I wasn’t expecting to like him this much. I’m single for the first time in forever, and then here he comes with his huge heart, sweet brown eyes and super-sexy Spanish. All of a sudden I’m thinking about how awesome it would be to wake up next to him in the morning, and that scares me half to death. It was just supposed to be a casual thing. Fleeting. A nice story to write about when it all ends in the way that summer romances often do.
But halfway through our first date, I instinctively knew it wasn’t any of those things at all.
Being vulnerable about my feelings freaks me out, and it’s hard for me to write about this (when it’s so easy for me to write about everything else apparently). When I am honest with myself, I realize it’s because I’m so nervous about what everyone else will say about my feelings for him. “That was fast,” they might say. “You should really be enjoy this time in your twenties, alone.”
The thing is, it’s not exactly an easy fairy tale ending we’re looking at here – we’re not just suddenly “together”. I’m scheduled to leave for Denver in a few weeks and I’m happy about it. There isn’t any illusions that I’m suddenly in love, and that I’m gonna suddenly drop anything to stay here (this isn’t a Disney movie). And I am excited about being single, while he isn’t exactly ready to roll out the red carpet for me in his life right now either. Our feelings for one another don’t change the fact that our lives our independent, complicated, and layered. We get that right now he’s doing his thing (and I’m doing mine) but it doesn’t bother us. We don’t need to have a tight hold on each other to be okay, because we know that when something just feels right you’re not worried so much by the labels or the “how do we make this work” questions. It works because it does. We don’t need a label. It’s simple.
Maybe that’s why I like him so much. Everything with him is easy. Even in the moments where we inevitably have miscommunications, he calms me down just by saying my name in this half teasing, half whisper way that makes my heart melt. He inspires me and challenges me, and calls me out on my shit without being hurtful or condescending. He reads almost everything I write, and encouraged me to write this piece – because he understands how important it is for me to turn my emotion into creativity.
Because of this, I fell a little harder.
Right now I’m enjoying everything about him — here in the present — and my goal is to create a balance that allows him access to my life without the ability to become my life. Should I feel sorry about that? I’m open to all the possibilities that this might lead to, and am fully aware of the fact that maybe it won’t lead to anything. But in a time when our generation is all hook-up’s and selfish me, me, me attitudes, I think I’ve found a genuine connection with someone that’s worth building on. (That’s rare!) I don’t want to be sorry about that before anything even begins – not out of fear of failure, or worse, out of fear of judgement.
So, no, I’m not sorry about this one. I’m cautiously optimistic because he makes me really, really happy…and aren’t we all waiting for that one person who makes all the dating rules we read about seem obsolete? Isn’t the most selfish thing I could do right now is blindly follow where my heart leads? We’re building a friendship – a foundation that feels right, that feels good – I don’t owe anyone an explanation or an apology for that. The only people who need to know what happens next and how I feel about it are him and I – and I have a feeling he knows exactly where I stand.