Can An Intimate Relationship Be Casual?

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In the last year I have been exploring the world of dating again as a newly single 40-something woman. It’s been a whirlwind of men from different backgrounds, ethnicities, nationalities and ages and one big, super-fun adventure. It’s been completely freeing to not have any desire to get married or be in any kind of extended or complicated relationship. It’s been completely freeing to no longer have a checklist of qualities I am seeking in just one person and instead be able to enjoy whatever the man in front of me has to offer. It’s been completely freeing to seriously not care if he doesn’t text or call or if I never see him again. I have simply been enjoying reconnecting with humanity and my sexuality and enjoying freedom.

Then a few months ago, I met a man who changed my paradigm. He was young and kind of goofy but incredibly attractive to me at the same time. Any time we would agree on something, he would say “high five” and we would high five. It was silly but endearing. And he insisted on telling me over and over that I was super hot and he would just stare at me as if I were some sort of idol that he was here on earth to worship. He would just stare into my eyes for some time, then a huge blink with both eyes as if he couldn’t believe he was with me. It was awesome.

The first few weeks with him were like a dream. We lost hours, like half-days and half-nights, staring into each other’s eyes, kissing for hours. Getting lost in each other’s arms. We slept together completely tangled up. Sometimes our lips would find each other’s in the middle of the night and the whole thing would start again. There were several times, when our lips were locked, that I would feel like my heart was going to leap out of my chest.  Many times we would just have our lips touching, connected, for long periods of time. Just lips. Together. Touching. Nerve endings. It felt so good.

And I am not talking about sex, because it wasn’t about that. I am talking about what I choose to describe as intimacy. I didn’t want to stop kissing him. I didn’t want to leave his embrace. I wanted to lock him in my bedroom. It was seriously the craziest feeling. I have never, ever, experienced anything like this before. With anyone.

During this time, I never considered seeing anyone else. This man had somehow turned me back into a monogamous creature who wanted just to be hugged and kissed and adored. The confusing part (and ultimately the end) for me was that this was just a casual relationship. How could something so yummy and seemingly loving and so, so intimate be casual? To be honest, I am still a little confused. Confusion about how it is possible to have this kind of intimacy in a casual relationship and confusion about what I wanted and what I want.

What I do know is that I am evolving. Evolving in what I want and need from men. Realizing that something more loving and intimate is the next level. Knowing I liked connecting with one person every day. Knowing it felt good for someone to check in on me. Knowing I do want some of that in my life. But for now, it’s back to connecting to whatever man happens to be in front of me and enjoying him for what he has to offer. That’s awesome too.

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