“The funny thing is I’ve never felt this content in a relationship before,” a good friend said to me as she sat picking apart long greasy fries and sipping diet coke from a short straw.
“It’s scary, isn’t it?” I asked as I knowingly smiled back at her and nodded.
And it got me thinking… Why is it when a relationship finally reaches the critical stage of comfort that we begin to freak out and question everything? Why is it so easy to become discontented by contentment and doubtful when there’s no indication that we should be?
What is it that makes comfort so uncomfortable for so many people?
If there’s one thing my girl friends have in common it’s that they never want to put too much stock into anything – especially a new fling. (A Coach wallet, a Louis Vuitton purse, and a new line of Mac makeup - maybe, but never something as uncertain or potentially permanent as a relationship!) So, of course, I was surprised when one of my best friends who’d flown solo for as long as I’ve known her announced that she had since become someone's girlfriend. As do most twenty-somethings, she went through the initial stages: cautious interest, experimental flirting, and a testing of the waters so-to-speak before she dove in head first. And much to her surprise, she was actually happy. Yet while happiness was easy to relish in, it was a sense of contentment that launched a sea of red flags. (As the saying goes where women are concerned: if nothing is wrong, find something wrong.) Eventually something will go wrong along the way, won’t it? Sometimes it's easier to have faith in that -- and often safer.
For women (I can’t attest to how men think and doubt they usually can either where matters of the heart are concerned), when you reach a level of comfort in a relationship, it can only mean one of two things: you’ve either found a good thing and the feeling is mutual or you’ve seriously deluded yourself somehow along the way and are in for a crash landing. If there is one thing a girl wants to avoid like plague it’s a false sense of security – better to have none at all. Fortunately for the girl in question, it doesn’t seem she’s wandered into such territory and I think that things might very well work out as she hopes. Yet, by entertaining doubts, she’ll unnecessarily hold back somehow or fail to enjoy what she’s found as fully as she might otherwise have.
For trust to grow – like anything else – time and patience are required. Perhaps it is best to remind ourselves that those initial feelings of comfort do not always blossom into the type of contentment that can last a life-time. But we should still take heart in knowing that time will ultimately tell. I’ve learned that to a large degree in the last year.
With M, I’ve found a contentment I never thought possible – and I don’t think I quite realized just how much until I had this little chat with my friend last weekend. I’d been so busy trying to keep up with work and wedding planning that I hadn’t left myself time to worry – at least not about anything other than which reception venue to choose or which cake design I liked best. In the interim, I’d been too busy just enjoying my life with M to allow my mind to wander. For whatever reason, when I nodded my head and offered my opinion on the matter, I felt surprisingly mature and it just hit me that I was exactly where I needed to be in my life. That I was living proof that there doesn’t have to be fear in love. That things really do work together for good.
Sometimes, I think I’m too busy to realize how blessed I really am. I’m glad I took the time today…