Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Posts tagged “learning to go slow

Not Obeying the Speed Limits, Enjoying the Daily Journey

Coming home from the movie, I noticed how hard it is for me to drive the speed limit. I think I have that tendency in relationships too. (This post continues the story started here: Go Big This Time, or Go Home)

speed limits in dating and love

In the most recent installment, we learned that kissing can make quick work of the intimacy that usually has to be built up over time. So my warning, to myself, obey the speed limits. With good reason the kissy girl slowed the “runaway train down” so we could figure out what relationship might look like before we tore each other’s clothes off and dove head first into sex.

Turns out, even with less than a week under our belt, the kissing had formed a bond for her that was less easily loosened than maybe if we had not lip locked so quickly. I have no regrets about that. But I learn.

It was hard tonight, telling her, repeating, and reframing the proposition that I wasn’t interested in a relationship with her. “That’s fine, but I thought we could just hang out and not rush into anything.”

Needless to say she was confused and disappointed. And she was convinced that I had not handled the situation as well as I could. Fine points, I guess, as you are in the middle of a breaking up with someone, but let’s take them at face value.

“You could’ve told me the second you knew something wasn’t working for you,” she said. “In stead of dragging it out over the last three days.” Okay, but I tried. My txt “I’m not ready to be in this relationship,” wasn’t clear enough. I can hear that. But I didn’t really have any clear time to deal with this discussion, until today. And in my mind, I was still figuring it out. I had the idea that meeting in person to say it might be a better approach.

And speeding up the process for sex, or passion, or kissing, is not a good idea. I want the relating to be ahead of the feeling. I want the experience of being “with” this person to be something coveted and sacred long before we make love.

I said. “I did try to say that I was having second thoughts.” And I mentioned the idea of the other person not having kids, and thus not quite understanding the “kid thing,” was an issue. But I was not clear at that moment, that I was saying NO to everything.

“Still you left me hanging all day. What were those texts about?”

She had texted me earlier in the day to discuss plans for the evening. She had asked for flirting. I didn’t give that. “When we talked on the phone, I was trying to be clear. BUT, I had back to back meetings most of the day. It wasn’t until six this evening that I was really clear enough to have this conversation, clearly and definitively. But I’m clear about it now.”

Okay, so the drama is over. She has gotten the picture. I’m done. I’m not interested in hanging out and “having some fun together.” And I’m certain that I was not prepared to kiss again. Not even a little bit. The drug of even that is a powerful enough to cloud my clear thinking.

It’s hard. It’s messy. And I do give her the point that I jumped right up to the passion play pretty quickly after we met. It was a mutual thing, but I did do my part to fuel the fantasy. And then I saw the New Girl. And it became very clear, I was trying to justify or rationalise the relationship with KG and I wasn’t even in the ball park.

Seeing this “ideal” woman, who DID in fact show up in full regalia and say, “So are you checking me out?” She is most certainly still in the projected fantasy mode, but this time she and I are clear the slow pace is more important than the passion play. Well, at least that’s how she explained it to me.

“I’m not really big into passion. I’m not looking to fall madly in love with someone,” she said, yesterday on our walk.

“You’re not into passion?” I asked.

“Not at all. It’s just, I’m just more fixated on regular life. Sometimes all that passion, that stuff we were so high on when we were in our twenties, some how that’s not all that important to me, or how real life is.”

“Yes, I can see that. I lost my priorities when the big passion came on with my ex-wife. I let go of some of the things I now see were critical path for me.”

We sat in that moment. We rubbed her dog’s belly. We drank our Topo Chico. We enjoyed the moment.

She showed me her hands. “I want to be more like this,” she opened her hand, palm up. “Rather than this,”  she flipped her hand and gripped the table. I agreed and took her hand in mine. Just for a minute we sat and held hands.

Then she volunteered, “When I say my vows again. I want it to be something like this. ‘I would like to spend the rest of my life with you, and we can be together.”

“I can see that.” I said. She was echoing my definition of beauty, that I had articulated in our first “lunch.”

The key words, the key idea, “for the rest of my life” resonated brightly with me.

That commitment does not allow for “almost” or compromise. Not at this point in my life. I don’t want to spend a single night in “almost.” I’d rather be alone. But I don’t want to be alone. So I have to look for the “rest of my life” girl.

And speeding up the process for sex, or passion, or kissing, is not a good idea. I want the relating to be ahead of the feeling. I want the experience of being “with” this person to be something coveted and sacred long before we make love. Kissing, maybe sooner than that. I mean, as I learned, kissing is a pretty powerful opening.

It’s a big journey. But the next relationship is the biggest one of my life. And I want the mundane to be ecstatic simply because we are doing them together.

But even that has no business being hurried. When GF 1.0 kissed me on the first date, I was swept up in the moment. And while that ended reasonably well, and even today’s Kissing Girl went away without a mortal wound, it was difficult and tiresome. We have a finite amount of energy, and I intend to use as much of it as I can, and use it wisely.

So, for me, I’m going to throttle down the runaway train, and be more conscious of the “being” together rather than the rush. I felt the rush with NG, right away. Seeing her, being with her, and the moment she asked me the telling question, I felt a thrill at even being inside her house. I had thought about her before.

So now we are in the micro-crush phase. We take small steps. We look and evaluate our compatibility on innumerable levels. How do they deal with disappointments even in this stage. How do you let them know of a change in plans? How frequently is contact desired, initiated, responded to? It’s all a microcosm of real life.

I really like the idea, of “being together” and letting the other stuff fall into place. Certainly I’d be sad if I didn’t think there would be BIG PASSION again. Because I can see how with the build and desire that I have already for NG, it would be HUGE, it will be HUGE if we kiss. And even BIGGER if we made love. But I want to experience every single nuance of the build between now and then. And I want to keep on experiencing the little steps of awakening excitement on through the “rest of our lives” together.

It’s a big journey. But the next relationship is the biggest one of my life. And I want the mundane to be ecstatic  simply because we are doing them together. Idealistic? Perhaps. But I’m clear on one thing. Almost is NOT ENOUGH.

When poetry and song are part of the equation even before we’ve really started, all I can say, is we’re off to a great start. Even if the fantasy is still just mine, at this point, let’s see how the reality develops before my very eyes.

Update: In a short email KG said she was sorry. She asked, “Friends?” Here’s my response.

You are bright and beautiful. And I wish you all the best in your search. But I don’t think I can be friends. 

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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