I was in love with my partner before we were together, when we were "just" friends.
I wish friendship wasn't rated as less than partnership. So much of the juice of relationships is lost when we have an idea about "getting somewhere."
When I've talked about loving him for months before we were dating, people have given me the energy of the sideways look like "oh ok miss desperation, you're proud of this?"
I am proud of it, and it was the farthest thing from desperation.
It was enchantment, radiance, mindfulness, and following his leadership the whole time. Being in love with a friend is a beautiful thing. I truly loved him, so I wanted him to get whatever it was he really wanted. I didn't have an agenda, although I had desires.
I was in a state of fulfillment the whole time (in relationship to our connection, that is...). There wasn't any lack or impatience, just awe and gratitude and relaxing of long-held tension, unwinding of old entanglements, readying myself to be more devoted to him.
I didn't need anything "more" from him or from our relationship. It was enough for me that he was in my life. In that moment, he was there for me to love and honor, and I was there to love and honor him.
This is the truth of consent. When he wasn't ready for us to be in partnership, I had the choice to meet him in consent, to feel together with him, to agree with that decision and honor it, to feel how he was feeling.
This is the truth of following. Once I decided to follow him, everything he did was a lead. If he didn't call for three days he was leading space between us. He couldn't choose not to lead me when I chose to follow him.
All of this is because I met a man whose energy and way of being in the world completely resonated with me. He melted my nervous system open with his presence and I felt at home. I felt safe. This is the kind of love that makes all other destinations superfluous. Where this love is going is the only place I care to go, now that I know it exists.
He didn't ask for this surrender from me, and he doesn't depend on it. But it is the lifeblood of our partnership and the purest form of our connection. I keep showing him how I feel, I keep completely trusting him, I follow his subtlest leads with artful grace, and he cannot resist how good that dance feels. Neither of us can.
I never asked him to commit to me in any way--instead, I reveled in the ways he already had committed. I showed him that I was ready to love HIM, including the choices he made, including the choice to take his time evaluating our relationship.
I couldn't know that this level of devotion would produce a specific result. I only knew that I had to honor anything that could inspire that level of devotion.