“God bless the broken road, that led me straight to you” – Rascal Flatts
Once upon a time, there was a young boy who believed in fairy tales.
He believed that, on Christmas morning, he would run down the stairs to find all of the presents on his wish list delivered to him by a guy named Santa. On Easter, he believed an oversized bunny would fill his basket with candy and hide it so he could read the clues and find it.
He believed that Disney princesses were real people (they’re not), the magic in Harry Potter exists (it doesn’t) and the events in the movie Independence Day could actually happen (it won’t, probably). On top of all that, he even used to believe in that “happily ever after” love he saw in the movies. The one where the guy and girl meet at first sight and they fall madly in love. And everyone is happy. And everything is perfect.
Then one day, he wakes up and realizes none of this stuff is real and life has just been lying to him the whole time.
What a weirdo I was. I still remember the day my dad finally mentioned to me that Santa wasn’t real and I had to play it off like I knew the whole time. How could I not realize the “snow-prints” that Santa left on our carpet were made of baby powder and were clearly the same size as my dad’s boots? I was reading so many Hardy Boys books at the time and, clearly, I hadn’t learned anything from them.
What really sucked, though, was when I found out that love wasn’t the “happily ever after” I always thought it was. The plan from the get-go was just to meet a girl, fall in love, get married, have kids, and be happy forever. This was normal thinking to me. It was normal to think that everything would fall right into place like a jigsaw puzzle. All I had to do was take the pieces out of the box and put them together. How hard could that be?
Extremely difficult, apparently. It’s naive to think that love and happily ever after are going to work out on the first try. Or the second try. Or even the fifth try. Recent studies used to mark the release of the best-selling book The Rosie Project estimates that the average woman (I’m not a woman, but I digress) will kiss fifteen men, enjoy two long-term relationships, and have her heartbroken twice before finding that guy she will spend the rest of her life with. Fifteen! And I don’t think that’s including the random making out at parties because we all know a few women who got to fifteen real quick.
What’s odd though was that, when hearing that statistic, I thought “fifteen, that’s it?”. We spend 80 plus years on earth and the average women, before meeting the one, kisses only fifteen people?
The problem with a study like this is it assumes that everyone is constantly searching for the one. It assumes that life is an endless grind to find that one person who we can marry and be with forever. That all love, kissing, or sex can be categorized as either trying to build a long-term relationship or making bad decisions. And that’s just absurd.
We should kiss as many people as we want to.
Kisses are one of the most amazing gifts in the world. They make the heart dance and the brain sing. They fill us up with butterflies and create euphoria in the world around us. Suddenly, all of our problems and difficulties wash away, leaving us only with the moment were in. It’s as close to perfect as we’re ever going to feel. So why is it not okay for us to feel this as often as we want with whomever want?
This is not a knock on monogamy or a call to go out there and just start kissing every beautiful person you run into. This is a realization that life isn’t straight forward when it comes to finding and maintaining love. We’re going to have to go on tons of dates, meet a bunch of sh*tty people, and make mistakes that we’re going to hate ourselves for. We’re going to get our hopes up with new relationships, get heartbroken, or break someone else’s heart.
We cannot allow ourselves to get frustrated by these facts. We can’t live our life just praying that this mythical person will walk into our lives and change everything. We need to learn to enjoy the process of finding love and the pleasure that comes with it. It needs to be fun.
Welcome all of the people that come in and out of our dating life
Honestly, the worst part about going out or dating someone new is that we spend the whole time hoping it doesn’t fail. We want so bad for things to work out that we don’t actually enjoy all of the moments we spend together. Every great date ends with the anxiety that they may not call for another date. Every text we send is followed by the hope that they’ll keep texting us back and not let things fizzle out. This paranoia that we develop with dating sucks all of the enjoyment out of it to the point where we give up hope and decide to be single forever. We need to stop doing this to ourselves.
The best part about being with that person you truly love is looking back at how all of the failed attempts brought you them.
It’s looking back and realizing what the first few people we dated were lacking. It’s seeing who we were back then and who we became in order for us to find each other. It’s reminiscing about all of the kisses, the love and the sex that brought us to this very moment with the one person we want to experience all of that with. Over and over. And if it hasn’t happened already, it will happen. To all of us.
So get out there and kiss as many people as you want to. Have sex with as many people as you’d like. Enjoy life and enjoy love. Everything you do is bring you closer to where you eventually need to be. With the person you deserve to be with.