The big four letter word that almost everyone has spent more than a decent amount of time thinking about.
This time of year, with the sun slowly showing its face again, Valentine’s Day pressure out of the way and a lot of national holidays opening up your calendar, there’s more than a little craving for sweetness going on. But how do you navigate the complicated, multi-coloured surface of the Rubik’s Cube that is love?
Well, I don’t know the answer to that, but I do have a few wise thoughts on what not to do. Just the other week, I was asked out. Not your average ‘will you go out with me’ of course, because things are rarely that simple.
It began with a week of awkward and bold texting, with far too many misplaced wink-faces, and a terrible amount of anxiety.
The first thing you should probably stay away from when it comes to flirting, is trying too hard. If that certain someone is worth your time, then they won’t judge your character through late night texts and how long you stretch out the word ‘hey’.
Your next goal is to become comfortable with that person, which can be a slow and treacherous process, but 100% worth it.
I’ve always believed that a good relationship is better with someone you could just as easily be friends with, and if you’re uncomfortable, don’t force yourself! There’s a huge difference between uncomfortable, and not comfortable (sort of). No matter what kind of irrational guilt you may feel, there’s no need to compromise your own emotional well-being.
Usually these rules work for your average young adult (who’s average these days?), but the stress factor can sometimes multiply when you’re living under a big LGBTQ rainbow. It’s not a fault, in fact it makes the Easter egg hunt for the right person much more efficient by clearing out the weeds. So dating may seem like more struggle than it’s worth, but identifying your standards and limits is always a good thing.
When I accepted my first date, (not too much experience coming from an agender/asexual), I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I worked myself up for nothing. All in all, it was a pretty good day, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t uncomfortable. Far from it!
After that afternoon I spent the whole night trying to figure out what went wrong, what I disliked, what I was comfortable with, and if I wanted to keep heading down that path. The answer was no, and I was okay with it.
I politely ended my escapade, finding myself better off on the other side. The whole experience, what with the touching and comments about the weather, was slightly embarrassing, but helped me to learn a few things about myself. If you’re going to take one thing away from my social ineptitude, then know that you are under zero obligation to do anything you don’t absolutely want to.
That goes for whether you’re flirting, being asked out, or building a relationship. And you know what else files under that large and vague category? Coming out!
If you’re friendly with your romantic prospect, then they might already know about your variant sexuality and gender identity. But if they don’t, then you have no need to tell them about it unless you want to.
Your identity is how you see yourself, so even if you aren’t able to express it physically, you’re not keeping a secret.
Besides, no one who judges you for what’s in your pants is worth sharing chocolate with.
So whether you’re wobbling like a newborn turtle through a high-school romance, or just waiting for the right time to unleash your romantic determination, remember that the biggest find in the room, is you.