What happens when two people are experiencing the same relationship in a completely different way? Inner emotional turmoil, as I discovered when I dated Englishman Riley seven years ago.
Riley and I had met at a speed dating event. The chemistry between us coincided with a milestone birthday that left me wondering — am I doomed to keep making the same mistakes in my love life? I now Open The Vault and take you back to 2004…
New York, NY
February 26, 2004
I feel this bizarre combination of reticence and eagerness when it comes to romance. Like my perspective has shifted since turning 30. Everyone keeps telling me I have plenty of time to find Mr. Right, but what I feel more is that time is getting away from me.
Riley truly is in a class by himself. The fact that we’re moving slowly physically is reflection of what gentleman he is. He’s a man I wouldn’t hesitate to bring home to meet my family. The feeling’s clearly mutual — I’m meeting Radley’s mom this weekend. So much for taking things slowly!
* * *
March 2, 2004
The last few times I’ve been with Riley have been just wonderful. Saturday, he showed up with a pair of earrings for me, a gift marking four weeks of dating. He’s the first guy I’ve been with who’s considered one month a milestone!
But — you knew there had to be one, right? — I still don’t think he’s my soul mate. The spark is definitely there and I enjoy Riley’s company, but something is missing for me. Though a friend of mine says it’s as simple as me not having met Mr. Right, I can’t help wondering if maybe I’m just not as ready to settle down as I would like to think I am.
Last night, Riley said so many sweet things.
“What’s not to adore about you? Do you know how crazy about you I am?”
“Good,” I replied mysteriously, to which he asked if I had anything to reciprocate. “Of course I do,” I said. I do care about him. I’m just not in love with him.
So, how wide of a berth do I give our relationship? I feel that six months is reasonable, but is it right to stay when I doubt my feelings will change? I’ve had enough of being in relationships that I know aren’t going anywhere. I’m 30 now and want to be on even emotional ground with whomever I’m dating.
* * *
Despite my doubts, I plunged ahead with my relationship with Riley — not realizing that in the process would come a very difficult lesson about love.