A friend of mine seems to be not quite falling in love, but tiptoeing toward something like it. Everything is just happening so slowly, she said, and it's making me feel like maybe it's just not right.
There's something to be said for the kind of love that comes quickly, abruptly — a fierce jolt that makes you stumble, do a double take, then race forward. It's exciting when that happens, and scary, and something about the fear and the thrill and the haste makes it seem inevitable. Destined, even.
Occasionally, that swift, sweep-you-off-your-feet sort of love holds onto its momentum. I've seen (and felt) that desperate, whirlwind sort of love shape into something that's lasting and evolving, but I've also seen (and felt) it lose its footing, the head unable to keep up with the heart. Or something.
I inched my way into love. When I met Radley, sure, there was an immediate, can't-quite-put-my-finger-on-it connection — something easy and comfortable about it. But my stomach didn't drop in fear, and I didn't fall so quickly that I tripped and staggered. I just inched in the direction of love, letting it come into view in the distance while I slowly but surely watched the walls between us come down.
Truth is, I'm a put-it-all-out-there kind of girl. And Radley isn't that kind of guy. Of course, when you first meet him, it feels instantly like you know him — like what you see is what you get. He's easygoing and kind and level-headed in the way that can feel wonderfully simple, relatable, but he also keeps so many things close to the chest. He's the type to intrigue you, to hold back a bit, to let pieces of himself unfold and come to light over time. In all the ways that I'm obvious and open and up and down, he's careful and steady and balanced. He's sure. He knows what to share and what to keep as his own, so that weeks and months and even years into knowing him, I still find that he surprises me.
I eased into love because he eased into himself, letting me in bit by bit. For me it was a lesson in patience, because while fast happiness may feel fated, that lasting joy is worth waiting for.