“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” ~Anais Nin
“How on earth did this become my life?” I wondered one magical evening as I watched my boyfriend and his son playing tennis. I was completely mesmerized by the fact that just a week prior, I didn’t know either of these beings existed. Now I had what felt like an overnight family.
Most people go on more than one date before finding themselves in a serious partnership. They have roughly nine months to prepare for the transition from twosome to trio. I’ve never been one to live traditionally, but this was extreme hiking for someone who once preferred the intermediate trails of relationships.
My boyfriend commented on how it must be challenging to suddenly have a child in my life, but that particular change was actually effortless. His son and I shared a strong bond and I cherished every moment with him. We got each other.
While the situation was anything but typical, nothing had ever felt more natural. There was such an organic ease to the dynamic, such an effortless rhythm. It was fascinating to develop bonds with them simultaneously, but it felt as though the foundation of our collective had been in place for eons.
I felt amazing, even with the dramatic changes in routine. Instead of easing back from my beloved dreamworld whenever my body decided it was time to awaken, I was jarred into waking life by human alarm clocks. As a lifelong night owl, it was impossible for me to adjust to school nights. And I had trouble sleeping in an apartment that sounded like it was built with the intention of noise enhancement.
But who needs sleep with such a steady dose of love hormones? And who can complain to welcome a new day with a kiss from a beloved, followed soon by the sight of a precious child rubbing sleep from his eyes?
I didn’t normally engage with a single human being before breakfast, coffee and a writing session, unless that person happened to be a yoga instructor. My boyfriend had no idea what a momentous shift that was for me, an empath who had chosen to live alone for a reason. Several of them, really.
But there I was, cohabitating like a pro. When his son went to school, my boyfriend and I enjoyed leisurely breakfasts, inspiring conversations and the gift of an unspeakably enjoyable physical connection.
I’d never connected with someone so deeply on every level. This appeared to be the elusive man I’d heard existed but had never experienced: someone I could spend one hour discussing spiritual principles with and the next experiencing the divine through his body.
Our mental and emotional connection was just as strong, our interests and values seemingly quite compatible. This was relationship harmony like I’d never known it.
As entirely magical as it was, the gift of our connection somehow lacked the intensity I was accustomed to at this stage of a relationship. The adrenaline-based buzz of early love had quickly transformed into something far more powerful and enjoyable. I felt a deep sense of blissful tranquility, peace and oneness, accompanied by a freeing sense of non-attachment.
I’d come into this union as a woman already connected with self and spirit. I didn’t need this man in any way, which enabled me to simply enjoy him. And enjoy him I did!
He was the most affectionate man I’d ever dated, both physically and verbally. Abundant hugs, kisses, face strokes and hand holds were accompanied by a continuous shower of compliments and affirmations of how right we were together. I’d never felt more cherished and revered by someone I shared that same level of adoration and respect for.
I felt so comfortable and emotionally safe with him. Invited by this feeling and his seemingly great listening skills, I shared a couple of vulnerable experiences from my past that not many people knew about. Like many choices made during this era, it was one I’d come to regret.
I’m a trusting person by nature but it had been decades since I’d allowed someone into my close sphere so prematurely. It never occurred to me not to! It all felt so…destined.
I greatly appreciated how romantic and chivalrous he was. He often sat next to me at restaurants instead of across the table. I loved that he always wanted to be close to me. I loved that he cooked for me and bought me flowers and gifts.
He opened car doors and joked that his friends would kick his ass if they saw him engaging in this new habit. It was a new dimension for me also. I’d always been capable of opening my own doors and never understood someone doing it for me, but I let go of my inner feminist enough to develop a fondness for this.
A woman at a restaurant remarked how rare it was to see a man pull a chair out for a woman. I drank the Gentleman’s Kool Aid. I felt cherished and special.
What felt like one of the best parts of all was our spiritual connection, which was something I hadn’t experienced much of in past relationships. We had such incredible conversations and I believed that we spoke different dialects of the same spiritual language. That couldn’t actually have been further from the truth.
When he began to judge and criticize my spiritual beliefs, teachers and even practices such as yoga and meditation a few months later, I wondered what I could have possibly missed in all our early conversations. It was one of many mysteries I was far from solving.
But in the early stages of our relationship, I believed we were spiritually compatible and I deeply appreciated that illusion.
He said one day that we were reclaiming of innocence together and I concurred. I believed we were relating to one another on a higher level of consciousness than either of us had before experienced with another human being. There was no trace of ego, no illusory sense of separation.
Just blissful oneness.
I had no thoughts or concerns outside the exact millisecond I was living in. He seemed to be right there with me, enjoying the only moment we ever truly have – the present one.
Until the day an uninvited guest named the past crashed our party of now.
CLEAR YOUR TRAFFIC:
Beyond the biochemical reasons I shared in my last post, there is another important reason to take things very slowly when getting to know someone: beware of love bombing!
Love bombing is an attempt to influence another person with lavish displays of attention and affection. In a romantic situation, it disarms a potential partner’s screening process so she or he develops a quick affinity with the one who is doing the bombing. Who doesn’t like to feel adored?
The more someone exhibits this type of behavior in the beginning of a relationship, the more difficult it generally is for the partner to notice red flags, inconsistencies in words and actions, things that don’t add up and intuitive feelings that something is off – and act on that.
To learn more about love bombing and how to detect and deflect it, click here: http://www.lovewithouttraffic.com/lovebombing101/