with M's finally coming over to be closer to me so we can get to know each other better, and assessing how our 10-month-old long-distance relationship has been one beautiful friendship of being "more than friends, less than lovers", i am only realizing now that we are in courtship!
it should be obvious but it is not to me. im used to the dating mode, just meeting people, having a good time, usually falling in love with them, too, sharing intimacies sooner than later.... BUT, -- as the definitions i've found say-- without the express intention of trying to get to know each other better, with the view towards marriage someday. courtship is a stage where both the man and woman expressly indicate their intentions of marriage while also wanting to get to know each other (character, values, the real person behind the dating facade, through friendship) better to see if they really are fit to marry each other.
with the dating mode, no wonder the broken hearts and broken dreams which i do not care to count nor go back to again, ever.
i'm currently in the middle of Joshua Harris' Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship, with I've Kissed Dating Goodbye next in line, and i've been having a tearful, gut-wrenching, heart-wrenching week, touched by the stories in the book, yet also reminded of the past, and all the things i did wrong!!!
last night, i cried so hard, thinking with all the things i did wrong (not in line with courtship principles) before, how could i ever do it right this time, when i want so much to do it right???
today, though, i found this one more new article link, which gives me hope, and calms me, and points me to a good direction i am confident i can follow.
reading all these now, i understand better where M has been coming from all along, and i admire and respect and love him more now for all his restraint and wisdom. what i thought was his shyness and inhibitions before at not rising up to the bait of all my provocations-- is actually good old common-sense and old-fashioned respect and affection for me. i feel so ashamed of my self now when i think of all my shameless provocations. (blushhhhhhhh!!!)
it is me who has a lot to learn from him, after all.
heck, i am already 39, more a nominal Catholic than a "law-abiding" one, prefer to call my self more spiritual than religious, left a bad 10 year marriage, and later on had marriage annulled both in church and in the courts, "been there, done that" to learn things for my self from experience instead of the shoulds that other people/institutions say one should follow, been wild, been broken, triumphantly survived it all... and now, strangely, in a budding relationship with a good man of character, whose very presence in my life has encouraged me to go back to church and my most deeply-held values and beliefs, feeling like a babe in the woods all over again!
i've never had a proper courtship before; i was just so lusty, jumped in there with all my heart, and eyes closed. look where it got me. no regrets, had lots of fun and lessons and gained lifelong friends,... but wouldn't want to go back there either. as M says for himself, also, there's not much room for more unnecessary hurting and breaking anymore...***
looking back now to more than 10 months ago, it is uncanny too, how, that week i was introduced to M, this is what i posted here--
"i want to do it right this time".