If you have not had the pleasure of reading The Poky Little Puppy, I extend my deepest sympathies.  Now go buy the little book for your nearest small relative and read it to them!  It’s an adorable book about a little puppy who lags behind his naughty brothers and sisters to explore all the wonderful things of his world.  There are some good consequences and some bad ones, but the point is, he’s poky.  He lags.  He wants to absorb, enjoy, discover, not spend his life rushing through experiences.

That would be exactly how I feel about dating.

I’m not what I would consider a typical LDS girl.  I’m still in my early (ish) twenties, but I’ve hit an age that most LDS girls are married by.  Please don’t take this as a complaint, I’m happy with my progression in the dating world.  I didn’t want to be married by twenty.  I didn’t want to be married before I graduated college.  But, most of my Mormon girl friends are married, a good deal of them have a kid or two.  To a point, I am isolated by that and that’s hard.

But, at the same time, I am aware that that lifestyle–married young and children right away–is something that would not work for me.  I’m Bi-Polar.  By doing anything too fast, I set myself up for failure.  If I’m not emotionally and mentally prepared to step into a phase of my life, I fall apart.  This is a truth about myself that I don’t like in the least, but recognize.  Also, I just like slow.  I like the feeling of experiencing life instead of just living it.

Recently, I started dating a very nice LDS boy.  He’s sweet, steady, and moves about five times faster than I do.  This doesn’t make a relationship impossible, but it does make it a bit of an adventure.  I’ve always known dating was about compromise (on some things, others you can’t really budge on), so I’ve spent the past couple weeks figuring out where on the scale I can budge.  Thankfully, the boy is still sweet and steady when my natural balky, poky nature ends up pulling a jerk move.  I’m also thankful (and perhaps this is terrible, but it’s true all the same) that we ended up going long-distance about a week into the relationship.  Long-distance, just by its nature and function, slows things down a bit.  I’m getting my chance to be slow without having to put on the brakes so much that the boy feels like he’s being put through some ridiculous paces.  Maybe by the time we’re in the same state again we’ll be on the same page.  Maybe we won’t and we’ll have to call it.  Heck, maybe we won’t be, but we’ll still make it work.  The point is that I’m willing to try and that’s progress for the poky little puppy in me.

The enjoyable part of this whole experience hasn’t actually been the dating part, but the in between parts.  The boy is incredibly good at making sure I never feel as if he’s forgotten me.  Like I said, he’s sweet and steady.  Attentive is another good descriptor for him.  I’ve had plenty of relationships where I’ve felt amazing when I was with the boy, but lousy and forgotten when I was away.  From get-go, this boy has been a champ about keeping in contact without smothering.  I’ve felt like I could go at my pace, even though he’s clearly ahead of me.  This one’s proving to be pretty incredible.

I suppose I’m just happy.  I have concerns, yes, but they’re not pressing.  They’re the concerns I feel like I’m supposed to have going into a relationship.  One by one, they’ll be solved.  What those solutions end up being, that’s another concern for another day.  Right now, I’m just happy.  And that’s how I should feel.