What does all our love amount to? We can’t make love when you fly around me, baby. – “This Must Be My Dream,” The 1975
My relationship with Marie Harrison began slowly. SO. SLOWLY. I’m not one who enjoys “the process,” so moving that slow was INCREDIBLY painful… it made me second guess myself, doubt her, overthink, get annoyed, and a host of other feelings and emotions that I doubt most people feel at the beginning of what is supposed to be a good thing. I just can’t relax and enjoy it, like so many have told me to. “Just take it for what it is!” “You gotta love the process!” “Relax and just have fun!” None of those things apply to me when first trying to date someone. Especially if I like them. And I found myself liking her very much.
This woman is a year older than me, has a great job, very well educated, doesn’t have or want kids, likes to travel, and, on paper at least, seems to have her shit together. Spoiler Alert: she absolutely DOES NOT. But I respected her wishes when she told me she wanted to take things slow, get to know each other, and really see if this could work. In fact, it took two dates, a weekend away with my friends to play board games and swim, a third date, and then finally a fourth date before we even held hands and kissed for the first time. Nearly a month. It was KILLING ME. I thought for sure she didn’t like me, or just wanted to be friends, or just wasn’t attracted to me but liked hanging out. We texted every day, and there were jokes made involving sexual innuendos, but nothing was happening. She kept assuring me that she wanted to go slow, and I continued to respect that and let her lead. Then, finally, we kissed.
It wasn’t mind blowing. The sky didn’t open up. I didn’t hear singing. But it was perfect. I walked her to her car to say goodnight, gave her a hug, which she held for an extra-long time, and when we let go of each other she didn’t step back. She stayed nearly pressed up against me, and I thought to myself “Oh wow, this is finally going to happen.” I told her to have a safe drive home as she lived an hour and a half away, and she immediately looked down and nodded. I paused for a brief second and said “I’m going to kiss you now, if that’s okay.” She looked up at me and smiled, nodded, and we kissed. She lightly touched my face and I put my hand on her hip and pulled her in more. Like I said… it was perfect.
Some people parked behind her walked up, so she started to pull away, and I helped her get in her SUV to leave. She then stepped back out, kissed me one more time, got in the vehicle and drove away. I stood there and watched her go, smiling. And I realized that as slow as everything had gone, it was exactly what I needed. It took her so long to get to a point of trust or belief or whatever it was that finally allowed her to take the next step, but then once she was in, she was in. And I realized that going slow like that actually made me trust her and the relationship more. I believed her intentions. I trusted that this could be the real deal because it wasn’t all about the physical. I let myself buy into it; buy into her.
And boy, did that end up being a huge mistake.