Hi, it’s me, I’m the problem, it’s me. Houston, we have a problem. Straight up, it’s just about dating. I could sit here for hours furiously typing into my notes app about the trials and tribulations that come with it. There’s preparing for the date mentally, physically, and also emotionally if you’re a hopeless romantic like me. There are so many unspoken rules attached to this human mating ritual and I’m beyond over it. Yes, I know what you may be thinking. Korie, you don’t have to go through it, just be single. As I’ve stated before we all long for companionship in different forms. Before the relationship I was in that spawned this series of vulnerabilities I’ve since penned, I was comfortable in my skin. I knew who I was, where my life was going and what I thought I needed. One day I hope to be back at that point but that’s simply not where I’m at and that’s okay.
The breakup broke me and in turn I’m no longer seeking validation but seeking out what the meaning of love really is. Is it actually unconditional? Irrational? I think it looks so different for any and everyone that no one can give me one concrete answer because it isn’t definitive. So, I did what any sane person would do. I started watching Sex and the City, that late 90’s/early 2000’s show that broke barriers for television and yet at this moment in time is extremely outdated. But there are elements of it that remain timeless. There are so many forms of media that showcase tight knit and intimate friend circles, and it got me wondering. who in my life are Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha. What elements of my friend circles help me cultivate the true meaning of love, sex, and relationships?
Luis is my Samantha. A friend who takes zero nonsense and shows up in unexpected ways. I wouldn’t call him a sexpot, but he pushes boundaries in ways of love, healthy relationships and communication that help me see what aspects of my life I’m missing. He recently shared a story with me about his almost steamy hookup experience with an older man we’ll call Chad because he’s undeserving of a better name. But what was supposed to be a quick fling turned into practically nothing and a conversation about comfortability, emotional availability, and entitlement. He no longer was willing to compromise for this man and in turn Luis reclaimed his agency. I admire that level of power and self awareness that many people don’t have. Luis set his parameters and intentions.
Next is Brian, my Miranda. A friend who works really hard to find his footing in this confusing and messy landscape of dating. His strengths are truly owning himself and his confidence when he finds moments of clarity within the complex emotions that come with it. What we have in common is a shared understanding that navigating love and life isn’t easy and doesn’t always go hand in hand. Despite everything he continues to show up even when it’s not easy. Recently Brian experienced a situation that would make anyone’s heart turn slightly cold. We’ll call his ex “friend” Danny Phantom for his quick ability to just ghost. Factor in long distance and a whirlwind romance and a level of emotional availability only seen in romance novels you’d think his paramour is perfect. Absolutely wrong. Danny’s inability to own his lack of emotional strength turned into a breakdown of communication and left a slew of hurt feelings. If you’re not ready for a relationship don’t roll the die with someone else’s heart. Communicating is just the foundation and some people don’t really know what they desire.
Anthony is my Charlotte. Someone who can clutch their pearls as quickly as I can. Our commonality comes in the form of hopeless romanticism and believing in the magical moments of a first date. How quickly that can turn when feelings run high. Anthony is someone who loves hard and is willing to let himself fall into the fantasy. That comes with the inevitable caveat of what’s real and what isn’t. Anthony’s recent dating situation is less of a personal problem and more of a long-term incompatibility. What happens when everything feels right but you just realize it’s not a match. Missed connections aren’t easy to navigate, when you realize you may be better off as friends than lovers. How do you still hold love and space for that not so perfect fit? There’s no one size fits all when it comes to love, sex, and relationships unless you’re a size queen and even then, it may not be enough for you.
Though I named the boys I’d be remiss without naming my choice for Stanford. My dear friend Bria. A Queer woman who knows how to own it in several aspects of life and her own needs in the process. She knows what she wants and knows how to be the kind of support you didn’t know you needed in your life. Her dating life is enigmatic but refreshing when you realize even on the other end of this spectrum of Queerness, she navigates the same issues we do. Straight, gay, bi or pan people still have their own doubts and insecurities that create turbulent situations. Recently she had an experience with someone we’ll refer to as a “two-piece combo”. Why?, you ask. Because she hit Bria with a two-piece of information between the status of her relationship and her feelings on the subject. It wasn’t cute and Bria promptly said “You’re dismissed”, and to “Slide up out of her DM’s”.
I’ve learned a lot over the last few months and one of those things is to ask for clear communication and for people to be truthful about their intentions. Mixed signals are the bane of starting a healthy foundation. If you don’t know what someone else wants, how do you move the relationship forward? We talked a little about my friendships and the archetypes they cover from Sex and the City. Well, yours truly here is Carrie. We’ll call me Korie Bradshaw if you will. I’m neurotic, needy, and I crave validation. But I’m more than the worst parts of myself just like Carrie was more than our heroine. She was a deeply flawed individual & sometimes the villain of her own story who was still worthy of finding love in other forms. But even she wasn’t immune to the same trials we all experience while looking for love and happiness. Carrie was selfish and sometimes you need to be. But one thing is for sure is she leaned on powerful friendships.
Sex and the City aside, we learn so much from watching the world around us and leaning on others can teach us a lot. I’ve learned from my friends’ dating scenarios that there’s a lot of similarities and lessons you can see just from opening up and being vulnerable with other people. If that’s so easy for some of us, can it be easy with a partner?
Ask yourself and your loved ones the next time it’s time to sit around a table and share dating stories. Your friends’ experiences are not yours but what can you pick up from one another that you’re not learning from your own experiences?
Is it a mixed signal or a missed connection?
Which side of this have you been on in your dating history?