When You’re Used to People Pressuring You, Patience Can Be Life-Changing

a sign that reads Hostess Will seat you. On the right side of the frame is some kind of leafy plant.
Image by Lisa @ Sierra Tierra / CC BY

She’s been pushed too far. Way too many times. And what she wants more than anything is for you to wait.

All she wants is time to make up her mind. Enough so that she can really sort through and consider her feelings. Enough to make sure this is what she wants. Moving too quickly in the past has led to buyer’s remorse. A sick feeling the next day. Winding up in situations where she’s committed to someone, or something, she really doesn’t want. Angry breakups. Guilt.

She’s used to people pressuring her — taking her hesitation as a sign to go full speed ahead, to push past her boundaries in the ambiguity.

Patience Can Save Someone’s Emotional Life

So when you go slow, it blows her mind. When you wait for the affirmative “yes,” never pushing. When you trust her when she says she is still healing from what’s happened to her. That it’s not you, it’s what she’s lived through. When instead of taking it personally, you tell her that you want to be a positive part of that healing process. Even if it means that you have to wait an awfully long time.

Because not only is patience sometimes the sexiest thing, it has the power to save someone’s emotional life when their sense of trust and faith in others is all but gone.

I know her really well by now. I’ve dated her so many times I’ve lost count. I’ve even been her in the past myself, disillusioned, half-done with people…and yet still craving their company.

I can see her particular form of reluctance — of weariness — from a mile away, spot the subtle tells. And every time I know what I have to do — and what I really should not do.

It isn’t easy to wait, but when I can, it’s my honor.

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A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching: Advice for Couples Seeking Another Partner 

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