Opening The Vault: Part Eighty Three

When a relationship is moving faster than you want it to, how do you slow it down? Figuring that out wasn’t easy as I drew closer to my British beau Riley.

About five weeks into our whirlwind romance, panic began to set in. I wrestled with major commitment fears — and uncertainty about what to do about them. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the spring of 2004…

March 8, 2004

Dear Diary,

I talked with Dad today about Riley — and how terrified I am of hurting him and being hurt, how I keep looking for signs of doom around every corner.

I feel like I have this vise-like grip on my heart. When I admitted as much to Dad, he encouraged me in a voice thick with emotion to be more open. I don’t know HOW to be more open. Be affectionate and loving? No problem. Entertain serious thoughts about happily ever after? Problem.

Everyone keeps telling me at this stage of our relationship, all that matters is that I’m having fun. Sometimes I am, but it’s overshadowed by the guilt that comes with knowing I will end up hurting Riley like I have several men before him.

“You are the only girl for me,” he told me today. “I’ve been so happy since you’ve come into my life..Are you happy with everything?”

“Mmhm,” I lied. What could I say?

I know why I can’t just go with the flow like people keep telling me to. Because I’ve had enough of being in relationships that I know aren’t going anywhere.

* * *
March 15

Riley called me yesterday — which is unusual because we always communicate by email. During the conversation, we talked about the series finale of “Sex And The City.” Since I’d only watched the show twice before, Riley mentioned the backstory of the Miranda character, who ended up with a guy she initially though was not at all right for her, who stuck it out because he knew they were meant for each other.

I couldn’t help wondering if there was a reason Riley chose to tell me this. If he’s picked up on my apprehension about us.

He also suggested we revisit the places we went to on our second date the next time we go out. I’m game — I need some nostalgia right about now.

* * *
Though nostalgia provided a good distraction from my thoughts of doom about Riley, it wasn’t enough to prevent them from becoming a reality.

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