Riya is a 26-year old Marketing professional residing in Mumbai. She narrated her story to our LM writer Harish P.
All good things come to an end
My first and only serious relationship in life ended two years ago. Back in my college days, when I met Amit as an 18-year old, I felt that I had found a partner for life. And the feeling was always mutual. He confessed his love just three months after we met, and I was quick to tell him I felt the same way.
All was well and then our college ended. Post that our work schedules and commitments began affecting our relationship. Despite living in the same city, we could not find time to meet each other often. Yet we kept trying our best to make it work. What made us tick were our common interests in music, photography and the fact that we shared the same core values - we were both essentially happy people who believed in love and serendipity. But soon the fights began and we reached a point where we both decided that it’s best we stopped occupying a special spot in each other’s daily lives. And that’s how, on a very amicable and practical note, we called off our relationship of six years.
Life after love
Even though we had worked out the breakup and thought it was for the best, I could never have imagined how shattered I would end up being after that. For four months I would just go to work, come back home, eat, sleep, get up, eat, go to work, repeat! On weekends, I wouldn’t step out of the house. At work too I was listless, messy and troublesome for my colleagues most of the time. I am still grateful to my lovely colleagues for putting up with me during my worst.
My best friend suggested I see a counsellor. I did. While it didn’t work wonders, I did manage to perk up a bit. My friends began setting me up on dates and I would at least turn up. This was a clear improvement! Yet I could not find anyone interesting or worthwhile through all this. I was being over cautious about every new person I met and 100 percent non-committal towards moving to the next stage with anyone.
Singlehood and soul-searching
It took me a lot of time and conversations to realize that in fact a relationship was not what I was looking for. I was coming off one that had lasted for six years and I didn’t have the stamina to nosedive into another just six months after my breakup! I wanted to chill for a while. Re-experience what it is like to be single. After all, Amit was the first relationship I had and before he happened I would always think that I am the kind of girl who was born to stay single. Having said that, I was not aall happy with staying totally alone either. Something was bothering me!
My moment of realization came when at work I had to read up on a sex education portal. Browsing through the several papers and articles cited in its references, I found the core of my problem - it was my conservative attitude to NSA (no-strings-attached) and short-term relationships!
I had always felt that such relationships are unhealthy, risky on a physical level and most importantly, unethical too. You treat the other person as an object and vice versa. You meet someone you barely know, fake loving a person for a short amount of time and then never see them again! And then you begin replicating this attitude towards everyone in other non-sexual scenarios. Also, you become instinctive and impulsive all the time.
And then, light at the end of the tunnel
But my attitude towards casual sex changed after I began reading about the science and psychology of sex. I began realizing that although psychologically I was not ready for a serious commitment, my body had emotions of its own. And it needed a channel to satisfy these urges! Intimacy need not always be psychological. Psychological intimacy demands long-term commitment. But physical intimacy has its own nature and it needn’t always be long-term. A warm snuggle on a cold night, a shoulder to rest your head on when you’re low – we’ve all wanted someone to be there for us in these ways at some point!
So, I went back on Tinder and started meeting a few people. It was never quick, desperate, cheap or horny sex. We would take our own time and always drew the line in terms of any relationship business. And it was unbelievably smooth. It’s been two years since my breakup now and I am much healthier in terms of my moods and attitude. I sleep better, have a better appetite and am more attentive and easy at work too!
Casual sex has worked great for me. I am glad I opened up to the idea especially as I don’t think I am still ready for another relationship.
To protect the privacy of the author, the person in the picture is a model.