Love, Relationships, and Dates, Subjectively Speaking
Updated: Feb 10, 2022
An article By: Brady Johnson Published: October 16th, 2021
How can you love someone else when you can't even love yourself? Short answer, you can't. I've loved family and that is about it, but I believe I have a grasp on the feelings of compassion, attraction, and temptation, that should be enough, right? As much as I would love to be in a relationship, the stars just haven't aligned yet, the time will come, but for now I am the guy other people go to for relationship advice. This article is my interpretation of relationships and the feelings that come with that.
There is no such thing as love at first sight. You can feel a strong attraction, a strong connection to someone. But to truly love someone you need to get to know their mind, body, and soul. It comes with time, like most things in our life. Love can only be felt when you've felt like you've spent enough time and got to know someone so well that you don't even need to speak, you talk with your eyes. So if you are already saying "I love you" to that girl you have been dating for 2 months, you should probably take a step back. Be patient.
As far as relationships go, I have not been in a real one maybe ever if you don't count my middle school days. Being in a relationship with someone else allows you to grow with them, together, as an individual. But how could I know this? From the numerous television shows or the people-watching I do in the dining hall at school, that probably helps as silly as it sounds. There is something uplifting about seeing a couple that is happy, especially when it is a friend of mine, makes me feel happiness for them and it brings a sense of comfort over myself. Emotionally, a relationship is what is best for you or anyone else for that matter. In a relationship, whether it works out or not, you learn something new about yourself. I am sorry folks but you hardly ever learn anything from a one night stand or a casual hook-up here and there, you might be able to suppress your actual feelings for a few hours but you are back to square one in the morning.
I always try to tell myself to be more outgoing and try to find that one person whom you think would work well in a relationship but I get it people, it's hard, not easy even mustering up the confidence to talk to someone. But when you finally do, it feels damn fulfilling afterwords.
Now dates. I am going to classify most of the coffee runs I have went on with girls and dinners as dates even if they might not have been romantically charged. I'm pretty good at dates, or at least I like to think so, and there are a few things I always try to do in order to make it a success...
Open all the doors. Physically and Metaphorically. Physically, you (from the man's perspective, or whoever is picking you up in the car) should open the door for the partner. Hold open the door to the restaurant and wherever else you can. Just be respectful as possible, that goes a long way. Metaphorically, you should try to open doors in the partners life, try to learn a little bit more about them and try to get them to talk about things that will lead to other doors opening.
Pay for the check. If you asked your date out for dinner, you pay for the check, no if ands or buts. Doesn't matter if you have $150 dollars in your wallet and the bill is $140, you pay for it.
Compliments. You pick up the girl / guy for dinner. First thing you do is say hi and second thing you do is compliment them. Make them feel special and wanted. A simple "look at you", or "you look so pretty" goes a long way.
Dress up nice. Folks, if you are 20 years old and still do not dress nice for a date, check yourself. A simple pair of jeans or khakis with a button down goes a long way. Never wear sneakers with jeans or khakis, always loafers or vans, Cole Haan penny loafers are my date night shoes. Shave your face if you are a man and put in some effort. Comb your hair as well. It all depends on where you are going. If you are going out to a fancy, expensive restaurant, don't wear what you would wear if you were going out to a pub.
Talking points. Chances are if you are going out with someone, you have already made a connection and you know something about this person. Before you go to the date, brainstorm a few talking points and try to figure out what interests her / him early on in the date.
Don't talk about yourself. Easier said than done, I have an entire blog devoted to my life so I could probably talk about myself all day and not get sick of it. But you need to let. the other person talk about themselves first. Everyone loves talking about their lives but no one likes when other people ramble on about their lives. It is important to know when you should talk and for how long you should talk.
Don't go to the game and expect a home run in the 1st inning. Take things slow people. I am not talking about having to suppress sexual feelings until you get married, but you should not always look to get laid about the first date. Learn about the person first, it makes the first kiss so much sweeter.
Bring up deeper stuff after a couple dates. Be the first one to open up about yourself. It will make everything less tense and if you show the partner that you are comfortable with them, they will be more comfortable.
Follow up. Shoot a quick text or better yet call the person you went out with and tell them what a good time you had. That goes a long way. My over-caring ass wrote a couple handwritten notes in my time after a date, if you really want to score, that would help.
Be yourself. There is nothing worse than someone who tries to play a part and act like they are somebody that they are not. Just be yourself and you won't feel any regrets. Even if you think you won't be accepted, just act normal.
My dream date will probably not happen for a while but this is how it would go. If (once) I have a house on the beach in Dennis, specifically near Sesuit Harbor. I will take the girl to the beach from noon to around 5. After that I would take her inside to the kitchen and began preparing dinner. Cooking homemade pasta, steaming mussels, and shucking oysters. I would then bring the girl down to the beach where I have set up a table near the edge of the ocean, where the sand is not too hot and not too wet. Bringing a bottle of white wine and homemade limoncello as well. Just to sit in a location like such and talk is enough for me, but to share a dinner as the sun is setting is something I have always wanted to do.
Why the beach? The beach is my happy place, my safe haven. However, I do not enjoy the beach in a typically way like most people would enjoy the beach. I hardly ever go to crowded beaches during the day when there are crowds of people, that is not me. My anxiety is through the roof if I am on a beach and I am bumping elbows with some schmuck sitting next to me. I go to the beach either in the early morning to watch the sunrise or late at night to smoke a cigar and collect my thoughts. The beach is my private happy place and if I ever find someone worthy of a seafood on the beach date, I will know I have the one. Below is a picture of Sesuit Harbor at as the sun is setting.
Back to Love and what it all means to me
Alright, so before I get enthralled in Cape memories, I want to talk a little more about love and what it means to me. It is the most powerful and complex concept that is here on earth. Some people love love and some people hate love, I am right in the middle. I've never felt it but I am able to form a pretty good opinion on what it actually means. If you go out searching for it you will not find it, let it come to you. Never sell your soul for the interests of others, stay true to yourself.
If you are in love with someone truly, you will not feel a need to talk about it often, you will just know, it is a connection, a bond that shouldn't be broken.
And I hear all of the so called advice that my peers try to give me. Most of it sounds like this, "You don't want to be tied down in college, go have fun." For some this might apply, for others like myself, this is not the way. We all have different opinions but for me, I do not feel it is morally correct to try to do everything and everyone you can in college. If you aren't looking for a relationship, your window might slip by.
"The most freeing feeling is being able to be yourself with someone."