Patience. Yeah, I hate the word too.
Until I got my iphone a few years ago, I refused to stand in a line that had more than a few people in it. Now at least I can check my e-mail while I’m waiting, but I’m still impatient with other things.
I recently started thinking about some of my past relationships when I realized that my two longest relationships (five years each) required me to be very patient.
My first one was with Mr. C when I was living in Milan, Italy. When I met him he had just gotten out of a relationship.
We hit it off right away and things were going well until his ex found out he was seeing someone new. So, of course she immediately wanted him back.
Since the break up was recent, he still hadn’t gotten over her, so he started to see her again. He was having his cake and eating it, too. I broke it off a few weeks later when he had to end our evening early in order to pick her up from work.
Mr. C continued to stay in contact with me via telephone. I would sometimes stop by to say hello when I was downtown, where he had a newsstand very close to the famous Duomo church.
Fast-forward one and a half years later. I had just gotten into bed after flying across the Atlantic, when my downstairs doorbell rang. I got up to find out it was Mr. C.
In typical Lucia fashion, I answered, “I’m sleeping! Call me later.”
We went on to have a committed relationship, which ended in a proposal that I turned down.
My next long-term relationship was with Mr. D. He too had just gotten out of a relationship.
This followed almost the same pattern as with Mr. C, except that it took his ex several months to find out about me, rather than several weeks. She didn’t necessarily want him back, but she did want to sleep with him on occasion. He obliged, and I foolishly put up with it.
It took about 11 months for the relationship to stabilize to the point where I was confident he wouldn’t be going back to her.
Though we broke up several years ago, Mr. D still continues to check in with me occasionally, even though he now has three more children with another woman.
What’s the lesson here? Movies and TV would have us believe that if things don’t develop into a committed relationship as soon as you meet or shortly afterwards, there’s something wrong.
Sure, that happens sometimes. But maybe, it’s actually supposed to be the other way around. I’ve found that people who are quick to jump into a relationship are usually just as quick to jump out.
When you first meet someone, they will usually have something or someone in their lives that is currently occupying most of their attention. However, as they slowly get to know you, they may begin to realize that they want more of you and less of whatever or whoever was there before you met them.
This is where patience comes in. You have to determine whether you are willing to wait for them and be a friend in the meantime (as I did with Mr. C) or hang in there hoping they will see the light and pick you (as I did with Mr. D).
In hindsight, I would have ended things with Mr. D. and only have started dating him again when I was positive it was over between him and his ex.
In life, it’s often about timing. If the person you’re interested in isn’t ready for the level of commitment you’re looking for, sometimes it’s best to wait in the wings until they are.
Remember: To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.