As much as I’ve gone against tradition in intimate relationships, some of them more than others, I’ve held tight to my belief in and admiration of the courtship stage. A recent conversation with friends determined that I hold out too long. My “choosing” comes months after my friends’ and they say “that’s just not okay.” For them, 3 weeks of dating is enough time to decide “this is the one for me.” For me if could be 10 months or more. But why?
Perhaps when I say “I want to get to know you,” I’m being honest. While some are fine with only knowing their potential life partner’s name, job status, and netflix password, I want to know so much more before clearing space on my bookshelf for your books, and clearing my weekends and thinking about not writing every Sunday. I want to know what makes your palms sweat, and I want to know your neck, and yes, that can come in 3 – 7 weeks like my friends claim it does for them, but it doesn’t for me. Besides, most of my friends are in bullshit relationships they’ll try to escape soon.
Equally, I need to be sure it’s me, not the idea of me, they’ve fallen for. That takes time. I call this process, for now, The Breaking Down of Darnell Lamont Walker.
Back to the courtship. No, there is no exclusivity there, and yes, dating others is totally allowed. When did people become so afraid of competition? I understand how vulnerability is set up, but it’s a part of it. The stakes must be great to get something great. It’s the reason people who go to Vegas with $20 rarely come home with thousands. To make this make sense for some of you, here’s the simple breakdown:
Your vulnerability is perhaps the most valuable thing you have. To get something equally valuable, you need to put your vulnerability on the table.
Compete. My dad tried teaching me chess as a kid, but I never caught on, but I kept asking for lessons here and there. As an adult, I learned by playing on my computer. Every two days I would increase the difficulty because I knew the only way to get better was to play a better opponent. Some of you are so scared of getting better that you give up before beginning.
Court. Win. Lose. Move Forward.