In the early phases of a new relationship, it's natural to ride the "honeymoon wave": spending tons of time together, acting lovey-dovey, constant dates, make-out sessions... It's all sexy, a rush and a thrill. It's hard to think that things will ever change.
But soon, you see someone's true colors come to light: the idiosyncracies, the annoying little habits... And, that's when you decide if it's worth it to stick around. Or, if you don't care enough -- which means it's time to run for the hills.
Anyway, it's this very kind of situation that my old-high-school-flame-turned-friend Vincent found himself in this weekend...
OK, so the down and dirty 411 on Vincent? He and I were old flames back in high school. And for a while, it looked like we were on the road to... Something. What, I'm not sure, with him living in New York and me in Chicago... But nonetheless, something. Anyway, it ultimately didn't work. I would say we were both caught up in what we were but not what we are: two adults who were once young and so into each other. Still friends though, through it all.
But I digress. Anyway, he gave me a call a couple of nights ago to tell me of the latest in his love life and to pick my brain on a tough issue. Basically, his girlfriend of six weeks came to him with a VERY intense request: she was hoping to move in with him since her living situation went belly up.
After I got over my initial shock of his initial statement, I pumped him for information, getting, what to me, seemed like a LOT of red flags. For starters, she is seven years his junior with a child that doesn't live with her. While she does seem to spend time with her two year old son, according to Vincent, it doesn't seem like those meetings are always the most pleasant.
And the kicker? All this is before sex has even happened between the pair.
At this point, I would say this is a pretty unstable situation. And now, her lease is up, she's got nowhere to go and she's asking a man she's been with for six weeks to live with him.
When he asked me my thoughts, I cringed, as I thought of everything he told me. Her age, her family situation, the duration of their relationship... Six weeks is a little fast to put such a request on a boyfriend. And there hasn't even been sex yet?
At this point, I was thinking that what she wants isn't a boyfriend. It's someone to save her, which is what I told him.
"Hon," I'd said. "At the end of the day, you have to do what works for you. In the end it's your choice, but it seems to me that what's she needs is someone to rescue her from her life situation -- not a boyfriend."
He was quiet for a moment.
"I know, you're right. But what do I say," he asked. "How can I be as tactful as possible?"
"I'll help you out with the diplomacy," I replied. "But at the end of the day, once you tell her, it's her call. And then you'll be able to see her for who she truly is."
We hung up right after that, but I know it ate him up.
He did talk with her over the weekend, and right now it seems like they'll continue talking over the next couple of days. What's in the cards for them? Not sure, but I don't know if everything's shining all that bright right now.
Later that night, I found myself realizing that while I may fuss about not being fully committed, that isn't a bad thing. It gives me a chance to shop a little more. And, by the time "the one" crosses my path, I'm at the best possible place for me, which means I'm happy and not relying on someone else, especially before we've had a chance to grow as a couple.