It’s been more than five months since I met my boyfriend. Yet somehow it feels like I’ve known him for years! I double check the math in my head on occasion, thinking that more time has passed than actually has.
Why do I feel so close to him after such a short time? There are a number of reasons. We’re closely compatible, he makes me laugh. But I think the biggest reason we’re so close is that we took things slow physically when we first started dating. It allowed us to get to know each other on the most important levels, minimizing the risk of confusing love and lust.
I’ve made the mistake in past relationships of jumping in a physical relationship too soon—making out with someone before really knowing if they were even worth my time. This left me physically and emotionally bonded to a guy before I’d fully considered whether or not there was a deeper foundation for a relationship. That’s not a healthy place to be in. That’s a recipe for heartbreak.
I wanted my relationship with my current boyfriend to be different. We held hands on the way home from our second date and then snuggled up to watch TV on the couch before I had to leave. On our third date, we shared a brief kiss before saying goodbye. And that’s as far as things went.
I’ll admit it can be frustrating at times. When you’re really starting to care about someone, you want to be more physical and show affection in that way. But overall I’m thankful we left room to get to know each other. I’m glad we’ve bonded first on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level. Because of this I knew early on that we were deeply compatible. We’ve dedicated our time to asking important questions, to getting to know each other’s families, to going out and being active and experiencing life together.
Physical intimacy will obviously play a much larger role in our relationship if we ever get married. But right now, it simply isn’t our main focus. Holding off has allowed a deep trust to grow between us that would have taken longer to form if we had spent all our time those first months getting physical.