Wise friend: But, when did you two meet?
Amy: Last week. But this one’s different…
Ahh, the words I used to proclaim as a love starved teenager. After mistaking lust for love time and time again, I think I’ve finally learned a valuable lesson: take your time.
It takes time for you to really know someone, to build trust and a foundation. When a relationship is still in its infancy, your brain is buzzing with feel good chemicals and your judgment can be clouded when making such bold statements yet alone drastic decisions. Studies show that when you first start to date someone, a chemical releases in your brain which is the same chemical released when someone eats chocolate or snorts cocaine. Simply put, it’s a feel-good chemical that leaves you craving the other person just like you would when taking an addictive substance. It’s argued that it takes approximately 8 months for these initial chemical reactions to wear off, which is why you may find that after such a period of time, things about your partner start annoying you although they never did before. The lust goggles are off, and reality starts to set in.
However, I’ve known a friend (or two) who has made drastic decisions like getting engaged or married within just a few months of dating without bothering to let the chemically charged phase to pass. Actually, just recently, a friend announced the news that she was madly in love and engaged just after two months of dating. And when a relationship is in fun mode, no serious talks about life goals, financials and all that other “adult stuff” that come with the decision of creating a partnership are usually had.
Call me a pessimist; call me a realist, but I don’t believe in love at first sight. While I’m sure it has happened for a handful of lucky people in this world, I think exceptions aside; it doesn’t exist for the general population. I do believe, however, in lust at first sight and validation by association- meaning you seek validation from your partner due to a self-deficiency or unfulfilled need you have within.
And maybe it is true love and that waiting a few months or a few years won’t make you (and in this case, my friend) any surer later versus now. But if that’s the case, then what is the rush? If you are going to spend a lifetime with someone, what harm does it do to be extra sure and wait a few months? I understand the feeling when you’ve met someone who you feel finally understands you, and you want to spend every waking moment with the person. and by date five you already know the name of your future children. I’ve also been mistaken many times, after seeing my so-called prince in testing situations and seeing things break after an ebb.
I’ve learned that even in platonic relationships, it takes time, ups and downs and different situations to build a foundation and to understand the other person. Since I have a rather extremist personality, I have made the mistake of jumping to a conclusion way to early only to be disappointed in the end when you realize that the person wasn’t as great as you first imagined them to be.
We’ve all heard the adage, “easy come, easy go” and while it may sound cliché, I believe it to be true. The relationships that take time, investment and eventually have a history are a lot harder to break and come tumbling down when the going gets tough. But the ones that are built on a whirlwind romance, they can come crashing down a lot easier since there was no foundation to begin with.