At the time of writing, I’m in a small town near London about to embark on one of the longest, and most exciting journeys I’ve ever gone on. If all works well, I’ll go to Paris, then see the re-enactment of the battle of Waterloo in Brussels, then I’ll spend a month in Turkey, with a little bit of luck that may just be the start. I’m excited about this, but a part of me cannot but feel a tad bitter-sweet, as I leave behind the longest relationship I’ve ever had with someone.
Nine months is a long time. Yet, funnily enough we never made it official or serious. I was free to be with whomever I wanted, and she was as well, as long as we were both honest and responsible about it. Nevertheless, this proved too much of a leap for her and she offered me an ultimatum, either I’d solely be with her from now on, or today would be the end of it.
I could not in good consciousness accept this, as I don’t negotiate with terrorists, neither do I really think I am in the stage of my life to even consider this, or think I could truthfully say I will not feel something for someone else whilst with her. Please do not misconstrue this in thinking I do not care for her. I very much do, and it was hard to say goodbye. I surprised myself by how long and hard I embraced her in our final farewell.
The idea of someone essentially putting a metaphorical gun to my head and threatening unspeakable things, if I don’t concede to their demands is distasteful. It’s not that I’m planning on sleeping with half the world either, in our time together she was the only one I was intimate in that sort of way. Nevertheless, I like having the freedom if I so choose to do so. It’s the difference between being frugal and poor. A frugal person may very well go to the fanciest restaurants if he so chooses, but he does not do so out of choice, not out of need. Compare that to someone with less means, who hungrily stares through the street window at the great time others are having inside. The first one does it from a position of power, and abundance whereas the second one simply has no other choice.
I cannot predict the future, I don’t know whom I’ll meet on the road. As such, I’d like to have the freedom to explore the whole range of emotions when with them, if I desire to. Relationships should be about helping the other person grow, not clipping their wings because their life choices may not be your definition of ideal.
I’m 22, she’s even younger, we still haven’t experienced a wide sample of people, so we don’t truly know our likes and dislikes in that area. Hell, I got my first kiss at 19, so I am arguably still at the very beginning of this stage in my life. Before I’d been with her, she’d been a virgin. After we’ve established this, it seems patently ridiculous to double down on our bets and say we ought to be with each other. Imagine, it’s sorta like going to a buffet, trying the first dish in the line up and then stuffing yourself silly to the point of sickness with it, without ever having tried any of the thousands of other variants. Chances are you didn’t choose the option you’d like the most, you just settled for the one that happened to come across your path first, and blocked yourself off from experiencing new things.
We have but one life, I think we’re best off seeing all that life has to offer before we rush off and try to permanently be with someone. The only thing constant in life is change, it’s best we learn this as soon as we can…