Poets are storytellers and there’s no better story than a love story. We’re not experts, but we listen to a lot of love poetry and watch a lot of love happen. From that first date, through the heartbreak, to getting back in the game, and finally to sticking with your partner/s, here are a few choice insights into the world of love, dating, and relationships from a poet:
- You don’t need to have all the answers.
But have enough to say what you’re looking for (even just to yourself) before you get involved. It’s all good and well to pursue personal growth – but people are the casings for feelings. They’re not the ingredients for an experiment, or a box of tools for you to wear down in the process of “fixing” yourself.
- Be tactful. Be kind. Be cautious.
Make room, but not to the point where frustration is blossoming in all parties concerned and too much is being left unspoken. There is always a right way to ask as well as tell. Mainly “did what I just say do (x) to you?” And “this left me feeling (x)”.
- If you’re on a date:
Don’t get obsessed over it and become awkward, but try to have an inner monologue of how many sentences you begin with ‘I’ or ‘my’. And don’t ask questions that you don’t give a crap about hearing the answers to. Folks can see right through feigned interest.
- It’s the little things.
Really. Whether pleasant or vexing – that’s what adds up in the end. Valentine’s Day is a joke for Hallmark to profiteer from. Inject each day with something that makes them feel unique. Leave an origami tooth fairy on the dresser the day they have to see the dentist. Put raspberry twirls in their belt loops so they have sweet snacks for the day and can feel like candy Batman with a confectionary utility belt. Because no matter how small – if you make it count you’ll be reminding yourself how unique *you* are, too.
- Hey. You’re in a relationship!
Kudos you hermitic f**ker. Remember your friends? Yeah. They still exist. If you love them/believe in them then let your partner meet them and share in the joy. Otherwise you’re with the wrong person or you’ve outgrown your friends. This is a good measure in staying real with your life choices.
- “Hey can I confess something? I really like…”
No. No no no no no. You enjoy/fell in love with whatever you’re about to “confess,” because it sings to your soul. Be it roller-skating or a bizarre fetish – own your passions. And stop thinking you need permission. If it’s legal, SSC, and can be done to disco tunes then boot them out of the playground if they judge or shame you.
- Everyone loves to feel smart.
When you find out about their hobbies don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to immediately play catch up and be on their level for them to like you. Sometimes the best thing you can do is ask for pointers. It validates their work ethic and experience. And it’s good to bond over, rather than go through the wringer of preparing for an audition that only your anxiety concocted.
- Exploring the great beyond of a persona.
No matter how much you’ve delved into, these are only a fraction of the grand cosmic make up of the person/people you’re romantically involved with. Remember this and you will remain curious and excited. As tempting as categorizing may be – let’s just admit it, we’re humans and we crave structure by nature – we can only give and receive moments at best. Respect that not all spaces need to be filled. We ceaselessly evolve. This planet has deserts. In them are the bones of the lost who tried to own the ever shifting sands.
- Don’t be too cool to call and ask advice from mum or dad.
Yes I understand, not all families are nuclear. What I mean is that you should call your most trusted representation of an amazing mum/dad figure you can think of. Just because they may not have revealed to you how and when they got burned, wooed, confused, relieved, sick (for all the right reasons) or where they fouled up, broke hearts, lost themselves and whatever else – doesn’t mean they haven’t. They don’t need to know the other person to give you the support you want that you feel is lacking from your partner/s. They know YOU and that’s more than enough to put a cup of tea in your hand, a warm clasp on your shoulder, and eventually a smile under your nose.