Ready, Steady, Hold Up

‘Patience in pace is where true love forms and where mistakes – relationships aptly know as ‘hideous’ – are easily avoided’.

Chapter: ‘Pace, Darling’ – The Virgin Monologues


The last time I ever tried to run in high heels was along Las Ramblas, Barcelona at 4am. I was being chased by a very pretty, and magnificently toned transvestite, who insisted the cab I was leaping into was actually for them. Getting a cab at this time was impossible, so the need was intense. The heels were not Manolo Blahniks, (the only perfectly engineered heel suitable for running), so my stance was a little, chaotic – it wasn’t my finest hour. My friends already in the cab, refused to pause for a stationary mount, so the closest visual I have to describe the scene would be a cross between that of Daniel Craig leaping into the carriage of a moving train in Skyfall and the clumsiness of Melman from Madagascar.

There are some moments, which shouldn’t be rushed and one of those moments might just be the beginnings of getting to know someone.

This the season to delve deeper into the book’s chapters. The first post starting with: Pace, Darling. For some, the yes towards a prospective mate has been enough to sanctify a relationship for decades to come. It’s been a strong yes from him and a strong yes from her. For others, the rushing towards a person wasn’t necessarily a yes, but part of the desire of the chase and once caught, spat out like a hairball. Part of the fix-it plan. Part of the humiliating pattern of being spotted, to besotted, to obsessed, to possessed, to over-expectation, to control, to disagreement, to falling into despair, to dejection, to warfare, to disrespect on catastrophic scale, to change church and the community we surround ourselves with, to find someone to be besotted by….need I go on?

‘Men often rush at the start. Probably to catch the prey and win the chase. But slow indicates greater seriousness most of the time’. Or so an Irishman recently told me.

This slowness isn’t the airbag precautionary method to ensure we don’t make mistakes. It ensures you’re not stuck with a psychopath, or worse yet, a boy, disguised as a man.

Sometimes you’re as distracted as a kitten with string and you just need that Adonis you spotted in Warwick Avenue tube station to be yours forever. Even if you’re yet to know his name; you’ve seen him, you want him. That tension of wanting and learning about him is vital. It has never caused harm to hold up the reigns. It’s certainly caused problems if they’ve been let go of. Never seen the chariot race in Ben-Hur? Well you should. It might change your mind to accepting the 24 invites your new potential has extended in the last 3 hours.

Oh don’t get me wrong, the amount of hanging and the amount of jovial banter is not the rush in question. It’s the content within the conversation. The adoration, the overt: ‘I’ll catch a grenade for you’. Yet he’s known you 8 days. The density of words, thrown into a thick humidity of needs, all make for a car crash, already known to happen.

If he truly respects you. If he really wants the finest for you. If he chooses to take teamwork over that soul-full emotional MOT test, WD-40’d with your love and empty affections (how much can you really mean it after 2 dates at the Showcase Cinema and an evening over a light bodied Shiraz?).

Of course we might have a good gut feeling about them. We might even be able to fashion ourselves to stay accountable to those around us and those looking in. And in those cases, such pace isn’t too much of a worry.

But sprints can only be endured for a short distance; focus on your breathing and enjoy the moment, rather than sanctify them into predispositions and planned RSVPs. You want to take your time in this part, so that you truly get to see their soul, so that you see them without emotional attachment, so that your commitment has authenticity, has faith, has your heart’s best interests.

Additionally, don’t ‘fall’ into them either. Friendships don’t always need to become relationships. We can get emotionally attached because they’ve melted into our everyday without noticing. Some are best where they create fruit the most – in social circles. Whichever man comes your way, have a greater standard in your intentions for long-term relationships, than scupper the floor for bits of affection and meaningless declarations.

Today, it’s freeing to breathe according to my own lungs, and within the first month, should they push, you’ll know whether your soul is worth fighting for a voice for the rest of your life. Are they enjoyable in conversation? Are they busy still in their own agenda but have time for you as the intrigue grows? Or have you become the main priority after night one? Are they happy to skip along the path of wonder? Just for a little while?

The enjoyment is in the build, the theories over various topics ideally NOT about the two of you together. The delight is in the surprise, in the slow introductions, in the forming of mutual ideas, the adventure alone and together, with no pressure to take their name next week. As the climb builds, you’ll find men who will fight a little harder for you. Men who’ll know the details, instead of assume. Men who’ll give grace and respect your wishes, men who’ll breathe alongside you, not suck the air out of your sentences, men who’ll go gently with your heart, rather than shouting at it with defense and insecurity. Men, who’ll just want to be around you, because they like who you really are.

Seize the day, treasure the shared Mojito, and let the pace fall on trust, not hopelessness. Trust that great things come to those who wait. Wait in pace.


Do not panic.

For powerful women, and powerful men, never white knuckle in the hope of a self-made tomorrow.

They rest in the hidden glory of today.


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