“Once upon a time…”
In any language when a story starts as so we all believe that the plot will follow a simple line. There are two people, usually a beautiful girl and a handsome boy, who will meet, fall in love, have some obstacle presented before them (varying in the form of a demented stepmother to a mutant dragon) and they find that true love really does conquer all before riding off into the sunset to a Disney-infused highly commercial melody.
Basically, if a story has a “Once upon a time…” beginning, it’s pretty simple to assume that there will ultimately be that “…happily ever after” ending. If only real relationships followed this formula, perhaps there would be a lot more happy couples and a lot less single people.
But let’s face it, when we start a relationship the only thing we can be sure of is that it’s new. Along with the mystery, intrigue and excitement starting a new relationship tends to give us a certain rush and sets us on a temporary cloud of happiness as we get to know someone of the opposite sex.
I recently started seeing someone I’ve actually “known” for a couple years, and I use the word known loosely only because our mutual ties are somewhat confusing and extensive. The younger brother of my own older brother’s former college volleyball teammate. Or the friend of a person who I used to go to high school with, yes, the randomness of it all is enough to make anybody’s head spin. Anyhow, no matter how I look at or try to explain it, there was some sort connection between the two of us.
After a semi-formal introduction two years ago, I’d only run into “Daniel” in a specific context, volleyball. And at the time he was deeply involved with another girl, so of course there was no reason to think twice about him, which I didn’t. After a reintroduction last month, now-single Daniel and I started to talk.
And this, ladies and gentlemen is the true start of the story, of the “Once upon a time…” that’s begun for me. Over the last few weeks Daniel and I have talked every day virtually uninterrupted through texts and instant messages. We’ve also seen plenty of each other, so much that I wonder if I will ever get tired of his company. As of yet, I seem to be fully engulfed in the “beginning bliss” period.
We’ve all experienced it, the portion of the relationship where everything is new and exciting and we want to spend as much time as possible getting to know this person. Whether it’s just talking to the person or hanging out with them there is a constant desire for continuous contact. The butterflies we get when we see that new text message, or the small smile that escapes in the middle of the day when our minds wander aimlessly are feelings that never seem to get old or become unwelcomed. And the mystery of this new person in our lives just seems to fuel the anxious anxiety that some of us crave.
With all this new excitement I’m led to wonder when the time will come that it will all disappear. I’ve been in this situation before, as I’m sure we all have, and I can’t help but to grow more and more anxious of what the coming days will hold. Is it possible to keep this feeling, this spark, alive? Or perhaps the inevitable fizzling out is just looming around the corner.
I suppose it comes down to accepting the relationship for what it is, to be content about what it going on right here, right now. I used to drive myself crazy putting so much emphasis on how a realtionship was when it first started and then comparing it the latter parts, always unsatisfied. I didn’t want to admit to myself that, as the relationship continued, things would change, that they wouldn’t be exactly the same. But I wanted to make sure that my happy beginning would continue day in and day out.
Currently, I’ve had to consciously remind myself to take things slow—mentally. I remind myself to enjoy the moment, to not worry about what may happen tomorrow or next week or next month. In reality, the beginning is for the most part always good. We feel the need to show the very best parts of ourselves and try to downplay the negative. We’ll start any relationship with the best intentions, hoping that the attraction and sweet, caring behavior will continue. And even though things may or may not work out, the end of a relationship should not cheapen the beginning.
So happy beginnings don’t always lead to happy endings, at least the beginning began.