In my practice I have encountered many couples who although they were in the same space (desired a relationship); they were moving at a different pace (time frame). The ‘space vs pace’ phenomenon is real and has contributed to a few broken hearts and frustration. It is challenging when Person A is moving at a different pace and desires a committed, monogamous relationship with a goal of marriage in view while Person B is interested in moving at a much slower pace, although Person B adores Person A and may even consider Person A the person he/she would want to marry.
In this situation it is unfair for Person A to:
- Try to force Person B to speed up to their pace or
- Stand still and wait for Person B to catch up (there is no telling how long or if that will ever happen).
Nor is it fair for Person B to:
- Begin running full speed ahead (similar to entering a marathon on the day of, without ever training) or
- Expect Person A to wait
For Person A, the thought of (1) not being with Person B or (2) Person B dating someone else can be quite distressing. Person A may have thoughts of or fear:
- What if we never get back together again?
- What if Person B meets someone else and likes him/her better and pursues ‘happily ever after with that individual?’
- What if Person B meets someone and I remain single?
- I will not be compatible with someone else like I am with Person B.
While Person B may think or fear:
- Feeling trapped, manipulated, or forced to do something he/she does not want to do at this time.
Unfortunately ‘space and pace’ is not something you can impose on another, nor should you want to. Love does not operate, adhere to or grow when the 3 C’s are enlisted. The 3 C’s are when you try to Convince, Convert or Condemn someone because they are not moving at your pace. Instead, love thrives when you partner with someone who wants to be with you as well and is moving at the same pace and is in the same space.
At this particular juncture, although difficult, especially for Person A, it is best to lovingly let Person B go and trust that if it is meant to be, you two will effortlessly and organically cross paths again the same way you did in the beginning. When you lovingly let Person B go it is quite possible he/she may date other people and this is also true for you as well.
The key is not to remain stagnant during this space. This is not a suggestion to do anything you do not authentically want to do. For example, if you do not want to actively look for someone to date (i.e. creating an online dating profile, asking friends to introduce you to others, attending singles events, etc), then don't do it, it is okay. However, my suggestion is to remain open to dating and if someone organically crosses your path and there is interest, be open to going on a date. A date is not a proposal. It is not a commitment to anything long term. A romantic connection may not be the outcome and that is okay. Maybe a friendship develops or a potential business collaboration or this individual may be perfect for one of your single friends. Also, during this time continue to cultivate and nurture your relationship with yourself by engaging in activities that expand your heart space. Travel, try new activities, join social groups, etc. the key is to not sit around waiting for Person B. Love does not require or expect you to remain stagnant or to lose your vibrancy.
Dating is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about you, the characteristics and qualities that expand your highest good and those that constrict it.
Dating is an experience to undoubtedly know what you want and do not want in both life and love. These experiences allow you to have discernment and clarity to recognize your dream love when you encounter him/her in real life. Dating may lead to meeting someone new which develops into something long term, perhaps even the very type of relationship you previously desired with Person B. Or, it is quite possible after both you and Person B date other people these dating experiences will confirm for you and increase Person B’s pace because you both realize that what you want is to experience life and love with each other.
Odo Nnyew Fie Kwan is one of my favorite proverbs.
This Yoruba phrase translates into Love Never Loses its Way Home. Love is a master architect and may implore ‘unconventional or unexpected’ strategies in order to create your love story. It is quite possible the very skills and lessons you need to make your love space thrive will be obtained from another dating experience. Many of the skills, tools, wisdom, knowledge, etc you currently have was obtained from previous relationship experiences. Only time and love will tell. Remain authentic to your heart. Love is not desperate. Love does not expire. Love never forgets. – Misha N. Granado