Eyes Open Kissing

So I have a confession to make. Well, perhaps not a confession. It’s not something I had or disguise – it just doesn’t come up in conversation with someone unless they are involved with what I’m talking about. Which is that I tend to kiss with my eyes open. In fact, aside from sleeping and cringing from cringe-worthy events in the Office or any other comedic sitcom, I pretty much do everything with my eyes open. Rollercoasters, skydiving, driving (ok, I suppose that one’s a given). I suppose I more or less close my eyes when praying – but that is something I’ve been socialized to do, and not really what would occur on my own volition.

Now, this is not to say that my eyes stay open the entire time. But they are open more than they are not. And this is bothersome to people. All of my exes have remarked on this at some point. One felt that my eyes being open meant that I wasn’t enjoying things as much as she. That I was either bored or distracted. Another felt it was weird, but she’s very sensitive to ocular attention. One, while she remarked that it was unusual, did not really have any issues with it at all. But for all of them, the open eyed kissing issue went away pretty quickly, with the exception of one where it comes up in a related scenario.

But as it turns out, I have not really experienced the full diversity of responses to my “unusual” kissing m.o. I’ve recently learned that kissing can be a vulnerable moment for some and with eyes open, I’m not sharing in that vulnerability. I think the implication is that at that moment, there is an imbalance of power or something between us. And while I may not ever fully understand the reasons why others may feel it is strange, academically yes, but emphatically, no, I certainly understand the effects of power imbalance in a relationship. Though in this case, I think there is more at stake. And combined with this, I think may be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

As a guy in the dating world, you find yourself having to push through or cope with what may appear to be negative responses. For example, the woman I’m currently dating, though perhaps no longer, told me that were it not for her friend, she wouldn’t have given me the time of day (well, not exactly that, but we certainly would not have gotten past meeting that night). So, if I’d happened to meet her one night when she was out alone, our interaction would have had a different outcome. Anyway, my point is that even with her friend there, things were not so simple and straightforward. There were concerns and things I needed to address and even then, her sharing her number was not guaranteed.

Wow, I’m seriously in rambling mode today. The point is that you get used to having to be persistent at times. The problem comes with evaluating when to be persistent and when to not. In my last relationship, there was a situation early on that I decided to let play out and see whether there was an actual misunderstanding or whether I was just overthinking a conversation. And the relationship almost ended right then. But it eventually did and so the key question now is that if events like this occur, for whatever reason where one bumps against someone’s dealbreakers early in getting to know each other, should you attempt to fix it or let things play out.

I’m all for people accepting you for exactly who you are, but realistically, that will never 100% happen. So how far should you go? What is the threshold – how much you like them? How long you’ve been going out? Until you turn 30 or 40 and decide that you’d rather settle down than continue dating until you find someone who is 99% fine with all your quirks?




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