Dating or not

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We hit it off, moving swiftly to text message, which is where he asked the question I always look forward to in a new dating situation: “What are you looking for?” I told him that I wasn’t one to rush into things (practice makes perfect, guys), but that I wanted to find someone to build a relationship with. But when you like someone, and your schedules align, and you’re in that beginning flush of a new relationship, and you’re stoked as fuck, then it’s easy to get carried away.So while my floors continue to suffer thanks to my rushed mop jobs, I’ve decided to treat the beginning parts of my next relationship like I treat cooking dinner: one step at a time, relishing in the feelings it gives me, and drinking plenty of wine in the process.After being raised on a steady diet of Disney movies, I expected to meet someone and fall passionately in love — but wound up collapsing under the pressures of modern dating.In the past, I’d rush the boyfriend tag, because it made me feel like he wasn’t going to leave me — and, back then, I .And since I didn’t need him, or any relationship, I was able to step back, slow down, consider what I actually wanted, and whether or not he fit into that — even while, on the outside, it seemed like we were chugging along at a clip.Rushing the labels in my relationships allowed me to overlook a lot of the red flags that would typically keep me from moving forward with a person.

(He hasn’t.)This pace served me well with my three serious boyfriends: one of which was in high school, so it made sense; one who I was friends with for years, so we skipped over the “getting to know you” part; and one who was a lazy, cerebral ass hat who contributed the bare minimum to our relationship, so I made all the decisions.Getting to know someone you see a potential romantic future with is a marathon, not a sprint.For me, it’s important to keep my boundaries up until I feel like I’ve gotten to know the person well.He told me he was too, but that he’d just gotten out of a relationship, so he wanted to take things “slow.” I agreed, and we started to see each other. Jude and I were spending the night at one another’s places every time we hung out, we texted or G-chatted all day, I was cooking him dinner on certain days of the week when we worked late, and he’d met my friends over fried chicken while I met his over veggie phó. But on the other hand, I was getting to know things about him that I really didn’t like — he was a bit macho, he was stubborn, he seemed hung up on his ex, and he once looked at me square in the eyes and told me that he respected Steve Bannon for his intelligence.When we started sleeping together, I gave him my rule: If you fuck someone else, I need to know about it, because I don’t sleep with men who are sleeping with other people. (I know.) And it had me question whether or not it was a situation I wanted to be in.

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