Denise DuBois: It’s OK to slow things down a notch

From a young age, girls see a picture of relationships in fairy tales. There is a princess or a soon-to-be-princess and a prince who fall madly in love with each other almost instantly. They have to overcome some sort of hardship, but we all know how it ends. Hallmark movies are famous for a similar storyline too. The two characters get to know each other over some sort of work or social event. They run into each other a few times. They overcome a conflict then fall madly in love with each other.

Real life situations don’t work out that way, but you can’t blame a gal for trying, because we’ve been seeing relationships work that way on TV forever. My parents are a pretty good example of what a real relationship looks like. They met each other. My mom gave my stepdad her name and told him that if he wanted to talk to her, he could find her number in the phone book. It was a fantastic line, and unfortunately, one we can no longer use. Anyway, he didn’t call her right away. He waited some time and eventually set up a date. Thankfully, she still remembered him.

The two of them went out for a while, but Mike says he wasn’t all too sure about her in the beginning and she certainly wasn’t quick to hitch her wagon to a man she hardly knew. I eventually met Mike at Waffle House one night while I was home from college and wasn’t too impressed with him. Obviously, things change. Mom tells the story like this: he got down on one knee in the place they met and proposed to her. She laughed and walked away. He proposed again on a different occasion and again, she said no. The third time he proposed, that was going to be it. She said yes because she finally realized that he was serious. Things between them weren’t like the movies. They didn’t fall in love instantly. They didn’t effortlessly overcome a hardship and they didn’t move at the speed of light.

That’s unheard of, huh?

Real life takes time. Real relationships take time. Think about the friends you have right now. Did you instantly fall into the besties category the minute you met? Did it take some time to develop inside jokes and things the two of you could laugh about? The same is true for romantic relationships. There are two people still trying to figure each other out – two very different people with past experiences that made them the people they are today. It’s not effortless, but it doesn’t make it any less worth it.

Next time you meet someone, try not to jump in with both feet. Take some time to get to know the person you’re with. Allow things to develop naturally and don’t force anything that doesn’t feel right. Calm down if you don’t see each other 24/7. Not everything is on a deadline. It’s okay! I promise I’m talking to myself here, too. I’ve gotten some pretty great advice from some experts lately and wanted to share that wisdom with whoever is reading. Don’t let TV tell you how things should go. There’s a reason why relationships fail these days and my guess is that moving too quickly with someone you don’t know is a good reason why that’s happening.

Email me at ddubois@citizenea.com.