"Does it exist?", "Is this it?", "Will it last?", "Can it work despite distance?", "Is it normal to feel homicidal now and then?". Ah, the things we wonder about love. Another common one: "Why is it never easy?". So much seems to be able to go wrong. The Other's often taken. Or has just gotten out of a relationship. They may be straight or gay - either way, not interested in your sex. Plenty of times, the Other doesn't like you back. Or "not in that way". Or you're not sure how they feel and don't have the guts to ask. Maybe the Other and you have a history. Or belong to a tight group of friends which means things could get awkward. Or they used to date your best friend/sibling. Or their parents hate you. They live far away or lead very busy lives so it kinda comes down to the same "I want to be able to do laundry with you" feeling. Maybe the Other is your Other, but interested in someone else. Or unsure of what they want. Or you're unsure of what you want, cause now that you're finally spending some time together, it's not as great as you had hoped.
Whatever the scenario, it very rarely goes smoothly. Fuck if I know how it's done. The one thing I'm pretty sure of came up in an interview I read with David Duchovny aka Fox Mulder the other day. On people.com, that's right, I'm not ashamed. The question was "What is the secret to a good marriage?" (to actress Téa Leoni, going on 10 years) and his answer was "Ask for what you want – even though you may risk being too needy or demanding. But to expect the other person to be a mind reader never works". I absolutely believe that's true. And I'm absolutely terrible at it. Before I know it, I slip into "This is what I'm expected to say/do" mode and fail to express what I really feel. Because I don't want him to think I'm lame or boring or predictable or bitchy. Because I don't want to rock the boat. Because I want to be liked. And it always bites me in the ass - eventually, the pent-up issues come out, he has no clue what hit him and the train derails. Next time (gah) I'm going to try my very best not to fall into that trap, not to be afraid to say when I'm annoyed, bored, or offended. I remember a time when my friend Alli had just listened to me rant about some guy and how I wasn't sure what my next move should be and, always the voice of reason, said "Would you hesitate this much about calling him up if this was a friend? Well, don't you think the guy you're considering to date should be a friend first? That you should be comfortable enough around him to...be comfortable?". Huh. Good point. Very good point.