Go Slow

Love ManRelationships need time to grow, and expecting too much too soon can ruin it, writesSukhdeep Singh

I was talking to a person recently and soon our conversation slipped to his love life, and he said, “I never quite considered myself to be a relationship kind of guy, until I met this person. The moment I saw him, I knew he was special. And we were so great together. I was deeply in love with him. But I am very expressive kind of guy. I told him that in the beginning itself and he said he was fine. So, I would write poems for him. But then, things began to change, and our relationship ended soon. I know it was true love for me, but I don’t understand what went wrong.” That brought me flashbacks of my own relationship. Things sounded quite similar to me, only that I identified with the situation of the other guy. I tried to explain him what could have gone wrong, based on my own experience, and feel many of us do the same thing.

Yes, it happens to all of us. You see him, and sparks fly instantly! Everything about him is exactly what you had desired. You two are an instant hit. A few dates, and you decide to move from being great friends to the next level of relationship. Everything in your life seems to be going perfectly fine. You want to just keep talking to him, tell him how much you love him, chat with him, be with him and what not. And that is where the problem starts. True, you two had an instant connection, you love him madly and he likes you too. But, there lies the difference. Liking someone, and loving someone are very different things, and people often confuse their “like” to be “love” and therein lies the problem. You may ‘like’ someone because he could be good looking, because he is sweet to talk to, has an infectious smile, but love is something more deep. Most of the times when you like someone, you are attracted to the person and this attraction fades after some time. Of course, there stands a strong and good enough chance of the “liking” for a person to develop into love, but that transition needs its own time. And when you try to rush up things, problems are sure to arise.

Let us come back to the case of the person that I described here. While he was in love (as he says), the other person probably only liked him. Two or three dates and they decide to get into a relation. Now, when he started conveying his love through poems, his ‘ex’ probably perceived it as a very romantic thing. But slowly, as he wrote more poems, it must have also triggered the question in his mind, “Do I love him too? Doesn’t he deserve someone who should be able to love him equally?” Yes, when the other person doesn’t share the same level of passion in a relation (because it is still new), and you are expressing your love each and every moment, these questions do set in. The ‘guilt’ factor sets in, and so does a feeling of being stifled. Guilt that you are not doing justice to the other person, because you clearly don’t love him the way he does. I can say that, because I experienced something similar in my 3 month long relation and have seen a couple of relations fall apart after a few months. When my ‘ex’ would write poems initially for me, I too found it very romantic. In fact, I have always writing poems to express your love as the most romantic way. His constant expression of love, whether via those poems or over SMS, then started making me uneasy. With each poem, each SMS, I would say to myself, ‘Doesn’t he deserve someone better? Someone who could love him the same?’ I of course liked him, but the question was did I love him? I have found many others also at the same crossroads. For the person I have talked about, the relation ended after a month.

I hope my emphasis on ‘like’ and ‘love’ has made some sense to you. As much as we may want to have a fairytale romance, the fact is, relationships grow with time. A relation is like a seed, once sown it will take time to grow and bloom. As it grows, it will become stronger. But expecting it to bloom before time, or trying to make it bloom early will only lead to disappointment. It is best to date for a few months before you decide to get into a relation. Even after you have entered into a relation, it is best not to pop out the “Do you love me?” question so soon. Let the relation grow a little more. I am not asking you not to express your love, just telling you not to over-express; especially if you see that the other person does not share the same depth of emotions (which should not be hard to judge). Just because you enjoy someone’s company doesn’t mean you are in love, it just means that you are immature enough not to differentiate between love and like.

Liking someone, and loving someone are very different things, and people often confuse their “like” to be “love”