Okay, time to rip off the bandaid and get stuck into a touchy subject for me. Love.
At the age of 27 I have yet to have a long-term, serious relationship. This may come as a surprise to a lot of people. In society this is the age that people start to settle down, get married, have kids etc. And a lot of my friends are on that trajectory and as us humans do, I can’t help but compare myself to them.
And to be honest I struggle with this reality. This is no secret to those that know me well. I have gone down the hole of am I unlovable?, am I too intense?, am I ugly? and what the fuck is wrong with me?.
I take some responsibility here. Factors like a fear of commitment, fear of intimacy, very low self esteem and childhood demons not yet dealt with have all come in the way of me and that love. It’s not like I have not been given the chance, I have – and I have been involved with women that I truly cared for, I just ran away before things could really develop. And that shit’s on me.
But there have been external factors too. All through high school I was, what I like to call, “passively bullied” by my peers assuming me to be gay. I call it passive because it wasn’t in my face – it was subtly done. All of this because I was, and still am, not a “typical guy”. I am not sporty, laddy, never wanted to play football at break times , am into music and theatre and culture, and am in touch with my sensitive side.
As I have grown up I don’t get it so much anymore. But you can imagine… for five years of my life during one of the tenderists hormonal stages of adolescence, this was my reality. It made it very difficult for girls to take me seriously, especially when I was into them. No one wanted to date the “gay guy”.
This was really harsh, especially because I am not gay. It’s one thing being accused for being something you are when you want to hide it, but to be accused of being something you aren’t and having no way of changing that rhetoric is another.
So I just succumbed to this and didn’t bother. Kept my crushes to myself and my close friends and never acted on them because I knew it would be a waste of time.
This naturally changed as I got older but it’s a difficult thing to let go of. When things got serious with a girl that I liked, I ran away because I thought to myself…why is she into me? I don’t get? Is this a joke to her? Does she just like the attention? she is going to hurt me so I am going to leave before that happens”.
Anyway, I have had these realisations and am in my process of working with them. But fast forward to 2020 where I sit with a plate full of what the fuck to deal with – loss, anxiety, an eating disorder, moving countries… I am busy working through all of that.
And although I do feel ready for a relationship, that fear of commitment no longer really there, sitting within a much more mature version of myself, I have a lot of mud to make my way through first. I am not making excuses and like I said before, I do know my part in all of this. It’s just the bed I have to lie in right now.
I don’t know when or I will meet someone. I don’t know if I have already met her. But what I do know is that the stars haven’t aligned for me yet in the love department. And after the life I have lived thus far, when she does show up, that relationship will be far deeper and richer than past Michael would have been capable of because I have grown so astronomically in the past five years – far more than I could have hoped for.