If you want to show your love for someone, you don’t necessarily have to think about making a “big” gesture. This is something I was thinking about over the past few days; the more I thought about it, the more I realized: love, and the way we express it, is really in the little things. The small gestures we do, sometimes mindlessly, can sometimes be the best displays of love we can give another person.
I haven’t been feeling particularly inspired to write lately, but I’m really going to try and be better about keeping up this blog. I just started a new job – my first full-time endeavor – so obviously that’s a bit of an adjustment along with all of the other aspects of my life. But: no excuses, let’s move forward.
One thing that’s been on my mind has been thinking about the level of interest we show in others. How much is too much, too quickly? How much is not enough? For future reference: I’m talking about when you first meet someone, romantic or friendly.
On a personal level, it’s definitely one big gray area for me and really depends on the individual situation. If I meet someone and then all of a sudden they’re texting me nonstop and constantly want to spend time together, that might be overbearing and downright annoying. That’s just too much interest, too fast, for my comfort level.
But at the same time, if I feel as though someone is TOO lax about talking to me, I’ll give up on them. Because if you’re not showing an interest in me, why would I waste my time trying to form something with you? If you always take forever to respond to messages and constantly make excuses to get out of spending time with me – why on earth would I bother?
In the end, it’s a rhetorical question. How much interest is enough, and how do you know when you’re not showing enough (or when you’re showing too much) interest in someone? I suppose in the end, it depends on the individual involved and it’s a fine line to cross….. one giant grey area between “never shows any interest, seems not to care at all” and “shows the “right” amount of interest and is someone I’m interested in building a friendship or relationship with” and “holy wow, you’re overbearing and you need to take a step back, I barely know you and this isn’t making me want to get to know you.”
I know I can say personally I’ve had experiences with people falling in all three of those areas. I think the important thing here is to be able to recognize where YOUR limits are; to be able to walk away when you feel someone isn’t giving you the interest you deserve; to recognize when someone is being overbearing and not be afraid to shut them down and turn them away and tell them to stop; and to realize when something’s reached a good, comfortable level for you. It’s also something to be mindful of in your relationships with others – appreciate that everyone’s levels may be different, and know when to pick things up a little or when to stop and back off.
As children, we’re told by our parents not to talk to strangers. While I completely understand this sentiment when we’re children, as adults…… there has to be a point where this ‘rule’ breaks. Why? Because everyone is a stranger until they aren’t. Until you give them a chance, make a connection. Everyone is a stranger until you form a bond, create something, and go on to develop a relationship – platonic, work, romantic, or whatever – from there.
If you’re never willing to give anyone a chance, you will never meet anyone new. You’ll never make any friends or acquaintances, you’ll never find a romance or anything like that. You have to be willing to bend a little, trust people until they prove themselves not trustworthy, and take the leap into the unknown with someone who is, at the time, a stranger to you.
It’s incredible how, once you give someone that chance, the relationship can develop. My friend and I were talking about this the other day; how you can go from barely knowing anyone except in passing, to telling them all of your secrets. How you can go from speaking once to eventually reaching a comfort level where you’re willing to travel with them, stay at their house, let them into YOUR home, etc. It might take days to become a little less than strangers; it might only take hours, or it might take weeks, or months, or even years. But gradually, we find ourselves no longer strangers, but something more, and I think that’s just incredible to think about.
If you think about it, everyone begins as strangers until SOMETHING brings us together. It might be a common interest – hockey, reading, knitting, whatever. It might be a place – a chance meeting at a cafe, or a run-in in the supermarket. It might be from work, or through friends or family, or some other way. But there’s something that brings you together, that takes away the first layer of “stranger”-ness, that opens things to a whole new world of possibilities.
A year ago, I’d barely ever spoken to the person I now consider one of my very good friends. We’d spoken a handful of times via the Internet, but had never met in person. Less than a year later, we have this connection, this sense of trust and honesty and so many memories we’ve formed in this short span of time. We’ve gone from strangers to something completely different and it’s pretty amazing to think about the development of this relationship; the character development, the relationship development……. it’s amazing how people can go from being strangers to something else, and all it requires is giving it a chance.