This question was answered by a guest QgQ contributer Pilar Dellano, who is an excellent therapist in San Francisco.
A little about Pilar:
Pilar is an often confounded relationship haver,
a rarely reserved relationship blogger,
and an always excited relationship therapist.
Pilar has her own blog, as well, which you can read here: lonelyforever.wordpress.com
Anonymous asked you:
I finally asked out a girl I’ve had feelings for since about a year ago, but now I have no idea what to do with the relationship. We both want to take it slow but I have no idea what that means! I’m a planner, though. I’m going to ask her the next time I see her (in a week or so) a few questions to help define how we’re going to go about this. Am I on the right track? What else can I do to not mess up my first relationship ever?? Please help!!
First of all, congratulations on asking this girl out. If you’ve liked her for a year - I know it had to take guts. Next, take a deep breath!
Have you heard the saying that we are human beings, and not human doings? It’s true! The less you “do” in this relationship, the better. Ask yourself how you can allow yourself to BE exactly where you are, as you are, in this very moment -(Which might be scared, happy, confused, excited, anxious and so on!)
Relationships aren’t something that we can set reminders for in our iCals. We have to let people love us for who we are not for what we do.
You are definitely on the right track in talking to your girl. By now, I’m guessing you have more answers than when you wrote in to us. I hope you’re asking yourself some questions too: What do you want? What does “taking it slow” look like for you?
I have a couple of friends for whom taking it slow meant waiting until the 2nd month to move in together. Other folks have agreements about how often to see each other or about waiting a certain amount of time before things get physical.
Now let’s talk about messiness! I love a Magic Eraser as much as the next gal, but all the Tide, Bounty paper towels, and Swiffers in the universe, aren’t going to take away the inherent messy, chaotic and unknowable nature of our partnerships. It’s what makes them delightfully wonderful and heart wrenching at the same time.
Your best insurance against messiness is to expect it and to confront the part of you that is afraid of it. I know you can do this because you already faced your fears and asked this girl out! Even if you guys don’t end up sharing a porch swing at the sunset of your lives, it doesn’t mean you failed. You will have learned something about yourself and that’s real success, in my book.