Despite enjoying almost every second of the first four months of dating Carter, I've found myself feeling quite the opposite on several occasions in the last month or so. It's certainly not been as negative as my funk at the end of February, but I have found myself being more critical of Carter and finding it more difficult to enjoy him.
Since my brain seems to sometimes have no "off" switch (and I forget to pray instead of analyzing all the time), I've thought about why all of a sudden I find myself being bothered by a good bit (of not important things) about Carter. One thing I realized is that I've taken all of the great stuff about him and made it my new "baseline." For example, I like it when a guy has good manners, but that's part of my baseline. I'm not going to date someone who does not extend common courtesies (which I realize may rule out some Yankees:), so guys who do have good manners don't get major points for doing so.
Carter has a deep and abiding faith in Christ, is smart and educated, has been intentional and thoughtful about our dating, and all around has a lot going for him (except perhaps his choice in footwear and lack of musical exposure). And while I'm not going to date guys who aren't the things I just listed, I should not take all of this for granted either, making it a part of my silly baseline.
While taking so much about Carter for granted has been part of the problem, I realize that the bigger issue is my fear. I'm afraid to let myself hope. I'm afraid to let myself care. I'm afraid to not know if Carter is "the one" before I start really investing and entangling myself in someone else's life. So in an effort to know, I've tried to figure out why he isn't the one instead of allowing for the possibility that he is. After all it may take months and months to know if he's "the one," but if I can find enough wrong with him, I can know he is not the one right now. And I can avoid taking the risk of disappointment, hurt, and rejection. Lame.
Fortunately once I realized this and prayed for God's help in letting go of my fear, voila I'm back to enjoying Carter and looking forward to our time together. He came here this weekend, and we had a fabulous time, marked with four delicious cupcakes from Gigi's, knocking about in Hillsboro Village, lounging at Centennial Park, and worshiping at Cross Point Community Church. It's amazing how letting go can make all the difference. My new mantra: think less, pray more.
p.s. I'm grateful for my friends who give such wise counsel, asking the right questions and reminding me to seek beyond myself and my purposes and plan.