You can’t hurry love… or can you?
Any of these sound familiar?
- Hurry up and wait.
- Be present.
- Life is short.
- Life is long.
- We have all the time in the world.
- Be urgent.
- Time heals.
- Don’t wait another moment.
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
- Early bird catches the worm.
- Be patient.
- We aren’t going to live forever.
- Wait it out.
- Act now!
- Act when the time is right.
Starting to notice something?
Same topic. Completely different messages.
What is a person to do when they keep getting conflicting suggestions as to time and how to be with it? Especially when it comes to dating and love? Seriously!?!
No wonder we act like crazy people and have no idea what the eff to do usually.
What I am beginning to observe is that it is situational. There is no ‘one size fits all’ prescription when it comes to time.
On one hand, there is the “Life is Short” camp.
The belief here is that you should not waste a single moment of your life doing the things that do not make you happy, bring you fulfillment or are draining your energy.
There is a lot of merit to this argument. I stayed in a relationship for two and a half years when I should have left multiple times. Time had a way of escaping me.
Before I knew it, I had invested years with someone that, deep down, I knew would not be able to give me the kind of life I envisioned for myself. Not to mention the resources invested (furniture, condo, car, etc) aka blown!
I kept looking to the future hoping things would get better instead of taking stock of the now.
Another way this ‘waiting for the right moment’ may bite you in the butt is in expressing how you feel. There may never be a ‘right’ time to share how much you love someone, to have that difficult conversation where you express your hurts or expose your heart, or ask for what you need and want in a relationship.
As Mitch Albom so beautifully puts it: “Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say.”
Just recently I had one of those dilemmas where I was making myself crazy wondering when/if I should tell the person I had been dating that my feelings were evolving for him. It scared me.
The thought of being vulnerable, possibly being rejected and having my heart broken was causing me to ignore the entire thing altogether.
Kept having to remind myself about missed opportunities and regrets. Time does have a way of speeding up unexpectedly and before you know it, you may be on your deathbed, regretting the things you never did or said.
This gave me the courage to push past the fear and say what needed to be said. Regardless of his reaction (which was neutral), I felt good knowing I took a chance and did not wait for the ‘right’ time. No more wondering about ‘what if’.
In this case, there was never going to come a time where I did not feel scared or hesitant since we were talking about being vulnerable here!
However there is also a valid point in slowing it down when beginning or being in a relationship.
We rush into relationships for the wrong reasons or do not take the time to fully get to know the people we are dating before deciding, with full conviction I might add, that they are boyfriend/girlfriend or marriage material.
We also do not think before we speak in arguments and rashly hurl accusations or assumptions before doing the work to figure out what is really going on underneath. Reactions are ruled by pure emotions, as opposed to working in conjunction with logic.
Not proud to admit, but I plead guilty on both of those counts. On not one but multiple occasions.
Welcome to the “Life is Long” camp where the belief is you have got days, months, years ahead of you so what is the rush? Give things more thought so you avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.
Take your time before you fill that all important position of ‘life partner’ with someone you barely know. Screen them as diligently as you would a prospective job candidate.
Don’t settle for the first person that seems like they would do a good job. Wait for the person that is going to rock it!
Have some breathing room when in a heated situation so everyone can begin to cool down. Relax. The urgency to have it all figured it out that second is self imposed.
Continue the conversation when both parties have had time to think things through and can approach it from a more conscious place.
In regards to the ‘one size fits all’ dilemma, I have been going back and forth thinking of a possible antidote for it, and this is the conclusion I have come to:
Instead of focusing on, or worrying about, the past or the future, get in touch with right now. Being preoccupied just makes everything fuzzier.
Because you need your gut, or intuition, to be able to function, and ‘right now’ is when it will inform you in the clearest way.
When we live from a space of presence, i.e being in the moment, we can decide from a more reasonable place as to what is needed moving forward, whether that decision is to hurry up or slow it down.
After all, time is also relative, which is good enough!