This post is directed towards any man who could potentially become my very own Mr Huggie-Wuggie, to explain myself and my possible behaviour towards him.
If you were to read this blog, and read my accounts of what I would like in my marriage, I wonder what you would expect of my behaviour towards “guys who could possibly end up being the one”. I guess that there are different ways that women might act towards guys they might be interested in, and because of that, there might be ways that a man would expect me to act if I might be interested in him. Perhaps you might expect a possibly interested woman to be kinda friendly, kinda encouraging. But no! Actually, I tend to be totally friendly without any barriers only when I know that I cannot be romantically interested in the guy in question. So this tends to mean that I often manage to encourage guys in whom I have no romantic interest, but somehow manage to keep at arm’s length the ones I would find more romantically interesting….
So it’s like this. On this blog I have been quite frank about what I would like in my marriage and in my husband. Everything I have written on this blog has been true and sincere, right down to the inconsistencies of possibly saying completely opposite things in successive blog posts. “I want it!” “I don’t want it!” “I need it!” “Well I wouldn’t say I need it exactly!” – ha ha ha! This is how you know that it is a real live human being writing these posts, rather than a robot, and I hope that through all the natural fluctuations of my emotions (often coinciding with my hormonal cycle!) a consistent pattern can be discerned about who I am. So yes on balance I do want it; I do dream of the hugs and holding of hands etc. I am so romantically oriented, that I want it, I want it all! A big confession: despite all the wise provisos I’ve tried to build into my own expectations of marriage, regarding my own marriage I’m so deeply caught up in lovey-dovey dreams that I find it hard to come down from those dreams. I find it hard to cultivate a realistic expectation of the difficulties of marriage. And yet, I struggle with possibly irrational fears.
So then my interaction with the dreams themselves is quite uncomplicated. I want it. In my mind I am clear that I want it. I am not afraid to let the world know that I want it!
And yet my interaction with you as a possible candidate for being Mr Huggie-Wuggie is likely to be a lot more complicated. My point in this article is that the possible complication between you and me, the possible awkwardness between you and me, is in no way a reflection of how much I do sincerely yearn for these things, even when the awkwardness is largely created by my own behaviour. If you end up being “the One” then I’m hoping that ultimately we could share all these things without any further need for awkwardness.
If I am acting awkwardly around you now, it is because I am not yet sure that your character will be the right kind of character for my husband. I am not yet sure that I am able to trust you. I don’t yet know you, I don’t yet know what you stand for. Sometimes weird behaviour on my part is a reflection of tension within me: starting to be attracted to certain attributes of who you are; your character, your personality, or your smile, and almost responding instinctively towards that, versus reminding myself that I don’t yet know you well enough to freely release myself to these instinctive responses, and having to impose on myself an artificial coldness or coolness towards you, to stop myself from unconsciously trying to attract you. I believe they call it “mixed vibes”!
Because I am aware that I could be attracted towards you, I feel more vulnerable towards you than I would towards other guys. These other guys are never going to have access to my heart, to possibly be a little careless with my feelings OR to simply “not feel the same way”. They do not for me represent vulnerability in the same way that you would do…which is why I am able to be free and easy with them, in a way that I am not able to be free or easy with you.
While I obviously know just “how I could feel” about you, I don’t want to have to admit it to you (yet). This is not because I am playing games. What I want is absolutely not in question. The question is whether or not you could sincerely be that right guy. I don’t want to admit it to you before I truly know you obviously for self-protective reasons, in case you turn out to be different from what I have assumed of you, in case you proceed to act carelessly with my feelings. However I am also looking to protect you too, in case you might possibly like me back, but for whatever reason I eventually have to decide against it. I don’t want to ask you to stick around for 2 years while we check one another out, only for me to then decide that we are not after all suited for one another. I feel that that would be hugely unfair on you. That said, I would not want to pressurise myself into entering an inappropriate relationship either. So I would prefer to sit here and say nothing to you, while still somehow hoping that circumstances would unfold themselves in such a way that we would after all get to check one another out for those 2 years. If we admitted that we were checking one another out, that would create the pressure of romantic expectation on the interaction between us, and just because of that it would be harder to eventually say “no” if “no” is what would eventually need to be said. That said, even if we did not explicitly admit this, that pressure would probably still be there, just because of the stiltedness and awkwardness between us.
If you turned out to be “a suitable boy” I would be just as happy to direct my feelings towards you as towards anyone else. Remember that these feelings are real and I do yearn to direct them towards someone! So why not you?! If you and I would suit one another, I would be perfectly happy to spend the rest of my life smiling at you!
When I’m sure I know you, and I feel that I can trust you, then I hope that much of the awkwardness will disappear, although even as I write this I know that it is likely to be a naïve expectation. If we were to have this conversation two years from now, when I feel that I know your character and I can trust your character (and I feel that you can trust mine!) then please believe me, I would be more than happy to tell you everything! And at least at that point, hopefully we would know one another to truly try to be friends!
So ultimately then, when I am acting cool or uninterested or blanking you, while able to act with normal friendliness towards other people, I really hope that you have the patience and the wisdom to see through that! My biggest wish and battle regarding you at the moment is simply to act normal around you! If this two-year thing were not an issue, if I already knew that your character was everything that I could ever wish for in a husband, then please believe me that I would be smiling my very brightest smile at you right now! (I’ve just remembered – also, if I perceive any “interested” vibes from you, that would be another reason to act very soberly, as I do not want to encourage you or give you reason to hope until I am absolutely sure that I do want to encourage you!)
I can’t help feeling quite paranoid about marriage as I feel as if I have so much to lose if it does not go well: my independence, my autonomy, my freedom – AND I would have to submit to you for life! So it is because of this paranoia that I would like to give myself those two years to get to know you. I know that you know who you are and what you stand for, but remember that I don’t. From your perspective you might not understand why I would not instantly grant you my trust. This might cause you to feel hurt and disappointed. However I’ve got to err on the side of caution to protect myself, even while hoping that you and I will get a chance to check one another out, and you might end up being the one. I also invite you to also check me out, so that you know who I really am before fully granting me your own trust.
So yes there are real fears. On the other hand the hopes have assumed such a high level in my heart that to try to quiet them when I’m around you, as a man who could possibly be the one to finally give life to these yearnings, is hard.
My awkward behaviour towards you is also a reflection of the tension between that paranoia and those breathless hopes.
Because I am clearly quietly watching you and checking you out, and yet not admitting it, the difference between my behaviour and what I admit might seem to amount to a lie, it gives rise to unspoken accusations of playing games, especially if you would immediately act on feelings of attraction; you might not appreciate why I might be hesitating. In short, there is a time-delay between your position and mine of two years. And because you think that I am playing games, then you might respond in kind by also withdrawing your own openness, or even initiating your own games. This makes me feel so sad. It is precisely because of this and wanting to prevent the fact that you might think that I am playing games (when my real attitude to relationships is actually so transparent and direct) that I am so often tempted to just come out and say something outright. However, I guess I will just have to take refuge in these blog posts…
I am so hoping that when it all does become clear, and I do find and marry “the One”, the prize and reward we will offer to one another for battling through and persevering through all the awkwardness and uncertainty, and finally making it safely into one another’s arms, will be dozens and dozens and dozens of hugs, tender looks shared, and yet more tight hugs, where neither of us will need to say a word!
Having written all this out I’m now asking myself whether there are wiser ways of approaching all this. Perhaps, for instance, I could be friendly and encouraging like everyone else, while maintaining firm boundaries, wait for him to say something, and then drop the two-year bomb…. hmm! 😉 (For all I know, by that time two years may already have elapsed!)
How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
[Please note, this was NOT used in a romantic context in the Bible!]
Photo of “Hug me” love heart by Jo Marshall on Flickr