July 2, 2011

The List ;-) - Part 2

Tonight Sandi I spoke further on our topic of relationships. I told her I was thinking a lot about "The List" we made up yesterday. Our whole discussion revolved around her marriage to the love of her life.  Nothing about our conversation touched on the other end of the spectrum, where I am at with newly dating again.
My list would be very different, indeed. Sure, I want someone to make me feel that I matter to them, but it would not be in ways that express love. Love is something that grows over time, if at all. When you are dating someone, you go through the first few phases of being with someone new before you even start to think about if you love them or not.
For example, when you begin dating someone new, it is exciting and fun and you can't get them off your mind. You think about them too much and wonder if they are thinking about you, too. You can't wait to see each other again and learn more about each other. You could even say you are "enamored" with each other. This phase usually lasts until you are confident that you are both in this long enough to see where it goes.
Once you have the assurance that they want to see what happens, too, you move on to the "we're seeing other" phase. Now you start to settle in as the glitter fades and you learn more about each other. You notice more than just the good things; you now see all of the little annoyances. You begin to pay more attention to your differences than your similarities. You communicate a little less than before because you know they will still be there tomorrow.
Some people never move past this stage. They are perfectly happy "just seeing each other" and do not feel the need to push it further. Others feel they want to become exclusive and decide they will be a "couple". There is no rhyme or reason to how things progress from this point. Some find they still think about each other constantly and want to be close as much as possible, while others are happy to keep the independence in each of their lives, knowing they have a special someone who is there when they need them. There are advantages to both arrangements. It is purely a product of personalities, lifestyles, and the natural progression of the relationship.
I am currently "seeing someone". We are not exclusive, but not actively looking for anything else. We make no demands on each other's lives, other than the expectation of communication when one of us needs it. We lead very different lives and we each respect that we have responsibilities and priorities that sometimes have to come before our time together.
I do care about this person and enjoy our time together VERY much, and it will be interesting to see where our path will lead. At this point, I think it is good that our schedules keep us at a steady pace, giving us time to be together and plenty of time for our independence. It's a nice balance.
We generally see each other once a week and we have planned a weekend together in a few weeks. Along the way, I am sure we will each be thinking about our similarities and our differences. What can we live with and what are deal-breakers? Does it even matter if we are happy the way things are and we just take it one day at a time?
My deal-breakers are already covered, or I would not have made it this far. I will not get married, I will not have any more children, and I have no idea if I would ever even live with someone again. If I ever did become a true "couple" with him or anyone else, I would be willing to make certain sacrifices to be together more, and I would expect the same in return. But for now, it is just really nice to take it slow and see where tomorrow leads. I am happy living in the here and now with no expectations, no labels, and no pressure.
So, I guess you could say that there isn't a list this early in the game. We still know so little about each other that we have no idea yet what to expect. It's too much fun learning more and more about our moods, our likes and dislikes, our opinions on everything from important subjects to trivial matters, to actually start with the demands and expectations of lists.
And perhaps lists and expectations are exactly why so many relationships fail. As long as you have a list, you can clearly be disappointed when the other person doesn't measure up. I think I see where Part 3 will be taking us…
Taking it one day at a time~

No comments: