with some wonderful people because I don’t know what to look for. Because I expect too much. Because I expect anything at all.
I don’t know how people get together after High School. I know they get together, I just don’t know how it begins. What should I do? What should I expect? How much is too much? How much is too little? How often is too often to expect to hear from someone? Where do I cross the line from interested to obsessed? How can you tell the interested from the feigning? Who’s just tolerating me, and who actually wants to hear the next thing I have to say?
Who really wants to stand with me in the rain, lay with me in bed, be passionate about being with me as I am with them?
How can I get from meeting someone to that point of pleasure together? What are the steps, and how many? It isn’t like when we were teenagers anymore. I seem to have lost my way.