Dating is a game—or so it seems.
It’s a game in which we must say the right things, display just the right amount of intelligence, depth, interest, and sense of humour, show just enough skin and just enough life—but not too much, lest the other person lose interest or run away scared.
We are expected to cover up the true colours of our hearts instead of setting them on fire to burn brightly with life.
We’ve been led to believe that it is unsafe to burn and show the true colours at the core of our flame to a stranger, because they might hurt us.
But what if we have it all wrong? What if we start to examine the reason dating frequently exhausts many men and women alike? What unaddressed, unfulfilled wounds of yearning will we find once we start looking?
We invest so much energy in designing an impenetrable façade, the perfect mix of sweet and spicy that will draw our lovers in, we often miss out on the opportunity of drawing them in with our wild, free, genuine way of being.
We are hiding behind sweet words and clever catch-phrases, behind witty pick-up lines delivered on Tinder and at the bar, and we think that succeeding in this game is the key to finding a lover.
But this is not the truth. The lover is not found in the superficial play of masked actors. We need to become real—for we have not been real, or open, or completely true to the longings that live within our hearts.
The lover meant to catch our hearts in the palm of their hands will never hide behind soulless lines.
The true lover awaits us in another human being—flesh and bone, beating heart underneath soft skin, insecurity, and pain enmeshed with intelligence and wonder.
We can only see the wonders when we step out of the game. We can only start to experience the immensity and soul-demolishing power of mutual discovery when we are willing to be vulnerable. When we are ready to let go of the dating guidelines and Google searches of “how to get the guy/girl.”
Appearances, however seductive, cease to satisfy us, because we know we want more—this thirst in our hearts will not go silent. There are depths to our being that have been unshared for too long.
We need wild, free souls in love and friendship, the kind who are not afraid to bite us into awakening and feeling. We need to stand tall in our full-blown humanity, vulnerable and passionate, willing to jump in with another and take the fall.
We need to be that openness.
Let us not be afraid of revealing ourselves as we are, because we are cosmic miracles. Let us not shrink back upon being truly seen, but grow taller and swell wider with the pulse of life.
Let us sit opposite each other with glasses of rich red wine and be unafraid to truly talk to each other, to look into each other with all the voluptuousness and intensity of the drink we are sharing.
Let us abandon ourselves to the pleasure of discovering another human being and to the pleasure of being discovered.
Why does this matter? Because we are never as guarded as when we are seeing someone who lights a spark within us—and there is never a better time to lay our guards down and speak our soft, sweet truth, backed by nothing but the infinite depth and yearning of our hearts.
We must become each other’s wild souls. We must howl to the moon in freedom and let our hearts speak out loud to pinch us back to life, to remind us that we are not the masks we put on; we are infinitely more.
We must stop playing at the game of love and start loving instead.
Let this be a poem that bemoans the contrived games of seduction that do not serve anyone’s deepest heart and only leave us bored, tired, and tangled.
Let this be a call to be real in our every encounter, both as friends and lovers. A call to feed our deepest hunger by abandoning meaningless untruths.
Let’s be real lovers and set each other free.
Author: Stefania Chihaia
Image: Jordan Bauer/Unsplash
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina