A low-res photo from 2013, while in Thailand. This is the first love affair I had while traveling. We traveled all over Thailand together and I ended up spending a summer with her at her house in Paris. Despite all the lows, I have had some pretty kick ass times dating and traveling.
Why Am I Here Again?
Last night I had a pretty rough conversation with a girl that I dated for the last few months. We had ended things about two or three weeks ago, but I was still holding onto us being friends. She doesn’t want to be friends.
I hate this because I still care about her. I miss our conversations, I miss how good of a listener she was, I miss her laugh and our closeness. She has a lot of incredible qualities. Qualities I’ll miss a lot, but there’s more to it than that.
I hate us ending things because I want to prove to her, and more importantly to me that I am someone that I’m not yet. Someone that perseveres when relationships get hard. Someone who doesn’t give up when the high of a new relationship begins to fade. The truth of the matter is, I am not yet that person. I’m addicted to the high of meeting new women.
It’s Like Traveling To A New, Exciting City
When you first arrive the lights are brighter, even the mundane elements of the city are awe-inspiring. I recall landing in Bankgkok with a palpable smell of pollution in the air, I loved it. Everyone around me became an actor in my utopian vision of the place.
Then one day I’m walking down the road and the sweet smell of the trash starts to change. The smog in the air no longer holds a romance to it. I begin to notice customs & ways of life that you don’t agree with. The “friendly” locals, I realize are people with flaws who have their own lives and concerns that have nothing to do with me.
This same process is exactly what happens with nearly every woman I’ve been interested in. It starts with a high and slowly fades, their flaws & differences begin to slowly appear as the veil of excitement is removed. I’m tired of re-living this episode every 3 – 6 months.
I’m Tired of Chasing After This Feeling
I’m tired of having these same fucking conversations. I’m tired of the way I feel when I don’t have it. I feel inferior to other men that are with attractive women. The uninspiring aspects of day to day life seem unbearable without the promise of another high. I’m addicted to something that isn’t as serious as drugs. A yoke I could grudge through life with, laboring from one high to the next. All the while, on the surface things will look fine. I won’t lose my job, I won’t end up on the streets, and if anything I may even receive kudos from other men.
The reality is that internally I’m dying a little more with every new relationship that ends
Even knowing all of this I can still feel myself wanting to chase after women. I still want the thrill of it. I want to spend another intoxicating month with a girl I barely know. Fall in love with her in some exotic new place, then find the first excuse to leave after the high wears off. I want to walk down the road with someone that I’m proud to have with me, and feel the stares of onlookers. I also fiend for immediate connection. To have an immediate friend and confidant. I don’t want to feel so lonely every time I end up in a new place. I don’t want to have to feel the social anxiety of trying to make new friends every month.
In 2 – 4 weeks, I’ll be able to look back on the time I had with this woman with nothing but a distant fondness. I’ve gone through this same type of breakup countless times. However, that moment of reprieve feels like a lifetime away. I want desperately to feel anything but what I feel now, emptiness & guilt. As much as I want to, I’m not going to find some poor girl to distract me from these feelings anymore.
I Want To End This Fucking Cycle
At the middle of the month I’ll be back in Denver for a bit. After that I’ll be traveling around Europe with my Mom. By winter I plan to be in Medellin. I need a home base to build some solid relationships, and I feel like Medellin is it. In Cape Town I decided to get rid of my apartment in Denver and I’m still happy for that. Denver will always hold a special place in my heart, but it’s not where I’m meant to be. I feel confident Medellin is, and for my own mental health and the well-being of any poor women I come across, I think it’d be best if I didn’t date anyone until Medellin.
Interested in learning more about the train wreck that is my romantic life? Check out Dating While Traveling Part 1!
Updates & Reflections
I’m realizing how much emotional needs I put into women I’m dating. I expect them to be my therapist, my sole confidant, my lover & also my best friend. I haven’t built deeper connections with people in my life, so I’m almost entirely reliant one person. When I lose that person, it feels like I’m losing an entire support network as well.
Ultimately, this much pressure doesn’t benefit me or the other person. It puts too much pressure, and expectations on my partner. I rush into things, and become super anxious about losing them. Finally, it’s a low quality way of living. I can’t rely 100% on one person for everything. I need to be more open to sharing and being vulnerable with friends and family. This is one key to my future success in romantic relationships.
Another thing I’ve figured out is that I can make requests to my partner. I always felt like a nag asking a partner to do something, or not to do something and ultimately I would hold onto things and silently resent them. This is a horrible way to live. I’ve been learning about Non-Violent Communication from my therapist, and it’s been great. It’s been super helpful in figuring out what’s really bothering me, how I’m feeling about it, what I’m needing and requesting a tangible change to help.
Today I really came to terms with the fact that we can no longer be in each others lives. She was the biggest emotional support I had, and the depth of that support felt deeper than anything I’ve ever had. I don’t want to date her and I don’t want to be friends. We’re far too different, but I miss having that connection. Saying this out loud makes me realize, did I really love here at all? Or did I just love what she offered me? I don’t know if I can answer that question… I can answer this, I’ve cried more in 2022 so far than probably the 5 years previous combined.
What would really help is building meaningful connections with other people in my life. Connections where I feel the support and presence I got from her. I don’t do a good job building meaningful connections with people. After I’m done working I don’t even want to leave my hotel room. I don’t want to call friends and talk to them, I’m not sure why. I guess because it’s uncomfortable.
Part of me feels hopeless about relationships. This will come as no surprise to anyone but maybe I should take a break from dating and relationships. I also would like a bit more of a home base again. I already have plans to travel around with my mom and sister this year, but by the beginning of 2023 I plan to be based in Medellin.
As a man, and a very privileged man at that, I feel ashamed speaking about this, or even having these feelings. There are so many people around the world with such bigger problems. How do I deserve to cry or feel sorry for myself about this? People break up all the time. I want to voice that, but say I don’t care to give into those thoughts. I’ve lived 30 years abiding by those thoughts and they haven’t helped me much. It’s time to try something new.
There are some positives I can pull out of this.
- The first, is the quality of connections with my friends and family. Without her in my life I’m either going to figure out how to build deeper connections, or I will self-destruct (not an option).
- Secondly, I have so much energy now. In the literal sense, and also in the more spiritual sense. The energy I had devoted to women for such a long time is still there and it needs new outlets. I’ve been channeling that drive to work on things I’m passionate about, to learn, to dream, to do.
- Along the lines of this is money, I am saving so much money not having a woman in my life 😂
- Lastly, is an appeal to my more masochistic side. I love exercising and feeling the pain of longer bike rides, weight training, etc. I should view the pain and discomfort of these upcoming months like I do the gym. I’m going through some discomfort now, to achieve what I want tomorrow.
This will be my last entry for this blog (but don’t worry, more dating while traveling content is coming, follow me on Instagram to get notified on when that content drops). I spent a while crying the other night about this, about losing that connection I had with her, the depth of our conversations and the insights and guidance she offered. I’ve mourned the ending of this relationship many times now as we’ve bounced back and forth in each others lives. Yesterday, I decided that I’ve learned enough from it. I’ve mourned enough from it, and I’m going to mitigate consciously engaging in any thoughts or ruminations on it. At least not for a while, until I can create some space from my thoughts of her and my emotions.
My way of going about this was writing out a mantra.
Let it go. It’s only going to hurt you.
Now every time I find myself thinking about her I tell myself that. Someday I hope we can find a way to stay in contact that works for both of us. For now that is impossible and thoughts about our past, or the potential future we could’ve had if I were more patient, is only going to hurt me.
I also wrote this this morning, which I might repeat for next week or so in my journalling
Today’s a new day, everything I’ve experienced has lead me to this point. This is where I’m supposed to be. I have a bright future, but only if I can come to terms with what must remain in the past.