One of the best and worst parts of being single is the possibility of finding your true love around any corner. It drives you to put on make up, even if you are just going to the grocery store – and especially if you are going to get your oil changed. I appreciate a man that can fix shit on my car.
You never know when or where it’s going to happen: the produce section of Big Y, the gym, hiking on some trails, ordering a triple-shot Americano laced with chocolate – Mr. Right could be anywhere! You gotta be ready for it. You gotta carry breath mints in your purse.
Because, you know, when things happen nowadays, they happen FAST! Intimacy no longer waits the standard 3 dates (or, ahem, 11 months for some of us) unless you are a total prude. If you don’t start hooking up by the end of your first date, you may not be on track to move in together by week 3 and then date for 7 years before you decide to either get married or that you “just aren’t going anywhere.”
I recently had an awesome e-mail conversation with Lindsay in which we dissected relationships down to the molecular level of “boy-meets-crazy-psycho-girl-and-falls-in-love” and solved for “happily-ever-after.” It was one of those theoretical discussions that brought me full circle and helped me figure out a part of my inner crazy I’ve always known, but never actually defined.
Relationships move too fast for me. And it’s freaking scary.
Between the internet’s “Insta-Relationship”: Here’s everything you need to know about me to determine if we’re able to spend the rest of our lives together and the fast-forward pace of moving in together immediately, I have a hard time finding my place.
I’m loving. I’m trusting. I’m generous with my time, gifts, and affection. I’m loyal. I’m an awesome partner in crime and someone you want in your corner. If you give me time. I truly believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt, but don’t necessarily believe in blindly trusting that someone will be honest or gentle with me. I believe in being honest and upfront, but I don’t believe in dumping my whole bag of crazy out on the first date – or before the first date! In my experience, when people are allowed to form preconceived notions of one another, they tend to create this idealistic fantasy and miss out on getting to know the reality of the human being sitting across the table from them. We start to label each other and can cover one another with so many labels that we forget there is an individual under all of them.
Love is a drug – and it’s not like pot, it’s the hard stuff. It is so easy to get sucked into it – your body cries for more, your mind, your soul – every fiber of your being screams for love. And you don’t want to wait. L.O.V.E.N.O.W. It’s no surprise that if we can make love the same way we make instant pudding, we will! Have you ever eaten instant pudding before you let it settle and thicken all the way? I have. Trust me, it’s still JELL-O delicious, but it’s not as satisfying without those three critical minutes of “set” time.
But, even my fellow lovers of love would agree it is foolish to plunge head first into a new love affair without giving it some time. You want to guard your heart. You get burned bad enough, and you’re going to start playing it a little safer. You’re going to want to put up some walls. It is foolish to think that someone is ready to love, honor and respect you till death do you part before they even know your favorite color.
Getting to know each other is a process. Each day you learn something new – and that’s exciting! It’s supposed to be slow going. That’s how you build a solid foundation of trust. You reveal little pieces of yourself to one another and you pass the test of time – you show that you will be there by being there….every day.
Jane Austen was right on when she said, “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” Ladies – reign it in!
Obviously, falling in love has always happened at warp speed (that’s why it’s falling – you accelerate until you hit a terminal velocity….and sometimes you get your heart smashed out and smeared across the pavement). Still, you have to jump off the proverbial cliff into whatever mess love has waiting below.
I try to find a balance between guarding my heart and keeping myself open to love. It’s a tough line to walk – and it’s usually strung pretty high up. You fall-you break – you cry. But, what makes it a little easier is the big safety net. I designed the safety net idea when I was over-analyzing what I do right and wrong when I’m on a date and how I can be open and honest and still play it smart. Girlfriends are the best for these conversations.
The safety net is the equation for love. Yeah, I figured it out. I can’t believe I’m about to tell you this, but I have this love thing figured out! And it has nothing to do with the timeline on fast-forward or pressures to start playing house together on the first date. Love isn’t about modern or past relationship trends.
Love = (Right Time + Right Person) x Dumb Luck
That’s it. It has to be the right time in your life, you have to stumble across the right person and you two have to be lucky enough to figure it out. That’s it.
I figure even someone like me can get it to work out with the time, person, luck elements all falling into place. Thank God it’s not rocket science!