On Finding Love As A Millenial

Hugo Alfredo Aguilar Jr.
Hugo Alfredo Aguilar Jr.

I sat here; erasing, writing, erasing and rewriting, erasing rewriting again. Wondering if the person that was on the other side of what used to be a phone line, was doing the exact same thing. Dating is complicated and there seems to be a rulebook that everyone but me has read. There is a disconnect between the generation of instant gratification and the impossibility of instant gratification in almost any relationship.

We want someone to trust, someone to rely on yet we do not act trustworthy or reliable. We want someone to love but we never want to be someone who loves too much.

We want to care but not enough to get hurt. Most importantly we want it now, on our time. Trusting someone enough to be committed to them isn’t something that happens in a night or an Instagram post, no matter how much we want it to. For most to trust is to reopen old wounds, the expectation becomes anyone you date will hurt you, leave you or lie to you. We ruin our chances with someone by being like this, we let our past relationships ruin our future relationships. You cannot go into something expecting the worst and have a successful relationship. Trust isn’t instant, trust is a slowly built wall that you should build together, you will have to give it time to be built. Dating means taking risks and often times trusting someone is biggest risk you could take. We have to understand this, we have to look for opportunities to show that we are willing to trust and more importantly that we are trustworthy.

Let go of the delusion of a perfect match.

One of the main issues of the online dating scene is that it is very clear that that is what most people are looking for. We think that there are plenty of fish in the sea and we now can hold the sea in our pocket. We think there might be someone better even when you click with someone. I am not saying to settle, never settle, again I am saying just give people a chance. Just because it isn’t love at first sight doesn’t mean it won’t be something just as magical.

You can’t sit around and wonder if you swiped left on your soul mate, without missing what is in front of you. How could you expect someone to be good enough for you with this attitude. You can’t cautiously live in this world full of technology, to stay undefined is to avoid risk and leave yourself an out, in case you do find love at first sight without hurting the person you still want to see, for now.

We must be bold and brave in every choice you make, especially the choice to be with someone.

If you know what you want ask for it and if you don’t that is okay, just be willing to say that. There is nothing wrong with not knowing what you want unless you hide it to seem effortlessly carefree, when you aren’t. That is starting in dishonesty, don’t start in dishonesty. I want the type of relationship where I don’t have to be scared of saying the wrong thing, not because I won’t say the wrong thing but because everyone does. We have to understand that you are dating a person not a profile, real people make mistakes. You can find perfection in someone’s imperfections and like them when they say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

If you are constantly looking for the next best thing you will never see the beauty in this moment, the magic of a first kiss, the first time their smile lights up your life. We find ourselves looking for someone who doesn’t exist. We find ourselves looking for something that isn’t realistic. We set our bar so high that no one can reach it.

We ask for things we are not willing to give. We care more about how it looks than how it feels. We want perfection. When we are sick of not finding a soulmate or the type of romance we have imagined, we trade romance for satisfaction. Satisfaction becomes a drug, a fix we perpetually feel the need for. That is not to say you shouldn’t be satisfied, it is to say look for a person not a plan. Date to fall in love with someone rather than to marry someone. Date for your today rather than your tomorrow.

Looking for the future is an easy way to miss the moment. All we are promised is this moment.

Romance isn’t dead but it might be on it’s deathbed. How are we to know what romance looks like now? Has romance simply adapted to the times or can it? Maybe romance is making the relationship facebook official or posting a picture with them even if you look awful. Maybe romance is letting someone know you are thinking of them in a text, a picture you knew would make them laugh, a link to website or blog they would love, a comment on a picture.

Maybe romance looks exactly the same. Are likes the updated version of flowers? Is romance the effort you put into being with someone? Maybe it is deleting your favorite dating app. Maybe it is not watching the new episode of the show you watch together without them, even if it means avoiding all social media for a few days. Could romance be as simple as putting your phone down to spend time with someone? Have love letters been replaced with tweets?  In an age where romance is so loosely defined we search for ways to stand out to someone, we look for the line between casual and caring and try to walk it.

What does the chase look like when we are so documented? Why does it seem impossible to know if someone is actually interested? Things should be more simple. If you want to talk to someone, you should and if you like someone you should tell them, often. Never miss a chance to tell someone how you feel. Be fearless in your vulnerability and courageous with your honesty. Do not show people the display case version of yourself that doesn’t reflect your reality. I understand wanting to be guarded but try not to be dishonest. If someone falls in love with the display case version of you they aren’t given the chance to love you and they may not even like the real you.

We live in a granular world there are no absolutes and nothing is definitive.

You live in the small moments you have with someone; the way their hair falls in their face, the first thing they said to you, the way they smile when they say your name, the first time they made you laugh, the last time they saw you cry, the times you think they are beautiful for the faults they have, the way your heart raced when you texted them first. All of those small moments add up to something so much bigger, they can add up to a beautiful relationship if you use them wisely. There is no reason to mourn the potential relationship if not. Everyone has a lesson to teach you, if you just pay attention.

Mother, writer, educator

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