My dad says, Zach, you should just go have fun and explore. A lot of guys I know think it’s cool to get with a lot of girls. Chief Keef—one of my favorite artists—says stuff like, “I don’t want relations, I just want one night!” I listen to that music and love it but deep down, I know that it is not me. That as much as I deny it or have denied it, I like relationships, I like dating, I like love.
So when I say I’ll always want just one girl, I don’t mean the same girl, though staying in love with the same girl seems nice; that’s marriage. I mean, just one girl at a time. I mean, falling in love. It doesn’t have to be dating but it has to be something monogamous.
I want to make memories with the same person like different colored rubber bands on a rubber band ball that swells to the size of a heart. Like how last weekend, when we went to a haunted house and laughed afterwards about how I was more scared than her but kept trying to put my arms around her. And how afterwards we went to our favorite creperie and this time I got to choose the crepe—cause she did last time—and we shared it bite by bite. And how after that we went and saw Gravity in IMAX 3D, sharing a popcorn and a coke, doing weird things eating the popcorn until the other person looked at us and we both burst out laughing.
In the end, those are the things that I remember and love the most. Dates, and then the passion that comes afterward, and then the warm intimacy that lingers until you both fall asleep. They’re not the awkward dates that you have when you’re getting to know each other. They’re the type that are fun because you know each other so well. You can be annoying or weird or silly and it will all just come out as cute to the other person.
It’s like, flowers, the way we open up to each other as time goes on. I’m sure most people have been in a relationship where, at a certain point, they laugh and say, remember when we used to not act this weird around each other? Meaning, remember when we were not ourselves around each other? But now you’ve let each other into your own little worlds. They come in and test the air and measure the soil and taste the fruit off the trees while you wait nervously until finally they tell you, that it’s a beautiful place to be, and you are so happy that they accept you.
Just like how the best sex requires you to spend time learning each others bodies, it takes time to learn each others minds. There’s the fun of getting to know someone, and there’s the fun of knowing someone. You don’t get either if you’re always searching for your next hook-up. I feel like, Chief Keef is cool and all, but it’s not me. Which is fine, because I’m different, and I want different things.
Every time I’ve hooked up with a girl who I didn’t feel any emotional connection to, it didn’t make me feel any better the next day. At best, it felt like an accomplishment, but accomplishments mean nothing compared to meaningful social relationships. So while sex is nice, it’s like that song Future sings in his auto tuned mouthwash gargle: “I don’t want to give you the wrong impression / but I need love and affection.”
There is a fear, I think, that some people have of love and affection: that it is safe and settling and somehow not free. My dad tells me not to date one girl for too long because he thinks I’m missing out. But I think, not being in a relationship is a form of missing out too. Yes, you’ll have time when you marry to be in a relationship. But at the same time, in high school and college and in your 20s, you’re not as cynical. Things feel newer and better and freer. To be young and in love is something you only get to try once.
Cause I know I don’t want to settle. I know that after this girl, there will be other girls. I won’t always want her, but right now, no part of me doesn’t want her. Passion fades, but right now, I give it food and shelter. I let it stay under my roof. I keep it warm by a fire.
I don’t even know what else is nicer than, having a crush and finding out they like you too. I don’t know what else is nicer than, the feeling of not wanting to go to sleep because you want to stay up and talk to someone all night. It’s nice to have a life companion, someone to ride around with you in your metaphorical drop top Lexus. And I feel like, this is nothing new, humans have felt this way forever, even dating back to the biblical concept of Adam and Even, partners in crime in the Garden of Eden.
So I want, just one girl, one girl at a time, and I want to know her well. I want to know her so well that I know what coffee to bring her when I come over late at night. I want to know her so well that I know she’ll like those Topeka Jeffrey Campbell sneakers I bought for her birthday. I want her to know me so well that she knows to bring me tomato juice when I’m sad. I want her to know me so well that she knows to give me a book of “The 50 Greatest Moments in Sports” for my birthday.
I want someone to think about when I listen to love songs, watch movies, read books. I want someone to think about who I know might be thinking about me too. I want someone who brings out both the best and the worst in me, who makes me feel the most happy and the most sad, because above all, they just make me feel alive.
And that’s just what I like.