If there is one thing that I have learnt from my turbulent dating life, it’s that as one romantic door gets slammed in your face by the person you love, someone you could love will open a window for you.
A couple of months ago my Big Love not only slammed the door in my face, but they pulled a deadbolt across afterwards. Now, to my delight and surprise, someone new has opened a window, and he is indeed a breath of fresh air!
We’re a few dates into the ‘seeing each other’ stage of our relationship (I’ll address the ambiguity of this period in another article) and I’m already a little smitten with him – to my relief, he seems to feel the same. We’re both grown up enough to admit that we like each other; we’re also grown up enough to admit certain things to each other with the risk that the other person won’t like to hear it. Honesty is our policy and during this infant stage of our relationship, it seems to be working.
Now, this well-built, nearly 6ft tall gentleman admitted to me within an hour of our first date that he didn’t like horror films, I admitted that they’re my second favourite pass-time. For our second date, the man who hates horror films and anything that has the potential to make him jump, took me to see a horror film that I was desperate to watch. During the two hours we were in the cinema, and the ten jumps and gasps that he tried to hide as various grim things flitted across the cinema screen, something clicked in me. I’m not sure whether it was the endearing squeals he was trying to stifle, or whether it was a natural progression of feelings for someone; either way, he’s quickly shifted from someone that I like, to someone that I really like.
This poor man, after the fright of the horror film, became riddled with new fear that I wouldn’t want to date him anymore because he wasn’t ‘macho’ enough for me during the film. It seemed an interesting and typically male perspective to take; it was also perhaps a little ironic considering that his display during the film is, I think, what made me like him more. He openly admitted that he didn’t like something, but agreed to do it anyway knowing that it was something I would like… how many of you have men like that at home? Because I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and admit that it’s been a long time since a man did something like that for me!
It fascinated me how two people could see one situation so differently: something that he thought would turn me off him actually made me like him even more. Something else that fascinated me: the speed at which your emotions can move when you’re dating someone that you not only like, but that you think you could have a real relationship with (given the early days of our relationship, I’m still optimistic enough to make these bold and hopeful statements riddled with the belief that they’ll come true – don’t ruin my naivety!).
After some harsh words and a messy break-up, I’ll admit that the prospect of liking someone this much at such an early stage is it a bit of daunting and scary one. My first instinct was to pull away from the situation, maybe even date some other guys to take the pressure off this one. Then, when I calmed down and had a word with myself, I started to realise that there is no prescribed rate at which you should like someone. There isn’t a time limit on how quickly, or even how slowly, you should fall for someone. I think it’s a natural thing that’s relationship-specific rather than something that can be determined by looking at your past relationship data (not that mine would offer anything of much use!). The more I see him the more I like him; the more he sees me the more he likes me; while we have that balance, it doesn’t seem like we really have much that we need to worry about.
It might work out, or it might go belly up. Either way, you need to let yourself like someone because if you don’t, then you never stand a chance of working out whether you could love them (or, in some cases, completely loathe them…).