If only fairy tales came with instructions. That rare love-at-first-sight encounter is something seemingly drilled into our female psyche from childhood that we end up searching for longingly as adults. Many of us swear to reject any other romantic path opened to us if it fails to live up to what we saw Cinderella experience, like a slow building romance based more on a foundation of friendship and time. Conversely, it seems that when we women finally do get the royal treatment where the man arrives at your door with a bouquet of red roses and showers us with flattery and attention, we freak out. We call him a stalker, or obsessive, or creepy.
It seems that in this day in age, the kind of courtship we so badly yearn for and claim we are missing among our male counterparts is just as easily discarded as “psycho” if it is displayed in excess. It is much easier to believe grand gestures of romance when it is happening to our beloved Disney characters that when it is repeated in today’s society, it only sounds appealing. Acted out, and the interested party comes out looking as badly as the guy who just stood you up. What gives?
When it comes to courting the “old-fashioned” way, how much is too much? Some say it all depends on the mutual connection. Naturally, if someone is infatuated with you but the feeling is unrequited, you are going to want to run for the hills. But if the two of you are clicking, the chemicals are flying and there is open dialogue about what you each want at this stage in your lives, is there reason to balk at obvious expressions of interest? The answer is, if you really are emotionally available and ready to throw caution to the wind, no. My advice: accept that man’s pursuit with open arms, and let him aggressively court you. It’s what he should be doing if he likes you.
Experts agree that a man knows pretty much from day one whether he sees himself marrying you. Of course, physical attraction to you is at the forefront of his prediction, but if he is serious-minded, he will know she needs to entice more than that innately shallow part of his genetics. Women need time to develop that trust and even that attraction, which usually (and should be) based on much more than his ever-fading physical appearance. A man who is serious about a relationship will allow you that time and want to dig deeper to see if you are just as beautiful inside. If you can allow this to happen without past fears and underlying insecurities nagging at your psyche that he’s just trying to get you into bed, then you could end up with your Prince.
There is the exception to this hard and fast courtship – and that is the playboy; the man who says “all the right things” but doesn’t follow it up with actions. Be certain you are paying attention to any disparities between the two. It’s easy for anyone to talk the talk, but if the man is setting aside time for you, being a gentleman, showing you affection but not pawing you, is respectful, asks unique questions far from the typical (“What’s your favorite movie?”) and equally shares his dreams and values openly, there is a good chance you should give this romantic gem a real chance. Your best indication though of whether this is the real deal is if you feel the same excitement, candor and enthusiasm about him. If you feel you two are on the same page, and the time together is effortless, flying by and feels different than the men in your past, run with it, and don’t worry about a timeline. Men who are too much and do not have the best intentions will quickly tire of the dog and pony show and go after someone easier to manipulate who requires less energy fairly early on.
Over dissecting what is “right” or “normal” in terms of pace is not telltale of anything. Everyone’s love story starts out differently, and everyone goes at a diverse pace depending on where each person is at in their lives, and what their immediate goals are. Love at first sight does exist in a sense – it just needs time to develop and present itself, but if it’s there, it is usually there from day one. You just need to be open to love and stop thinking that if the guy is showing overt attentiveness, he’s crazy. In my experience, that is not the case at all, and you could be getting in the way of your own happily-ever-after.