I like the way you leave your hair loose after you shower to let it dry.
I like the way you stand behind me when I’m cooking and rest your hands on my hips.
I like the way you accidentally left your toothbrush at my place.
I like the way you call me beautiful and that I know you mean it.
I like the way I like you.
I was in my pyjamas when you came over for dinner, and it was only when I answered the door that I stopped for a moment and questioned my choice to throw on sleepwear after my shower.
We’d only been seeing each other a week or so, and already I was comfortable with you in a way that I’m sometimes not even comfortable with myself. Standing in the doorway, you ran your hands up my back, and your fingers lingered in the middle where my bra strap was missing. As you kissed me and helped yourself to cold water in the fridge, I noticed how contentedly you moved around my apartment.
You leaned in to trace kisses up and down my jaw halfway through dinner. These feelings bubbled up inside me like freshly popped champagne, tempting me to push dinner aside and crawl into your lap. It’s this weird interim that everyone always talks about—when you’re not officially dating, but everything feels right and warm and it scares the absolute sh*t out of you.
I’m scared that these last few weeks seem too good to be true.
I’m scared that you will leave without a word like so many others have before.
I’m scared that I’ll roll over to an empty space next to me at 3 a.m.
I’m scared that for the first time, this is real.
I’m scared because I’ve never done this before.
I’m scared that I’m already falling in love with you, and I’m petrified because I know I am.
I catch myself daydreaming about what it would be like to share a life with you as I fill my coffee cup at work. I struggle to keep the smile off my face as I apologize to my colleagues when my cup inevitably overfills. You are a beautiful distraction.
We crawl into bed and you curl into my chest and exhale deeply. I stare at the ceiling, running my fingers through your hair as you drift gently to sleep.
Is it too soon to feel what I’m feeling? It’s overwhelming, and exhilarating, and incapacitating all at once.
I want to scream and shout and laugh hysterically while I simultaneously have the constant urge to burst into tears. This feels so real. And with that realness comes the misty haze of the surreal—the questioning and doubting shadow of fear that creeps in. This shadow is an expected but unwelcome guest who threatens to throw a right hook of reality to my stomach and knock the air out of me.
Ladies who are reading this: we are independent. We know our own voices. We understand our value and our worth and we would never let a man make us feel anything less than we are. When did we suddenly become consumed with this whirlwind love who waltzed in unannounced with no weather warning preceding the storm of their affection?
It is entirely derailing and quite frankly, terrifying.
What we need to remember in these moments is that this is not a loss of our power, of our extraordinary femininity and value. This is rather someone recognizing what and who we are and not wanting to miss out, and this is possibly the most alarming part.
This person wants to get know our soft bits—those that make us who we are—and what lights us up and grinds our gears, and everything in between. And it’s terrifying because we feel the same. Drowning in those depths is suddenly a real possibility and we search for the rescue buoy and the excuse to get out now before our lungs fill with water completely.
This is vulnerability. This is real.
We are ready to learn that it is okay to let down our guard and embrace our vulnerability. We won’t lose our sparks, our independence, our strength. But what we could gain would only allow us to grow, and learn, and discover a whole new side of who we can be when we share a journey with another—someone striking facet of ourselves.
Some will comment and say, “It’s too soon,” “This is moving too fast,” “You need to pump the breaks,” and you’ll be tempted to listen because you are as worried as they are about the collision and breakdown that this road could lead to. But this life is precious, and we deserve to be known, loved, and embraced for who we are. For too long have we lived in fear and allowed it to cast the gift this connection brings into darkness.
Better than anyone else, you know your own heart. Your bold, beautiful, and generous heart.
Even if it might end up causing pain, it’s worth it.
Even if it makes you feel like your chest is going to burst, and your tongue and lips won’t work in conjunction to form legible sentences, it’s worth it.
Even if you have never done this before and your fear of failure seems insurmountable, it’s worth it.
Because he is worth it.
But more importantly, because I am.
And you are.
Bonus: 5 Mindful Things to Do Each Morning.
Author: Skye Hughes
Image: Guian Bolisay/ Flickr
Editor: Angel Lebailly
Copy & Social Editor: Yoli Ramazzina