Take Your Relationship One Step At A Time

There are certain parts of life where I like to take my sweet time — getting out of bed in the morning, scheduling my annual check up, and picking up the clothes covering my floor. But for the most part, I’m constantly on the go. I am a rush-oholic…which can sometimes get me in trouble. For example, I surge through running errands so then I get home and realize I forgot to buy dry shampoo a-freaking-gain.

When has it gotten me in the most trouble? I used to rush into relationships.

We’d meet, we’d go on one date, and by the time he dropped me off at home, I would have figured out what to buy him for his birthday next year and wonder whether or not his family would invite me to spend the holidays together. (They didn’t.) This pace did not exactly serve me well with my high school boyfriends and don’t even get me started on the f*ckboys I wasted my time with during my freshman year of college.

I swear I was not trying to be Taylor Swift boy crazy! I would just get caught up in it all and do everything in my power to anticipate “the next big step” so that I would be prepared. I would be ready. I would be perfect.

Yeahhhhh, not exactly reasonable.

Since that didn’t work out I decided to go in the complete opposite direction. I tried my hardest to be the cool girl who didn’t worry about defining the relationship. That extreme change in behavior started to spiral out of control quickly, culminating many summer flings and no actual connections. I finally accepted the fact that I was looking for a real, lasting connection…and you want to know why?

Because I met Carson.

We hit it off but I was really focused on avoiding my old habits, wanting to take things slow. We both tried to keep the pace sluggish. Truly, we did. But when you like someone and all of your stars align, it’s easy to get carried away. For a few months we were in sort of a limbo — we enjoyed spending time together but never defined where we saw it going.

The reason we became official was actually because being in limbo wasn’t working anymore. Carson asked me to be his girlfriend after a long run to clear his head about whether or not to keep seeing me when he only just started college. As for me, after all of my previously failed attempts at dating, I was faced with the decision of defining what I was looking for.

Looking back on my dating life, I can see that my need to cling to any guy who bought me popcorn at the movies stemmed from insecurity. The relationship status label made me feel like I wasn’t going to be the girl all alone. Back then, I needed someone to be with. With Carson, I knew what I wanted.

Today, almost five years later, we constantly talk about what we want. Whether it’s moving in together or getting married, I think through everything and consciously make the decision of whether it’s right for me — if it’s right for us. With social media blowing up with proposals, weddings, and babies, we have to remind ourselves to stay in the present moment and enjoy our relationship for what we make of it, not what we feel pressured that it should be.

Because that’s how strong relationships are built — one step at a time.

So no matter if you are looking for the one, a rebound, or a first date, just remember it’s all about the climb. If you know what you want, you may have a few stumbles along the way but eventually you’ll make your way to the top.

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