I am dating … someone.
It’s new, very new. Like a handful of great dates new. And I almost don’t want to write about it for fear that mentioning it might cause it to spontaneously dissolve into mist and what if’s. These things are so damn fragile in the beginning.
Side note: I kinda feel like writing this is setting me up to be that meme where the girl announces she’s met someone and so excited … only to announce 6 hours later that never mind, disregard, he’s been cancelled.
So I am dating and it’s new and there is no telling where it could lead. And this not knowing is exactly what I wanted to write about.
When you’re at the beginning of a potential relationship, everything is so exciting … and also, everyone is on guard. Usually there is at least a mutual attraction at first … and that part is so thrilling. Kissing, holding hands, staring into each others eyes with longing. Especially if you and your partner have good physical chemistry (and me and the gentleman I’m into certainly do). But let’s be honest, that can absolutely cloud your judgement about whether or not you’re really compatible with another individual.
Each time you hang out in the beginning, it’s like a romantic reconnaissance mission. Yes you’re there to kiss face and feel the good things, but you’re also seeking information about what they’re like, what their values are, what they want in life. And hopefully these things start to make you feel slightly more solid in that person.
However a second integral part of the mission is to be on the lookout for anything that could halt all the joy and giddiness you’re feeling. You’re looking for the deal breakers. The red flags. The giant neon flashing ‘do not pursue further’ sign.
I’m a big believer in signs. Not in a oh-I-can’t-do-this-unless-god-tells-me-with-a-burning-bush-on-a-mountain kind of way … but honestly, I DO kind of wish God would send me a GD burning bush. Sigh. But that’s another post for another day.
I follow my gut a lot and I pray often for guidance from the universe and God. Signs have led me to some of my most important relationship and career choices. And ignoring signs have also lead to some of my greatest heartaches and disappointments in life.
So what are the signs telling me right now?
Well, so far I know that I think he’s really cute. That’s a good sign.
We both like to drink (could be a bad sign) and we’re both relationship oriented people (probably a good sign).
We’ve both been married and divorced (sort of a neutral sign … who isn’t divorced?).
He has a very different texting style than I do. He has completely different taste in music. He lives in PLANO. Deal breakers? No. Well, except for maybe Plano.
Kidding … sort of.
He’s also a little older and has a teenager from a previous marriage. Neither of those are deal breakers or bad signs, but they point to something that needs more research and reconnaissance. The past.
And now this is the delicate dance we must dance. Navigating our pasts with honesty and kindness.
Intimacy is such a scary thing, especially if you’ve been hurt. Real honesty is the only way to reach intimacy, but most people carry wounds from the past and are a little hesitant to share the dirty, nitty gritty details of what happened. I don’t know him, he doesn’t know me, we don’t know if this is safe yet. This will be tricky work.
I have dated a few that prescribed to the notion the past is the past, therefore let’s not discuss it. As if when a previous relationship ends their exes just become the ghosts who shall not be named. But I believe the past has shaped us and is so integral into understanding what we can do better for the future. I don’t think we’re defined by our pasts. I don’t believe if you’ve made a mistake previously, then you are doomed to keep repeating that mistake over and over, in some hell-on-earth cycle. But I believe in order to really break that cycle, it does take sharing it. Reflecting upon it. Trying to learn from it. And in the context of a new relationship, I think sharing about your pasts can help you understand what pitfalls to avoid for the future.
But like I said, this is new. Really new. And these things are so fragile.
So for now there is this balance of finding out his character and history and sharing my own, without pushing too hard, too quickly and losing this thing altogether. The things we need to know will come out in time. I know this. It will take a while to learn each others histories.
If we even make it that far.
Who knows? It might be cancelled tomorrow. But as of this moment … today … I am dating someone. There’s been no burning-bush-on-a-mountain revelation, but perhaps that too will come with time.
For now, all signs point to just giving this a try.