Everyone loves a good “now.”  There’s immediacy and warmth in it.  It means gratification and the end of anticipation–and sometimes the end of dread.  There’s urgency and wonder in a good “now.”

And then, there was “now” as it was in my childhood.  My parents used to say, as many parents do, “If you want an answer now, it’s probably going to be ‘no.'”

Welp, that took the fun out of it.

But, they were so right.  I ran into that situation not too long ago in a relationship sense.  Now = no.  Fact of life (or, at least, my life).  And that’s a problem, because the beginning of the relationship is the “Now” phase:

I want to be with you NOW.

I want to know if you want forever NOW.

I want to spend time with you NOW.

I want to be your boyfriend/girlfriend NOW.

I want to be in love NOW.

I want to have your children NOW.

I want you here NOW.

I want to know how you feel about this relationship NOW.

I want to know if we’re going to work out NOW.

. . . . . . . .

Sound familiar?  I think all of us have been through this phase.  It’s what Shakespeare categorized as “hot and hasty,”  which is a perfect description in my book.  Does anyone REALLY want forever right away? I contend no.  Same with children or the feelings of your opposite.  It’s tough, since the hormones are a great contributor to and driving force behind the NOW and they tend to have a big effect on your brain and body.  When that first high is over, you realize that YOU don’t even know how you feel, it’s hard to expect the other person to know how they feel.

I had a set of friends go through this exact situation.  When they got together, everyone expected it.  They had been flirting in the hallways for a couple weeks, they seemed to have a really adorable rapport (if a bit sickening at times), and it was just a good situation.  And then the NOW!s arrived.  They got so caught up in the NOW!s that they had a wedding and a future planned within a month of starting dating, about two months of knowing each other.  They freaked and broke up.  He was miserable, she wasn’t happy, but the NOW!s had scared the crap out of them.  It caused quite the kerfuffle in the congregation when this seemingly perfect for each other couple crashed.  Now became a pretty miserable no.

Thankfully, the space they took from each other really worked for them.  They realized that they DID really like each other, that they had MAYBE taken it too fast, and they COULD make it work.  The NOW! phase was over, and they could figure out what it was to be together before rushing into a life together.  They got married the following February, they have a beautiful baby girl, and it was all for the best.

How does this apply to me?  Well, in a thought, this is why I suck a relationships.  I don’t do the NOW! phase well.  I skip straight to the freak out and done rather than try to surf that wave.  Don’t get me wrong, I experience all those heinous hormonal demands, but what I don’t do is outwardly present.  I keep it held inside or for later conversations with my best of friends.  When someone openly displays the “now,” I get intensely uncomfortable.  So much so that I run.  Or, the poor boy, seeing my far less intense than expected cue, thinks the relationship isn’t that serious to me.  Not the case.

It’s something I work on, allowing myself to be swept up in the romance.  It’s something I’m bad at.  I don’t like romance.  I like practicality.  I like reasons.  I’m very much so a logical lover more than an emotional one.  So, after many years of getting into relationships, once my logic has been satisfied and I myself to emotionally engage, and realizing that things aren’t working, I’ve learned that I need to let those emotions in earlier in the relationship.  I’ve learned that sometimes, I need to let myself feel the NOW!s without restraint.

But seriously, people, now will still mean no most of the time.  Because I don’t want a relationship that happens now.  I want the really good that comes later.