If you have taken the time to trot on over to my About page before reading this post, you would’ve read that I passionately enjoy eating. What I didn’t mention (not sure why) is that I also like cooking. Some people associate this with being a great cook–wrong. I’m not bad but I’m not amazing either. If I had to choose, I would say I’m a better baker than chef. Regardless, all recipes require specific ingredients. How many times have you had different versions of a hamburger? Pizza? Pie? Everyone adds their own magical touch to their creation. But when you closely examine what goes into the decadent dish, you notice that each recipe has a core of main ingredients. Relationships are no exception: trust, honesty, love, etc, are all crucial to a successful union. But that’s not what I’m about to dissect. Instead, I’m going to discuss the paramount “moments” in the building stages of a memorable, and hopefully, successful (but not necessarily) relationship. As much as we like to think that our relationships are unique, we typically share the same experiences but in various ways, which is where the distinguished parts come into play.
The Car Chat
You had a fun-filled night. You and your date just (pick as many as you like and/or add your own): cooked and/or ate dinner, went to the movies, took a swing dance class, bowled the night away and played laser tag, and/or danced so hard that your feet could no longer sustain your stationary weight. It’s the end of the night and you arrive at her residence. All during the ride, you wonder what is going to happen once you reach the next destination. Should I kiss her good night? Will she invite me in? Are we going to stumble in the house, knock things over, and wake the neighbors?
Hopefully she remembers my name so she can scream it. Or will it be a PG ending? You park and turn off the engine, leaving the music playing (you don’t anticipate what’s on the horizon). Both of you begin talking and before you know it, an hour has passed. The type of conclusion to the date has already manifested itself–I refer to it as the “car chat.” You may have experienced it: two people sitting in the car under the stars after a wonderful night just chatting away. The conversation tends to be a little deeper compared to the topics earlier on in the night. This is where you begin to really learn about the attractive person across from you that you’ve been flirting with the entire night. You uncover that she has big dreams, a bit of a rocky past (who doesn’t?), a shared desire to travel to exotic destinations, etc. This is where you begin to unknowingly fall for her.
The first kiss is cliché. You may have many or you may have few. But a memorable first kiss is an indicator of a significant relationship–at least that has been my experience. (Notice I said memorable and not “great” or “amazing”.) Like having sex for the first time, sometimes the first kiss is built up so much that you’re disappointed, leaving you wanting more; luckily, that doesn’t apply to the majority of my first kisses. Having seriously dated three girls (and on my way to a fourth–and hopefully last, knock on wood), I remember every one of my first kisses except for the first girlfriend (I started dating when I was 17 years-old): one was in a nightclub; another was right out of a movie script–flirting/wrestling in her bedroom; and the most recent topped the latter–I had my wall up, giving her a peck at the end of the night, regretting it, and showing up the next afternoon on her doorstep, giving her a mini make-out session (it blew both our minds). But why does society build up the first kiss to be a vital part of the relationship? Sometimes it makes or breaks the relationship. It’s sounds a bit silly that the future of a relationship hinges on a few seconds (or maybe minutes) of labium docking. But is it so silly? Kissing is an intimate act. To no surprise, kissing produces chemical reactions in the body. Failing to produce the right kiss will cease to create the chemical reactions responsible for
the change of environment in the pelvis region the feeling of lust, attachment, and or/love. If done right, pupils begin to dilate, pulse quickens, and breathing becomes irregular (among other reactions). Going beyond the animalistic urge, kissing does induce the feeling of falling in love, fostering a sense of attachment–you can thank the oxytocin hormone for that (credit to Sheril Kirshenbaum for that tid bit of information). So first impressions are important, especially when it comes to kissing. When people say that there’s chemistry between two people, it’s not just a saying–chemistry is large and in charge.
So you’ve began navigating the waters, impressing her with your date(s), melting her with your words and gifts, and wowing her with the first kiss. What’s next? Spending the night. When I say that, it may or may not include sexual intercourse. But what I’m referring to precedes sex (at least that’s how it’s happened chronologically for me). Both of you are laying in bed, regardless of who asked who to stay. Your mind, and probably your heart (and hormones), is racing. It’s your very first night together. What are your expectations? What are hers? Simple answer: don’t have any. Just pre-establish boundaries. No, I don’t mean sit down and have a talk with her before you get in bed. Create your own guard rail beforehand. This isn’t just my religious side speaking. Whether you believe in God or not, sex changes everything–you can’t get around that (nor can you take it back). Birds and the bees aside, you begin talking. Does it resemble anything? If you’ve had the “car chat”, then it should. It’s late. You both have to get up early tomorrow morning. The logical, sleep-deprived portion of your brain is telling you to shut your mouth and fall asleep. But your romantic side yearning for that connection has struck preemptively, tying up, gagging your logical side and stuffing it in a basement before it can do any more damage. You stay up for hours, kissing, talking, making out, and continuing the journey into the depths of each other’s souls. The attachment strengthens and finally, after many words have been spoken, you both begrudgingly agree it’s time to get a little bit of rest. Good night kisses are exchanged and you both fall asleep with smiles on your faces and in your hearts.
On an unrelated note, I think that I’ve decided that one entry per week is sufficient; I don’t seem to have much time lately with work being slow. If you read my first entry, you may have been wondering what’s the status with the lovely lady that accompanied me to the concert. Things are going great. We’ve actually acquired all three of the “ingredients” thus far. Actually, the most recent “first kiss” I discussed just happened between us nine days ago. The “hopeful” romantic in me was intensely dissatisfied with my initial decision with the peck. Typically, any screw ups like that I would momentarily beat myself up over the span of a few hours at most but for some reason, I felt like I needed to rectify the situation. I couldn’t get it out of my mind after I got home; it hung around my head like a mobile the next morning as well. I texted her saying I wanted to drop something off and she was all excited, thinking the surprise was a gift–oh, and it was.