I am a stoic. In a new relationship, I tend to stay reserved and guarded. I hold back my feelings, and I definitely don’t let myself fall for someone very easily. At least not until I know for sure that the relationship means something.
Some people, on the other hand, are effusive. In a new relationship, they plunge head-first off the figurative deep end. They bask in the intensity of their feelings, and they are able to fall in love quickly and deeply.
And that’s wonderful. To me, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with embracing new relationships with all your passion.
At the same time, I’ve realized that someone who is capable of falling quickly and deeply in love can be just as capable of falling quickly and deeply out of love. Since we’re invoking clichés, I might as well bring up another:
The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.
And this is where passion becomes a problem for the stoic….
We met on a Sunday night. And we were together the next five nights. We just seemed to connect in every way possible, and we couldn’t get enough of each other. On Wednesday, as we stood in the darkness at the beach, watching a group of smelly, slumbering seals, she told me that she was falling for me.
At that moment, I had two epiphanies: 1) Instead of getting freaked out by what she had just said, I realized that these same feelings were welling up within me, too. And 2) even the stench of seal poop can be incredibly romantic in the right setting (and if you’ve ever experienced it, you know that “stench” is an understatement).
Something about the way she looked into my eyes told me that this could be for real. And so, my instincts told me to let my stoicism go.
I did, and I felt myself starting to fall—something that I hadn’t allowed myself to do in years. I even confided in a few close friends the next day that I believed I might have met the woman I was going to marry.