Why I Stopped Waiting
I’ve had three serious partners in my life. And from day one of each relationship, I was always stressed about timing.
At what point is it okay to refer to him as my boyfriend instead of the guy I’m seeing? When can we meet each other’s friends and family? Is it too soon to make it Facebook official? Can we talk about moving in together? What about marriage? Pets? Kids?
Even if they’re only hypothetical conversations, how much time needs to pass before any of this can be brought up?
Let’s not even think about when it’s okay to use the dreaded L-word.
It wasn’t until dating Steve that I started to realise my obsession with timing was a social construct.
Steve and I began our relationship under tumultuous circumstances, something that I’ve alluded to a few times in my previous stories. We’d only just broken up with our partners when we committed to being with each other.
I had friends tell me that if he “really” cared about me, he’d wait an appropriate amount of time before officially dating me.
Part of me wondered whether they were right. I started to think maybe we were rushing things. I remember bringing it up with Steve and asking if we were doing the right thing.
“What do you want to do, Cass?” he asked me.
“I want to be with you,” I answered without hesitation.
“Then fuck what anyone else thinks.”
After nine months, we moved in together. My lease was expiring and the landlord wouldn’t renew it for the length of time my housemate and I wanted. It just made sense to move in with Steve — I was there all the time anyway.
Again, family and close friends warned me that we were moving too quickly. Shouldn’t we wait at least a year? That’s the time couples “normally” waited before moving in together, wasn’t it?
I know I’d had these thoughts with my previous partners. I never would have entertained the idea of moving in with someone so soon in the past.
I’ve been the concerned friend on the other side of this scenario before, too. When Becky told me she was engaged after only six months, I thought she was crazy.
“What’s the hurry?” I asked. “You don’t even really know someone after six months.”
She had shrugged. “When you know, you know.”
In the end, I had to agree with her.
If you’re waiting to “officially” date someone, waiting to meet their family and friends, or waiting to move in together, ask yourself this:
Who are you waiting for?
If you’re waiting because you’re not ready, you’re doing the right thing.
If you’re waiting because they’re not ready, that’s okay, too — although, how long are you willing to wait for them to find out if they ever will be?
If you’re doing it because you think there’s an unspoken rule on when certain relationship milestones are “allowed”, that’s a load of bollocks.
If you’re doing it because your friends think it’s important you wait, then you need new friends.
Now, before you sail off a cliff with someone you hardly know, remember the following:
- Don’t rush into something because you’re afraid to be alone;
- Or because you’re anxious to tick milestones off an imaginary relationship checklist.
- Do what’s right for you when it’s right for you.
Yes, I moved “quickly” with Steve, but with my previous partners I dragged my feet.
I know which one has been the more fulfilling and happy relationship.
Originally published on Medium.