On "love" and being "in love"
A recent binge-watch of How I Met Your Mother in 2020 is the primary reason for me writing this blog. Back in 2005, when it started, young Tony was only 16 years old and believed in the Disney romantic notions pumped into my face. Young Tony empathised with Ted and his struggles to find the love of his life.
But in 2020, at 31, and with copious life experiences? Nah mate, Tony gets where Barney was coming from. After two long term relationships going nowhere, what's the point in searching for "the One"? It's pretty clear that there are many "One's" out there, and it's your job to find them. Or, alternatively, not find them. Point is, Disney's bullshit story of the one is just that. Bullshit.
What are you getting at, Tony?
Fair enough. When I was 20, the girls my age had no interest in me, going after the 30-year-olds instead. It boggled my brain. Now being 30 and single, with a decent amount of success and a relatively enviable lifestyle (#humble), the gorgeous 21-year-olds actually come to me—such a great life.
But the strangest thing has started to shift in the last few months, which shattered the Disney notion for me. I found myself loving more than one woman at the same time. And I'm not talking about "get your dick wet" loving, I'm talking about a genuine deep love that made me care about the girl's health and happiness. Is it possible to actually love more than one person at a time? It appeared so.
Still not following ...
Right, so ... My previous relationships I could categorically say I was "in love" with the person. That's not to say the connections were perfect, they were both dumpster fires. And I'm as responsible for that as the partners. But we were still "in love".
Whereas several of the women I see now, I treat substantially better than the girls I was "in love" with. A lot of that comes down to a shit ton of personal development and studying relationships and emotional intelligence ... but how could I value these women more and not be "in love" with them?
Simple. "In love" is a made-up load of crap. I honestly don't think I can feel that way about another human ever again. Being "in love" requires having blinders on, ignoring all the red flags, making compromises on things you shouldn't be compromising on, sacrificing your wants, needs, and happiness for someone else, etc. etc.
Doesn't sound very loving, does it?
What's the alternative?
I don't have an answer right now. But I do have several humans in my life who I love dearly, who I would give anything for, and I know they would do anything for me. I'm talking the 3am phone call to bury a body kind of love.
Dating non-exclusively has given me the ability to see what I like and don't like in people in my life. As they slide away and new ones come in, the process starts again.
Point is, I look at all my dates objectively. No more compromising, no more being used, no more tolerating the intolerable. Just great talks, awesome hangs, ridiculously fun sex - and when the time comes to part ways, we remain dear friends.
Maybe one day I'll finally cave and choose the best woman I can find to call my own forever, but in the meantime, I'm going to keep loving away.