Recently, I read yet another piece on the Internet about the fluctuating world of relationships. People can’t seem to make sense of the conundrum surrounding coupling, tripling, and other combinations of men and women. And they probably never will.
Over the past few relationships (or what-have-yous) that I’ve encountered, I’ve figured out that each human creature is a wildly different (no matter how strangely similar) each one wanting something unique from another person. Sure, social norms and their expected deviations about romance and relationships offer an outline, but the utility of harnessing used-up ideas quickly wanes when individual desires become stronger.
So, knowing that much of what you understand from media, especially regarding intimate folks, should always be applied after dealing with your own machinations, please heed my following relationship advice with an open but scrutinizing mind.
First off, before engaging in anything serious, really think about what you want, but all depressed-like. There is no hive mind; you have more freedom than you think here. This may take a few practice partners and experiences to handle (you may never find it), but the pursuit should not be abandoned. We are often really cruel to one another, quick to label each other as crazy or shitty, even though we’re all struggling with the same crises. Don’t pursue your goals just for you, jump through hoops and take risks – have fun – and give each romantic experience credit for shaping your weird-ass journey, instead of being insular and believing you were right the whole time (no one was or is!).
That’s right, you guys, you should totally get hurt, hurt others (unwittingly sometimes, emotionally a lot of the time), and accept the brutal lessons, then be grateful for what amounts to multiple crash courses in feeling.
If you are in a more serious thing, do exciting… things. This does not mean sex toys in the bedroom (or maybe it does); many really great relationships survive with a bit of tiptoeing around the other person, which should be substituted for finding similar desires (moving to a foreign country, doing a messy science experiment, writing a badass screenplay) and being critical about stuff. Nothing truly epic is learned through politeness and emotional carefulness alone. You may get your heart broken (or lose an eye to that experiment) but you’ll come back from it with a heart made of fists (kung-fu fists, that can calmly open for the next person).
Speaking of sex, the sexiest thing anyone can do ever is deconstruct what exactly makes you feel what, and maybe even why it does. I know that surgical accuracy is not so sexy as a conversation topic, but trust me, dig deep and figure out what buttons need to be pressed, for how long, and with what sort of force. Knowing someone so well as to be a master of their mechanics is actually extremely sexy, as it means you are paying close attention, listening, and caring enough to drop any hubris and learn. Passion is still totally important, but not fumbling, inaccurate passion. Be honest, get in there, and criticize each other’s sexual performance until you’re both damn good at it.
Finally, the best and craziest advice is to admit when none of this is for you. Trying too much in bed, or in the realm of emotionality, is not for everyone, and it can be taxing to base your happiness on the sexual or emotional prowess of others. You should always put in the work to get what you want, but it’s never necessary to compromise who you are. You may already be winning at life but not know it. I promise (because I’m an insane romantic) there is someone compatible with the flesh heap you are, so even if you want to be better, you don’t need to be a totally unrecognizable person from that creature you will always be to make it with that someone.