Ok, maybe love isn’t really a battlefield, but it sometimes feels as though there’s a landmine field leading up to it! There are so many facets to attraction and then add in experiences and coping skills and there are a multitude of ways a relationship can go off-course.
One area I am unsure of is when there is an imbalance in how much people care for one another or express their feelings. Depending on the difference, this could be a deal-breaker. Maybe there isn’t really a gap in feelings, but instead a different perspective of time and progress.
I met an incredible man recently and have begun wondering if he is more into me than I am into him. He’s super complimentary and thinks I am attractive, intelligent, funny … he’s also super verbal in expressing these compliments. It’s flattering, but I’m not quite at the same stage. I like him a lot and there’s a crazy-weird deep connection between us already, but I just can’t be quite as verbal with the compliments as he is. When asked, I can tell him why I like him, but I tread water.
If I put my Psych 101 hot on, I am hedging. I’m taking a leap in feeling crazy emotions and desires, but just can’t verbalize them because of the permanence that creates. It’s like the difference between writing in pencil versus ink. Think of an address book. Tons of my friends moved frequently and before I began using Outlook as my address book, I would write down info in pencil. (I got frustrated with having to cross out info or use a different letter page.) I feel kind of the same here. There’s an “officialness” to saying all this aloud.
Although I can’t verbally express compliments and feelings as freely as this guy, I am trying to reassure him of my feelings as I believe actions can be just as significant as words. For example, last night while at dinner he expressed nervousness and even self-consciousness. I didn’t know exactly what to say or even if the limited depth of my words would help so I reach out and held his hand as I spoke to him. For me, there was a great vulnerability in doing so as I was opening a door to myself I had yet – at least not in that context.
On a much larger scale, I think emotions and love cycle through highs and lows. There are times when your partner will drive you crazy and irritate your last nerve, but faith in that person and shared experiences can keep you united until the balance and connection are restored – at least until the imbalance returns or sways!
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