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Love and Caution

Some folks say that they fall in love too easily.
I’ve never had that problem.
In fact, I’m usually not the first to say I love you.
I warn anyone in danger of loving me not to be offended if I don’t say it first, but know when I do say it, I mean it.
There was only one time, I was fighting myself not to let it slip from my lips, and that was in my last relationship. I waited to let him say it first, so I can say it back.
Anyone who falls in love with me too quickly, I look at them with a side-eye. I just have to. I have difficulty believing them. I also feel like folks who are quick to fall, are just as quick to hate you. I’ve seen that happen too. A recent guy went from wanting to tell his mother about me, future children and thanking God for me on Facebook, to being hurtful and saying he had to take me in small doses, or calling me indignant because I dared to speak my mind. So there’s another side.
I don’t have self-esteem nor do I think not I’m lovable, however, if you’re too quick to pull the love trigger, you worry me as a potential love. It makes me think you don’t put a lot of thought into things and are too emotionally driven and that scares me.
So I think I’ve decided that I need to be with a person who is cool with the pace in which I fall in love and won’t see my need for caution and time as an insult.
Because once I’m there, there’s no turning back. I’ve made the conscious decision to be all in. Hurrah. You’ve got me.
I have difficulty with people who want me to speed up that process, or believe that the pace in which I fall for someone is in direct correlation with how I feel about them.
Should it take me years to fall in love? No, I don’t think so.
Is it measured in hours or months or a specific number of dates? No. It isn’t.
What makes me fall in love with a person is a series of moments in which both people are vulnerable, honest and where I’ve felt completely safe and like myself.
Moments of truth, moments of unbridled silliness, confiding in each other, that means something to me. Those moments help my feelings grow. In my opinion, cultivating intimacy does take time. And when those moments start adding up, then that’s when I feel like I could be falling and I allow myself to.
The quickest way to scare me off is to go into instant couple mode. This means introducing me to family and friends or any people you consider important without telling me or giving me a warning.
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than people gushing about what a great couple you are, before you’ve even declared yourself a couple. It’s also very uncomfortable when people really start asking about your future together when you don’t know. Sir, ma’am, I don’t know if I’m going to be talking to this person next week… and my date has only himself to blame.
So I don’t like folks jumping the gun and ambushing me like that.
Those are just more disappointed people if it doesn’t work out. I’m clearly the bad guy. Because here was this guy so proud of me and saying how great I am, and here I am like, he’s cool. It’s still early. I’ve found friends and family don’t want to hear that.
I’m also very private. I want us to enjoy our bubble for as long as we can before we let outsiders remotely close. We’re getting us together, our message, our pace and stride together as a couple. Once again everyone understanding pacing helps the message you convey to the public and all those people you want me to meet. You pull the trigger too soon and someone asks me the wrong question, everyone will feel awkward.
Don’t make too many plans including me too far in advance. Take things one at a time. Besides, I may have already made my own plans that I could have prepaid for, now you’re looking crazy. Or we could have some epic fight in which I ether you and we never speak again.
I’m methodical about entering relationships. I will weigh the pros and cons and read all kinds of articles and take quizzes and look at astrological signs and listening to my inner voice.
So should we go aimlessly into the dark for an infinite amount of time? No. I don’t want anyone to feel like they are wasting time, yet, I can’t operate so quickly, that I’m not considering my doubts or instincts about a person.

One friend thinks I truly haven’t let go of the past.

I’m not worried about the past. Am I affected by it? Yes, certainly. The future, however, has me in knots. Making decisions that involve other people and their feelings if I’m not all in? That concerns me. I feel responsible for that.

I’ve also found out a few other things about myself. I’m uncomfortable if a man spends a lot of money on me. And I value my freedom and independence over everything, way more than I ever realized.

I’ve spent the last four years fighting with myself, fighting for myself, loving myself out of darkness making life changes for myself. It’s been about me. Giving myself over to a man or a family freaks me out. It makes me question everything about the natural next step of partnering up. The pressure to choose the right man who understands that… and coming to the realization that there might not be a man who does, that’s when the claustrophobia sets in.

I’ve been asked over and over what I want. By so many people. It’s been easy to say I don’t know. And it’s lazy.

What I ultimately want is a great, healthy, relationship where I know it feels right in my spirit and where I don’t feel trapped, or that I lost myself or I settled out of some awful fear. I want a love that feels like freedom, that embraces my independent spirit and somehow it works.

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