Love. Intimacy. Sex. All three are key ingredients to successful relationships. But how much of each is the ideal combination? Asad, a late-twentysomething model and actor, isn’t sure such an answer exists. Like all of us, he’s still learning, growing, and searching. But one thing is for certain: relationships have played a defining role in teaching him more about himself, and the man he does and doesn’t want to become.
I would define intimacy as a heated relationship that doesn’t necessarily have to be physical. It’s more on a spiritual level. It also goes beyond the simple words of “I like you… you like me.” Both people have to be grounded in each other where the connection between you two doesn’t compare with anyone else.
It’s an exclusive type of feeling that is special and unique to the other person. For example, I’ve had a relationship with a woman where we weren’t physical at all, but I still found myself looking for her and wanting to talk to her and be around her.
When we got into fights, she made me the most angry I’d ever been. I never knew I could ever be the person who shouted, yelled, and threw things. But in that relationship, I became the kind of man who did.
The relationships that have had the most impact on me have been with two types of people: significant others and family. But one experience with an ex-girlfriend in my early twenties played an important role in teaching me a lot about myself, and the man I did and didn’t want to become.
We first started dating when I was 20 years old. She had a kid that was about three at the time. It was perfect for a while. But then I started to see a lot of things, and the more we spent time together, the more I began to pick up on the emotional baggage she had to deal with. For example, she had a baby daddy who treated his kid like crap and always disappeared.
So, I became an unofficial father for a while, which I didn’t expect to happen, but it did. I went with it. The more time I spent with her son, the more I felt more comfortable being the male figure in his life. There were times where he would start to act like me. It was kind of scary, but not in a bad way. I’d just never seen or experienced that before.
In that relationship, we were both young, and our emotions were going crazy. We would get into fights, and she made me the most angry I’ve ever been. Eventually, it turned me into someone I didn’t want to be. I never knew I could ever be the person who shouted, yelled, and threw things. But in that relationship, I became the kind of man who did that. I felt that if I continued down that path that I could have turned into the guys you see on Court TV. Things didn’t really change until finally saw what kind of example I was being to her son.
Over the three years we’d been together, her son had grown to adore and look up to me. But one day, I got so mad that I punched a hole into something, and the kid’s face looked as if he’d seen the devil himself. That’s when I knew things had to change. When I saw that, I knew that not only did I have to change my behavior, I had to also make sure she got some help as well.
Later, I learned she had an abusive, alcoholic father, which was the reason she had such a hard time trusting guys. We were both able to get some counseling, and I’m happy that she and her son are doing great now, even though the relationship didn’t work out between us.
Now that I think about it, every time I think I’m in love, I get disappointed. Girls never really disappoint me. I do believe they love me. But the problem is that I don’t think I’ve ever really loved a person. I can’t go back and say, I really loved that girl.
Maybe that could have been the case for the first girl I was ever with–I still check up on her to this day. But it is also because I have different types of love that I show. I can definitely say I loved her, but I’m not sure I can say I was in love with her. I don’t know what it feels like to have the overwhelming love that some people talk about, and that sometimes makes me disappointed in myself.
At the end of the day, I feel like women and men want the same thing. We just don’t know how to communicate it effectively to the person we care about. I’m hoping one day that will change.
I would have thought that I could settle down by now or at least get the butterflies. But I don’t get those anymore. I used to, but now it’s like, “Meh, she’s alright.” I find myself waiting to see what she’s going to do wrong. I’ll be thinking, “Okay, she’s beautiful. Okay, she makes me laugh. What’s the catch?”
I’m not as naive as I used to be, and maybe that’s the problem. I realize that is exactly the same thing that women sometimes do to me. I always expect something to go wrong, so I don’t allow myself to get attached too quickly.
Sex has also played a role in how I view intimacy and relationships. For example, when I first lost my virginity, I was 17. I had no idea what I was doing or what anything was going to look like. I pretty much learned everything for the first time.
I don’t even know where I found the condom. Maybe someone handed it to me, I don’t know. It barely even got on in the first place–I needed a tutorial or something because health class was not enough.
I believe sex turned me into a maniac. So, whenever I run into someone who is a virgin, I say, “Good for you.” Once you no longer have that, you become one of the folks constantly looking for how they can get it.
Before then, I was kind of the same way on the surface. I liked to joke, hang out, and have fun. But once I experienced sex, everything came with another agenda.
I would have thought that I could settle down by now or at least get the butterflies. But I don’t get those anymore. [Since] I always expect something to go wrong, I don’t allow myself to get attached too quickly.
Everything we do is influenced by sex in some way. Sometimes I think about what would have happened if I didn’t lose my virginity that night. If I hadn’t, I don’t think I would have been as curious with alcohol. It’s almost like sex was a gateway to everything else…alcohol, weed, etc. Experiencing that pleasure made me always want to see what would happen next.
When it comes to relationships, I feel I’ve had everything I wanted just not in the same woman. I’ve experienced one woman who was great and understanding. She gave me all the space I wanted, but she wasn’t good in bed. Then, I’ve had the woman who’s amazing in bed, but is crazy and won’t allow me to be by myself for more than five minutes before getting upset or thinking the worst.
Overall, I don’t really ask for that much when it comes to dating. I just want someone I can talk to for more than five minutes who has a sense of humor, and doesn’t mind being silly. A woman who isn’t a prude, but is comfortable and free with who she is sexually.
I don’t think that’s too far from what most people are looking for. At the end of the day, I feel like women and men want the same thing. We just don’t know how to communicate it effectively to the person we care about. I’m hoping one day that will change.
When it comes to relationships, I feel I’ve had everything I wanted just not in the same woman.