Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Speed Check

Slow, slow, quick quick, slow. Yes, as I'm pondering relationship development speeds, I am also singing Q-Feel's "Dancing in Heaven" in my head. Seems fitting. A topic like this deserves a theme song.

So the question today is: Upon starting a new relationship, when do you put your foot on the gas and when do you pump the emergency brake?

For generations, our mothers, sisters, friends and the authors of The Rules have been telling us to hold out - go slow - play hard to get. If you really like a man, you have to make him chase you. This could mean a lot of stopping and starting, or even just backing out of your parking space with the e-brake still locked.

If you really like the new person you're dating, this can also mean a bit of torture for your lips (and loins). On the flip-side, however, it can protect you from getting too emotionally invested and potentially getting hurt if Mr. Wonderful turns out to be Mr. Wonderfullofcrap. But where oh where is that line and that clarity?

Is it really possible to size someone up in the first few dates? And if they meet all your requirements, should you still hold off on moving things ahead?

In my last relationship, I pretty much shot myself out of a cannon on the second date. He said, "Let's not see other people." And I thought, "Well, that seems scary, but I think I like him and he seems to be crazy about me, so ok!" Big mistake. I could've saved myself a year of heartache and tough lessons had I gotten to know him better before agreeing to be exclusive.

But if faced with that same situation—different man—would it be wrong to repeat the pedal-to-the-metal take-off? Do I have to slow down every time, or is there a possibility that when it's right, it's ok to go fast? And, alas—how do you know if it's right?

I do not know the answer. For now, I guess I'll just have to keep grooving to my orbital beebop...

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