Where to start...
I get into relationships quickly, I click with someone and I just feel this "thing". That "thing" I feel takes over my common sense. It's like I don't hear what they are telling me, I just interpret it to fit my imagined idea of who they must be in order to feel this "thing" I feel. Sometimes I'm dealing with other stuff and my insecurities colour my view of what is going on. Mostly though, I fall in love with the feeling of the "thing" and not the person themselves. I will ignore signs that it might not work out. I will be the best girlfriend ever. I would make that person feel like they are the most important thing in my life. Though, really it's maintaining the feeling of the "thing" that was most important. My partner would feel loved, adored even, but when they did something to disrupt my view of the "thing". I would get annoyed and frustrated. I was in love with the feeling of love. Not the person themselves. This didn't happen in all of my relationships, mostly just the ones I entered not feeling whole. Sometimes it started out with me loving the "thing" then moved past into loving the person, but not without struggle. I have a great imagination, and who I imagine people to be can be very hard to live up to.
I love romance and dating. I love the idea of going out with someone and knowing there is something there still not acted on. However, I rarely make it past the second date. I need spark. I look for the "thing". I've come to realize the "thing" is a mixture of hormones and traits I find sexually attractive and don't necessarily make for good long term relationships. The "thing" is further intensified by every fantasy I choose to focus on about this person when we are not around each other. In other words it's not truly reality, and it's not fair to the person I am dating. Lust is a large part of the "thing" and lust is a good thing, but I recently found that when I take that aspect out, it's easier for me to truly love someone. By that I mean unconditionally love them. To want them to do what they feel is best for themselves because there is no "thing" for their choices to interfere with.
I met this woman. She is beautiful and cool and smart and... I want to hang out with her. I want to get to know her slowly. For the first time in a while I really understand that the feeling I have around someone, is not necessarily who they are. When she texts I feel a genuine warmth in my chest, when she doesn't I'm not disappointed. I don't hesitate to contact her if I have something I want to share, there are no communication games or rules that I'm basing that on. There's no pressure on either of us. The urgency of the "thing" isn't there. I'm in no rush. In fact, tonight as I planned what I was going to buy for food to bring to her house on Wednesday night, I paused and asked myself: Do I want more than friendship?
Am I ready though?
I didn't ask myself this because I was afraid of getting hurt (which is my usual motive behind that question). It was because I didn't want to hurt her. I didn't want to start something with her that I couldn't emotionally commit to and create something negative in the future for us both (Some of my readers who are also close friends will see the dual lesson in this). This time it's not about me, or the "thing" or loneliness. This time it's about the opportunity to build something worthwhile, there's potential for an actual healthy relationship with interdependence vs co-dependence. This is territory I haven't explored for a long time. I may just stand at the edge for a while.