People say that when a relationship is right, you just know. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I have never put much faith in that assertion, illogical and unprovable as it is. But lately I’ve been thinking more about it, and while I still don’t wholeheartedly buy into it, I think there may be a kernel of truth here.

Certainty is something I’m not used to. Blame the tricky brain or the series of difficult life events, but I’m the girl who is constantly planning for the next emergency. At any point, I am mapping escape routes, working out contingency plans, making lists of things to take with me when things go wrong. While this makes me useful in a tough spot, it also makes me kind of difficult the rest of the time. The good things in my life make me anxious; I want to get attached to them, to love them, to enjoy them as much as I can, but always there’s that part of my mind that says this can all be taken away, Alle, so don’t get too used to it. So I don’t. Then, when it all falls down, I’m sad but I’m not devastated. Historically, the only thing I’ve been sure about is that people will hurt you and things will go wrong. Never about good things. Never about relationships.

But when I think about that a little bit, that in itself tells me something. I may have never “just known” that a person was right, but I’ve “just known” when they were NOT right. I’ve felt that deep chord resonate and my whole self tingle with the wrongness of the situation. I’ve been in relationships that should have ended but that I was foolishly trying to keep alive through sheer force of will, all the while knowing that I was being selfish because this just wasn’t right. If this clear feeling of WRONG exists, does that mean that the opposite exists too? If I can feel the wrong clear as a bell, does that mean that I’ll be able to feel the right when it happens?

I have to believe that relationships are formed out of more than intuition. What some people call “intuitively knowing,” I call paying close attention to a person and figuring out whether you can stand them. But I have felt that click, that thing that happens oh so rarely when you meet a person and you realise that everything works. This is how I’ve met most of my close friends. I’ve also felt the strange emptiness of meeting someone who is great on paper, and then…it doesn’t go. I guess this is just one of those things about being human; so much of what we do is dictated by our conscious choices, but at the same time we’re these hind-brain driven animals, reacting to each other’s smells.

So I’ve admitted that maybe this just knowing thing might hold some water. I guess the logical question now is, what am I going to do about it? I wish that I could say with total confidence that if I found myself having Epic Special Feelings about a dude, I’d pull out all the stops and allow nothing to come between me and my beloved. Because that would make for a great story, right? Talk about a killer love-conquers-all redemption arc.

I don’t know, is the simple answer. I have no idea how I’ll respond to Big Good Things when they happen. Maybe I’ll run screaming into the night, maybe I’ll propose to him on the spot. No idea. As I write this I’m talking myself in to, then out of, going on a date with a totally nice dude. Seriously; it’s all “This will be fun!” “Ugh, no it won’t be.” “But it might go great and you’ll like him!” “Or he might ask if he can masturbate in my bathroom after the date!”

You have no idea how much I would give for that to not be a true story from my own life, by the way.

Char is always telling me that at any point, your love life is exactly the way that you want it. I think that’s true. I wonder how it’ll be now that I’m feeling ready for a relationship. I wonder if I’ll ever just know if something is right. It might be unrealistic, it might be setting myself up for failure, but I kind of hope that I do. I’m dying to prove the cynic in me wrong about something at last.

Loves you!

2 thoughts on “Knowing

  1. You make me think about how much cynical people stand to benefit by being wrong. Optimists don’t get that luxury.

  2. When I first met Peter, I was all kinds of fucked up. I’d been abused. I was in therapy, on drugs, unemployed, at uni, and living at home.
    The day that I said to him “am I your girlfriend?” he replied “I’m going to be so good to you, that you’ll marry me”.
    He’s the only guy (other than my family) that I’ve told “I love you”.

    We’ve been together almost 5yrs.
    My whole life plans have changed. I was set to move overseas when I graduated. And instead I stayed. I wouldn’t give up the feeling he gives me for anything in the world. Nor would I give up the ability to mean this much to someone else for anything in the world.

    It happens.
    Even to the most broken people.


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