A Single's Struggle

by Jachai DeJesus 3 months ago in single

Peeling away the small pieces of a bigger picture.

Being 21 years of age and realizing that the only "romantic" relationship you've ever had was in the 7th grade with a boy who ended up transferring schools half way through the year and never responded to any text after forces you to sit in front of a massive mirror for an intense session of self reflection.

Looking within myself and digging up some deeply repressed memories, I've realized that a lot of what I know about relationships and intimacy has never been solid. How can you form a functional connection when the only successful ones you've ever seen were on TV.

Feeling every bit of Viola Davis in HTGAWM S1 x Ep. 5. Wig off. Makeup removed. Nightly routine beginning. This is me putting my toes into the abyss, not fully ready to jump in but willing to see what this unmasking will reveal.

1. "Say It Like Dat"

I've always had a difficult time expressing my emotions to guys because I don't feel that they're going to take what I'm saying seriously. A double edged sword that lies in the fields of:

a. If he does find what I'm saying to be interesting, where is this going to lead?

b. If he doesn't, I haven't wasted any more time than I already would have if I were to start with "u looking? đź‘€"

This consistent battle from within, of wanting to be open yet not wanting to overbear. There's a lot beneath the surface. Who's actually going to take the time to listen? And if he does end up sticking around, how much longer is this going to go on before he leaves because "this is too much."

Reserved about most personal things that don't get brought up in common conversation, I don't willingly disclose sensitive subjects on the first date obviously, but in light of getting to know someone (i.e. me), there are certain things I feel I have to confess but don't know the right words to say it straight.

I fully understand that plants need water to grow but when that rain turns to snow, then hail, is he really down to weather the storm?

2. "Truth Hurts"

I gave up on finding a partner via: .com after about a solid year of being on both Grindr & Tinder. Now, they're used more for entertainment and seeing what new creative bio captions / arrangement of profile pictures other users have come up with. You can actually get a good laugh out at some of these profiles!

The comfort in seeing others not taking the apps as deep as they are perceived to be used for helps take the edge off when I come across someone I think is attractive. I know me. I've known me for a long time and flirting isn't my strong suit.

I know how to reciprocate it to a degree if it's given to me first, but after 4 or 5 coy texts later, I get tired; then bored. Somehow I find myself asking all the questions, feeling more like a detective than a contestant on Are You The One?

Not all of it is bad. I've had some interactions that I learned more of a "do's and don'ts" lesson from. Responses and comments to some of the answers or questions I've asked which caused me to take a step back and reevaluate how I was approaching the situation of finding a match.

3. "Go Slow; Please."

Now, I'm not a virgin nor did I have much say in when that wasn't going to be a thing. I was molested as child into my early adolescent years; that shaped the entire way I see men and the sexual relations I could potentially have.

I've gotten the, "oh you're just playing hard to get" or "you're not even that cute anyway"—even "well, it's not like you have many options anyway so..." All denied and swiftly blocked, but never forgotten. I can't necessarily blame them for responding the ways that they did, seeing as I'm not that great at communication and honesty with strangers is something they have to earn.

Grindr and Tinder, really dating apps in general, have taught me about the things I'm willing to consent and things I'm not. Porn is cool, to a degree, but even at a discoverable age I knew that it wasn't actually how people had sex.

Porn allowed me to fantasize about what consent and willingly giving up your virginity would've been like. It was a hope that he, she, or even they can make me feel just as good as the persons in the video. Sadly, dreams are deferred just as quickly as they were conceived; waking up to reality is a bitch karma can't even beat at times.

Juggling the battle of wanting to & the fear of the return, I've taken a handful of leaps into the abyss of a one night stand or .url hook up and to my surprise, they weren't that bad. I've built a good amount of 'fuck it' energy over the past few years. Putting that force to use every full moon has helped me slowly shed a lot of my anxiety about intimacy with guys.

Frankly, I'm not at a point where I feel comfortable letting a guy top me. I tried twice and both times ended in a panic attack and tears; needless to say I've never heard from either of those dudes again. It's going to patience on their part and trust on mine to get where I want to be in the next stages of my sexual journey.

4. "Gonna Be Alright"

Regaining it when you've lost it and haven't looked for it in a while is a task bigger than itself. Taking a deep dive into realization, noticing that I haven't been driving my own boat for some quite some time; fear was.

Projecting my own inner insecurities onto other guys as a way "protecting myself" when in reality all I was doing was cutting myself off from feeling anything real. It takes pain to know love, love to get through pain.

Cleansing my heart chakra is going to take time; I've had to unlearn a lot of things about myself while accepting that the past does have an affect on my future but it doesn't set-in-stone what's to come.

Rain comes in mysterious ways and at times it stays longer than we'd like; yet just as quickly as it arrives, it'll go. I had to open my eyes; realize that I was ruining my own parade. Accept, that shit happens while understanding: Truth growth doesn't happen in a day. It's a season.

Jachai DeJesus
Jachai DeJesus
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Jachai DeJesus

art director. / budget enthusiast. / content creator. / "Now you know my ABCs."

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