If you’d asked me a few years ago what I was seeking in a romantic relationship I’m confident that the words “to be courted” would have been part of that conversation. Actually, I’m absolutely certain we could go back and do a “DelSo blog” and “courted” Google search and find posts I’ve written over the years about how what I really wanted was to be courted. In a world in which the “third date” has become synonymous with when sex is expected, moving slowly held a real appeal.
What’s the rush?
As Judy Blume taught me 40 years ago in her scandalous book, Forever, you can’t go back to holding hands once you’ve gone “all the way.” Why not take your time and savor the process of building intimacy – emotionally and physically?
The response to my wish for courtship in previous relationships has been mixed. Granted, there was a time in my life that I was unaware that you had to clearly express what you wanted (and needed) and, additionally, was ignorant of the fact that people shouldn’t be held responsible for not accurately intuiting what their partner might be seeking. I’ve learned, albeit a bit late in life, that one needs to be more direct or risk not having the relationship for which one had hoped.
State what you want, you know?
Since that period of necessary and personal growth, there have been occasions during which my request to be courted has been indulged. Sort of. I think there are men who may be initially charmed by the thought of a languid pace, but who become less enthusiastic when they realize that an investment of time and effort is necessary before the relationship will move forward. It’s a different dynamic when intimacy is something achieved rather than an expected outcome, don’t you think?
Another relationship component I’ve been consciously seeking in more recent years, is excitement. I know, for me, that there has to be an element of authentic passion present, a fire, or at least the the potential for one to burn. Quite simply, a spark. Ideally, I’d like to be with someone who ignites me in a myriad of ways, with a slow burn being the preferred pace.
With the time I’m not spending considering how, sometimes, receiving what we most want is so unexpected that we don’t even recognize it for what it is when we do have it, I’ve been obsessing over a particular Fiona Apple song. “Ladies” (give it a listen here) somehow makes me feel as if she is singing directly to me. Apple’s message is positive, affirming and inspirational and is landing perfectly with me at this moment, like an anthem.
The third line below particularly stands out for me:
“Nobody can replace anybody else
So, it would be a shame to make a competition
And no love is like any other love
So, it would be insane to make a comparison with you”
Of course, each love is unique. We all know that, don’t we? That’s part of what makes it so damn precious – it’ll never be exactly the same delicate and beautiful emotion twice. No two loves are the same which, to some, can be discouraging. Or, if you’re lucky, when you begin to open your eyes to the understanding that the thing that might be different this time is the fact that you’re actually receiving what you wanted and needed…
Love came to my door
With a sleeping roll.
…at just the right pace, warmly glowing.