There’s nothing more beautiful than a budding romance. It is fresh, exciting and usually filled with raw, heightened passion. Every second spent with one another is a moment of learning and growing.
These initial moments are carefree and magical, especially if it is a summer romance. Days spent toasting under the sun and nights filled with hazy memories and sweet kisses. Emotions are strong and the drinks are often stronger. Nevertheless, with all the highs that come with a new relationship, anxieties and fears often travel alongside.
Personally, I know I have a time limit to this free and easy living that comes with any new love interest. There eventually will come a time where I cannot hide my restlessness. A confrontation must occur or I will legitimately combust. I have many unanswered questions that need to be addressed.
Old Dominion reads our troubled minds with their song “Written in the Sand”:
Are we just a backseat, tryna get it while we can?
Are we names in a tattoo, or just a number on a hand?
Are we last-call kissing or will we be reminiscing with each other for the next 40 years?
Are we written in the stars, baby, or are we written in the sand?
It is incredibly common to ask yourself such questions during the early stages of a romance, especially if it has been so overwhelmingly lighthearted—but there is rarely a time that seems appropriate to have “the talk.” The “where is this going?” talk. From my experiences, most people are never apt to initiate such a conversation and seldom respond well to it. They like to live in this fairy tale world as long as possible; meanwhile, our anxiety spikes with every passing minute.
It is important, for the sake of our sanity, to force the conversation. To ask the awkward questions. To lay everything on the table. Trust me, I know it’s difficult. I know it takes a certain level of vulnerability that many people just are not open to. But it is better to nip this in the bud sooner than later. You can make it brief, but make sure all expectations and intentions are put out on the table.
I’ve had this discourse end beautifully, in which we are both on the same page and a loose framework is laid for our future. Unfortunately, sometimes this exchange unsettles the dust and causes conflict. Acknowledging any strong emotions or the need for a tactical plan of the heart is unnerving for a lot of people. Many people will become defensive or avoid it all together. However, every now and then you’ll get a beautiful soul that listens, responds, and works with you, not against you.
At the end of the day, we need to initiate these conversations, even if they’re hard. Ask the questions your heart needs answers to.
The future can be scary. Edit: The future is scary.
But it doesn’t always have to be. Allow yourself to gently and openly fall in love every single day. Wake up in the morning and make it your mantra to fall in love. With a man, a woman, yourself, a puppy. Doesn’t matter. But don’t let fear or anxiety stop you from loving. Trust your instincts and talk through your anxiety. If the puppy doesn’t listen, then okay, it’s a puppy. But if the man doesn’t listen, move on. Fall in love again the next day with an iced coffee or another boy. But always communicate and never be afraid of that conversation or to fall in love.