Is your heart open? Do you know I’m a new person, you’re a new person and there’s no point of comparison between who we are and who you were? Does knowing that make you feel better or worse? Do you feel stable or unsteady? You’ve never done this before. We’ve never done this before. Are you ready?
Are you going to support me when sh-t gets crazy? Are you going to be there for my rejections, my existential freakouts, my moments of self-doubt that rise and fall with every ignored manuscript and unanswered email? Do you know when to give advice and when to shut up? Do you have a good grasp on the proper way to do both? Do you know I exaggerate, get tunnel vision, self-medicate when things aren’t going well? Do you know what not to take personally? Do you know when to call me out on my bullsh-t?
Do you think you can handle my family? It’s not easy, but they’re not going anywhere so are you willing to learn? Can you handle uncomfortable questions and disapproving looks from time to time? Can you deal with the occasional backhanded compliment? Are you able to smile and nod while my mother shows you the proper way to weed a garden, even if you have an apartment? Do you know how to be respectful even when you don’t agree? Do you know my family is important to me? Are you going to make me choose?
Do you know what you’re doing, like what you’re actually doing? Are you independent, or are you going to make me mother you, carry you, because it’s more comfortable that way? Do you expect us to just “work out” in some magical way without thinking it through? Do you think all our latent problems will be solved by you getting down on one knee? Do you know the idea of marriage makes me feel claustrophobic? Do you know that when I say “yes,” I want to be absolutely sure? Do you realize there’s no guarantee that will happen?
Do you have a job? A life? Do you have something you’re passionate about, something that keeps you up at night, something that isn’t me? Or do you just want me — want us and nothing else? Do you expect me to be the center of your universe or do you know the balance? I can’t be the center of your universe, that’s way too much pressure and I will disappoint you. Do you understand that there will be times I will disappoint you?
You need alone time too, right? Are you going to let me have my alone time without getting weird? Do you have any friends actually? Are there people you genuinely enjoy spending time with, people who make you see the world a little differently? Do you have a working sense of humor? Do you know that sometimes things don’t make any sense at all? Is that okay?
Do you have a philosophy? Do you believe in things? Do you understand believing isn’t knowing? Do you define yourself by what you embrace or by what you reject? Do you take the time to learn before passing judgment? Do you realize how completely absurd everything is? Does that upset you? Do you care?
Are you willing to try with me? Are you willing to throw your heart in full speed? Are you willing to cut the cord when you know it’s not working, or are you going to push to the very end and make me be the one to say what’s on both our minds? Are you going to be honest with yourself about what you want? Are you going to be honest with me about what you need and when you’re not getting it? Are you willing to be honest?