Looking back, I’ve learned my process wasn’t that unusual. I reached out to friends, I called my therapist, I hired a love coach and read books on tantric, even meditated and prayed, only to learn that guys, all guys go through these three crazy stages and none of us really know why. We only know that a “good” relationship is one where we find a woman that allows us to travel through the stages without going psycho on us, getting insecure and ending things before we have the opportunity to progress and reach acceptance.
My own insecurity of growth was worked out in my man cave of isolation, where I had time to sit, think and in the end, realize that love for me was about accepting feelings that were foreign to me and yet dreamed of. Being in love was reaching my paradise, no longer playing on the sidelines, arm-chair quarterbacking the right moves to my friends. I had emerged from fantasy, a place where rules and instruction took the backseat and I had to step up to the plate and actually get in the game, this game of love.
This love game, nobody really knows the rules we only know we want it.
She looked at me, and my soul quaked, my heart skipped a beat and for the first time, I was truly seen, I was purely known and fully accepted. In a life of performance-based metrics, where winning and competition are the fuel to attain the good life, I was now in a game where all I had to do, was BE. It can be confusing, and I still often want to run in full regression back in stage two, but I’ve learned that being “in love” is mostly showing up, being known with all my perceived weaknesses, warts, and character defects to receive that accepting smile from my partner.
I’m a guy in love. There, I said it. I don’t do this thing perfectly by any means, but I’m here and present for myself and for her. The stages have grown me and love is something I’m now able to step into, even give to others more freely. This love game, nobody really knows the rules we only know we want it.
Written by Robin Austin Reed
Originally appeared on RobinAustinReed.com