Tuesday, May 18, 2010

DD#61: Slow and Steady

I want spring weather! I'm tired of the cold, rainy, overcast days. According to my calendar, Spring sprang several weeks ago and we've only had brief glimpses of it so far. It seems my moods are closely aligned with the amount of sunshine streaming into my windows. 

I love the weather cushion of Spring and Fall - the lovely transition from cold/rainy winter and hot/sunny summer. This is quite unusual because transitions usually create a feeling of edginess in me. Transition equals change and while I'm pretty adept at acting like I'm rolling with the punches, inside I'm quaking with fear, doubt, and insecurity. 

For most of my life, I never admitted to feeling anxious or vulnerable about anything. Showing vulnerability meant that I could be identified as a victim and suffer the consequences - definitely not safe. Over the course of a lot of deep, therapeutic work I've gained much wisdom and have learned that there are circumstances when being vulnerable is productive.

I'm in the beginning stages of a romantic relationship and based upon past experiences, have come to understand that I must risk a certain level of vulnerability during each phase of the process. What to reveal and when to reveal it is always risky. As our connection deepens, true vulnerability is in staying authentically who I am while observing who he is. Are his words and actions congruent? Does he walk his talk or is he all talk? Does he make promises he doesn't keep? Does he remember what I've told him about myself and gather it into his feelings about me? Is he attentive and considerate of me? All of this and much more is recorded in my mind for review after each conversation, email, and time spent together. I know that if he is genuine, all of the same things about me are recorded in his mind, too. 

This slow dance is delightful and so different from many of my past experiences with men when I felt full of rocket fuel and shot out of the launch pad like a nuclear weapon with him as the target. I obsessed about all of the exciting aspects while totally blinded by all of the negative. Red flags? What red flags? I'm having fun, so there are no caution flags and certainly no red flags that I'm aware of! All became visible when suffering the pain of making another poor choice. Why didn't I see them earlier? Perhaps because I was moving at warp speed and everything was a blur except my desire to make this mere mortal my dream man. 

Now I'm older and wiser and so grateful for the slow dance. Sharing, observing, listening, feeling - how does it fit into my wants and needs in relationship. During this time of heady possibilities, how do I see "us" a year from now, five years from now and further out? Will the small stuff become so huge that it will be intolerable? What are the red flags? Maybe they're only pink flags - maybe no flags - all will be revealed as we slow dance our way into what we both  hope will be a fulfilling, loving, deeply connected relationship. We're both looking for the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with. Maybe we just may have found our last first date - we'll see as this unfolds...

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