I left my soulmate at the corner of Terminal and Main

A while back I wrote about breakups and basically to summarize for all you TL;DR’s, you break a piece off your soul and douse it in butane. Okay, so then what?

After a breakup, I believe people go off in many directions, either trying to repair that torched piece, replace it, forget it, and/or stalk its grave.

I mean I did all of those things but somewhere in the middle of the process I embraced it. Feeling the air flow though the absence of that piece; that integral piece I thought completed me. All at once, it was freeing, terrifying and exhilarating. I would walk home alone at night singing sad songs to myself and after saying goodnight to the chocolate bar on my nightstand, I tucked myself in. With each limb claiming territory over all cardinal points of the bed.

Although, some mornings I would feel the presence of my ego. Its viscidity slowly working to fill that gap. How long do you suppress your insecurities before letting them all out? Stretching your arms wide and looking up to the sky because thats where they tell us the answers lie.

This is perhaps where my Bumble adventures materialized. Swipe dating, the technomonster shaping love landscapes all over the world. More convenient than gas stations in Richmond. Sexier than 2am ‘last calls’ at the bar down the street. The process of swiping is either liberating or stressful. Not wanting to enter into the dim universe of “fckbois,” I tread lightly. I realized right away that I would not swipe right on anyone without anything to say. This means that the bio is vital and I used what wisdom I had to initiate conversations with strangers. Over a handful of dates took place all throughout the Main Street Corridor, (i.e here are some great first date spots:)  Cartems, Chicha, Earnest, The Whip, Cascade, Burgoo, Pho Extreme Xe Lua, Lucy’s, and a very special one at Kissa Tanto. My experience of dating in Vancouver has been nothing but positive. Straight up, there are a lot of great people out there.  Whether or not these dates turned into anything I met some cool people and learned some new things. A forestry engineer at UBC shared his research on beer hop energy technologies, and an Irish guy gave some great insight on how to be hilarious albeit forward in a text message.

When you end a long-term relationship, it’s hard to remember how you even fell for each other in the first place. These bitter sentiments may follow you into new dates, but if you find someone just as open minded as you, you can share experiences and learn from them. The ancient greeks believed when you love someone you embark on a process of mutual education. They also believed that “love is an attraction to virtue and accomplishment.. that we are tolerant towards the bad, the imperfect, the vulnerable. We don’t love it, we just put up with it.” (excerpt from “The Future of the Way We Live, Love and Work.”)

After my last big relationship I aimed not to find a soulmate but instead to explore the types of traits I value in another. I believe that the idea of a soulmate is limiting and tied up in concepts of state power and christianity. Marriage itself is institutionalized by the State. And what do they even know about love, when the forces behind a state continually construct narratives of ‘us’ versus ‘them.’ “Love thy neighbour, but only if that neighbour complies with our nations normative values.” 

Going back to education and love, it seems tragic to me its absence in state education. The diminutive part it plays is wrapped up in the nuclear family; a heteronormative model that neglects many pertinent pairings. In school, little boys are taught to make the gears turn, to put things back together. But what do they do when the gears are turning and all the pieces are in place? Do they push it aside and start something new or do they take a deep breathe and remark ‘that made me feel good.’ Girls are given dolls and we ask them “how does your dolly feel?” they go on to measure their worth in ways we now know are destructive and delimitating.

I may have met some great people within my Bumble adventures, but I came face to face with people so wrapped up in what they should be doing, they couldn’t enjoy the day to day pleasures of life. One guy even thought the roses smelled like shit. True story.

King meets queen
Then the puppy love thing together dream
Bout the crib with the Goodyear swing
On the oak tree
I hope we feel like this forever
Forever, forever ever. Forever ever.
Forever never seems that long
Until your grown
And notice that the day by day ruler
Can’t be too long
Ms Jackson my intentions were good.


Fotografías: Paola Rodríguez on Oaxaca Street Art, Mexico
Her personal blog here.

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