By Holly A. Phillips — @OrangeJulius7
“It’s only ever happened one time in my entire life.”
My hip-hop dance instructor, Dimitrius, was trying to explain to me that he’s been in a serious relationship for most of his life.
For the sake of this column, we’re going to assume that he was single at birth, but probably found another cute baby in the hospital parking lot.
I guess you’d say he’s a serial monogamist; always in an exclusive relationship.
But now, he’s single and says he meets people through Grindr and during his shifts dancing at a bar.
“Dating is… interesting,” he continued. “Some of the people out there are just so…weird.”
I know a few people who seem to always be in a relationship, and it makes me wonder if they know something I don’t. Are they holding on to some kind of secret that makes them eligible for staying with the same person for months, or even years?
As I get older, I feel a little bit of pressure to be involved in more serious relationships. And when I really think about my past, there’s not a single relationship that reflects your typical definition of “serious.”
In fact, my relationship past is mostly made up of glorified f*ck buddies, and… that’s it.
How am I supposed to go into any sort of meaningful relationship having no real experience in one? Sure, I know there’s a first time for everything, but I’m 30. It’s about time I get with the program.
But instead of punishing myself for my past, I’d say it’s time I start appreciating it for what it is. And I’ll say that I’ve learned a whole lot about different types of people, dating and sex.
So maybe I don’t know the key to a lasting relationship yet, but I do know how to hold great conversations on dates, how to spot a red flag from a mile away and I’ve had some fun experiences in the bedroom.
I suppose my problem isn’t in those beginning, fun stages of a relationship. The issues arise when things get to that point of going serious, or staying in the “friends with benefits” zone.
There are times when I just wonder if I don’t come across as marriage material; or perhaps I’m just simply not.
Living in the South, it sometimes seems like those old relationship stereotypes hold true: be seen, not heard, and do everything you can to be a housewife.
I look ridiculous in pearls, and as a relationship (ok, sometimes sex) columnist, I can’t go without being heard. Housewife? Sure, I’ll stay home, cook, clean and start drinking martinis at 2 p.m. No problem.
A friend of mine told me he didn’t feel very “experienced” in the bedroom — he’s like Dimitrius in that he’s always involved in something serious.
I started thinking back, and the truth is, I’ve had a lot of sexual adventures (more than I’d like to admit).
I’ve always heard that people in serious relationships don’t have much sex, but I didn’t want to ask if he was admitting that.
If that’s part of the “secret” to being monogamous, then I don’t want to be it!
Although my rocky past still weighs me down at times, when I think about Dimitrius — out there in the dating world for the first time — I’m sort of glad I’ve had the experiences I’ve had.
They’ve shaped me in a way, whether it’s for the better or worse, and I’m still holding out hope that there’s someone out there who’s going to put up with me.
Read more about dating and serial monogamy on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.