There’s something about getting older that can make someone jaded. Spiritually, ethically, or especially romantically. For our first part of the Jaded series, we’re talking about romance and how even as you get older, having first experiences together can still be amazing and fabulous. Firsts can and will test a new relationship and often tell you a lot about the future.
So let’s say you’re in your 30’s. Not still a kid in high school and you’ve got some miles on your bones. You’ve probably got a steady job with hopefully some decent benefits, you pay your own bills, and you know how to dress. You’re basically an adult, even if adulting is hard.
That doesn’t mean that when you meet someone new, that it’s not exciting. It will always be exciting to meet new people and I hope this never changes for you or me. There’s something grand about discovering a new person and seeing if you fit into each others lives. Make no mistake though, forming a new friendship or something more is a two-way street.
Trouble is, what are your firsts? By this time in your life, you’ve hopefully done a fair amount of living. Romantically, you might wonder what else is on the frontier of relationships and fear being jaded. For both men and women, we might wonder what new experiences we’ll have with this person.
Being in your 30’s means you’ve accumulated some knowledge about life and with that comes preferences for Hobbies. If you and your new boo both like the same hobbies, your next obvious step is to do those hobbies together. Whether that’s snowboarding, climbing, hiking, traveling or eating, arts, photography if that’s your style. If the other hasn’t had that experience yet, even better!
Okay, so you’ve been Celebrating holidays for years right? You’ve probably gotten to go to a few Holiday parties, maybe even hosted a few. If cooking is a shared hobby then great, but if not, getting invited to a party is the next best thing. By now you’ve probably got friends who have kids so here’s a good time to experience Kids together. It’s all about compatibility if you’re going through this particular first. Do you make a good team, how is the other person around kids. Do they even want tiny little humans? Fur babies also apply here.
What about going to and from places? No I don’t mean getting on a bus or train together, though that applies to our list of new experiences to have together too. I mean Traveling, out of state, maybe out of the comfort zone. Putting you and your significant other under some traveling strain can either bond or destroy you. This first is generally considered a strong indicator of if you guys will make it in the long run. Does this person hog the covers, who takes longer in the bathroom, what sense of direction do they have(if any)?
The other generally accepted first that tests compatibility in romance is Intimacy. Life is too short and too busy to waste time on people who aren’t the right fit, literally or figuratively. Central to this idea is Communication, where each see’s if the other listens, if they can be taught the love languages of the other person. More than just physical, emotional intimacy is a key factor and is a cornerstone first of any relationship. Figuring out and acting on those love languages will often determine if a relationship lasts.
Dovetailing from communication is a specific first. Here we’re talking about Fights, which can be a real doozy. There’s an author out there with a book that talks about fighting in relationships and how you should WANT to fight with someone. That is to say, if you’d rather not fight with someone, you’ve already given up on part of that relationship. Specifically, the right kind of fighting shows that you care about fixing the relationship. The right kind here means that you have the will to work through your issues and address the underlying causes of any insecurities, inequalities, or injustices. Perceived or otherwise, slights in a relationship can fester like an open wound that will never heal so talking about things goes back to that first about communication.
Embarrassing firsts is also part of communication. Did you forget to tell your significant other that this was NOT a Costumed Halloween party and they showed up dressed as Tweety Bird? How your Sweet Tweety reacts can either be great fun or a shaming memory. Hopefully, it will be a fun one, presuming you’re with the right group of friends. Other embarrassing firsts could be first farts, first ketchup stain, first accidental scares and first morning after.
A short list to have some firsts, without getting arrested for indecent exposure, include the following: Kissing in Cars-especially cars new to other person, Furniture or other kinds of shopping (groceries don’t count), Planes-after you’ve wiped the screen and tray tables, Graduations-graduate school perhaps or if the other person has kids?
Other more fun ones include Food Fights, Ice Skating, Kissing in the Rain, Snuggling under Blankets, Comfortable Silences, Museum Walks, Brunch, Airport Hugs, Recovering from Illness, Disco Nights, Comic-Con, Drink and Draws, No Pants Subway Rides, Bike Marathons, Spartan-esque Races, and Eating Contests.
The bottom line is that firsts can be exciting as well as useful rather than jaded and painful. They will tell you a lot about how people react as well as what to expect for next time, if there is a next time. Building a strong list of positive first experiences cements the bond between two people, romantic or otherwise. It creates memories that can be drawn on in the future as questions arise and steps are taken. They can be funny reminders of the past to tell as stories for future friends and family. Unless you mean Santa-Con, then NO, that first you can skip.