The speed at which a person wants to take a relationship depends on so many factors. Age, relationship history, lifestyle, and many more. The success of a relationship will depend a great deal on both parties being ready to move at the same pace, with the same end goals.
I have no end goals. I barely have any current goals. At least not for my love life.
For some people that is just too hard to deal with.
Today is my three year wedding anniversary. Before our wedding we were together for two and a half years. I have spent all that time worrying about him, what he wants, what he needs, whether he’s happy. Now? Now I need to worry about me and Rose, what we want, what we need, and making sure we are happy. That’s it. My long term goals are my daughter and my career. Anything else has to take a backseat, and that includes relationships.
I so often feel stifled. Oppressed.
For me, dating means going out, meeting someone for drinks or dinner, conversation and laughter. If that goes well having a second date, if several dates in you both feel at the right time becoming something exclusive. This process should take weeks, maybe months. Not days. I do not want to see a man every day. There is nobody I want to see every day except my daughter. I do not want to speak to a man every day, perhaps a text or two just to say hi, but nothing too intense. No long phone calls, no massive conversations or discussions about our “relationship” and “where we’re going”. Just chatting, relaxing, not stressing.
But, for some, that doesn’t work.
I’ve been spending a bit of time with a man who is lovely, really lovely, but older. I think that has something to do with it. He has been divorced for some time and is looking for his next true love. I have been separated for a few months and am not. He gets stressed that I won’t confirm long term plans or discuss what I’d like to do days from now let alone weeks. I barely know what I want to do tonight, let alone weeks from now, and whether it will be with him or some other man I happen to be enjoying the company of. He wants to establish what our relationship is and where it’s going. I have been hanging out with him occasionally for less than a fortnight and neither know nor care. All I care about is the right now, and what I’m enjoying and what I’m doing.
The result of a situation like this is he is stressed because the flakey girl he likes won’t be his “girlfriend”, and I am stressed because I’m fed up of being pestered into agreeing to be the “girlfriend” of a man I barely know. This double stress means I don’t want to bother any more. It stops time in his company from being fun and relaxed, and turns it into constant verbal ducking and diving.
Unfortunately it has to end before anything has even begun. We are clearly not suited. Yes we get on, and yes I find him attractive, and perhaps down the line I would want to take things to another level. But now? Now I just want to be left alone most of the time, to get on with my writing and being a mummy, and occasionally enjoy the company of a man for laughter and fun.
I know one day, when I’m not married anymore and I’ve had some time to figure out who I am now as a single mother and a divorced woman, I will be ready. I will be ready to embrace love, and commitment, and all those things that right now make me shy away in horror.
Perhaps one day I will start seeing a man and gradually, over time, fall into those things naturally before even realising I’m ready for them. But if I’m pushed? No way. Push me and I run, hide, and eat a box of Jaffa cakes whilst watching Gossip Girl in my pants.