Don’t lose yourself in a new relationship and jump in to commitment too quickly

Block.JennyThe funniest jokes are the ones that are true, which is what makes the most famous lesbian joke of all so funny. Too funny for our own good, if you ask me.

“What does a lesbian bring on a second date?”

All together now: “A U-Haul.”

It’s scary but true. We are known for our insta-nesting. There’s no way around that. And why we do it is painfully simple. It’s in our nature to nurture.

So, we meet a girl we dig and the first thing we want to do is snuggle in and take care of her. It’s pair-bonding at it’s best — and it’s worst.

The thing is, although it might primarily come from a good place, it also comes from a place of fear, which is never a good place from which to operate.

When you think about marking territory, men and dogs might be the first groups that come to mind. But the truth is, lesbians don’t fall too far behind when it comes to the, “MineMineMine” behavior and mentality.

Why? Well, I’ve got a couple of ideas.

One, it’s not easy to meet the right girl. So, when you do, you want to hang on to her. I get that.

Two, we like to lock things down; it’s easier on our over-thinking, over-processing brains. If we can get a confirmation on this coupling thing down quickly, we can move on to other things like volunteering at that food bank and starting that kale garden.

Three, and don’t get all bent out of shape about this, but we are girls. And even the toughest amongst us fear a broken heart. So, having a girl park her VW in your garage and her golden retriever and jet-black feline in your house is, let’s face it, a welcome safety.

But, my friends, we have to break the cycle. This U-Hauling business may work for some, but it is not a good idea in the long run for most of us.

I repeat — not a good idea.

I know, I know. You have this friend … . Or one time you … . We all have those stories.

But I’m not talking about the exceptions. I am speaking of the rule. Make no mistake, insta-nesting is a dangerous game.

Why?

For starters, you miss out of a lot of the fun stuff. Sure, safe and easy might feel nice. But new and exciting feels amazing. If you’re meant to be, you’ll be. Trust me.

The rush has more of a chance of ruining you than solidifying you. So enjoy the slow burn instead. Go out on dates. Stay at your own place by yourself once in awhile. Don’t lose track of your friends. Leave the wedding planning for later.

When you take the time to really learn someone, you can enjoy the experience of being new and special to someone. And there’s no feeling in the world that compares to that.

Waiting for that person to call or text. Looking forward to a big date at the end of the week. Planning outings for the next time you’ll see each other — Those are the joys of dating. Why rush through them?

You have a lifetime to figure out who’s going to make dinner and who’s going to take the dog out.

I have a confession to make. I was a U-Hauler — if not literally, then certainly figuratively.

I would meet a girl; feel a connection, and get right to the relationship part, promises and all. And — you guessed it — it never worked out. I have asked myself a thousand times why exactly I do this. I have no good answer other than, sigh, genetics, old habits, and, I don’t know, my star sign?

But this time around, I’m dating a new kind of girl. A non-U-Hauler, if you will. She’s younger than I; maybe the next generation is learning from our mistakes?

She is committed to her job and her friends and her life. And she wants someone to share her life. But she doesn’t need someone.

That is something I have long preached. But I am doing a far better job of practicing this time around.

With this girl, there was no sex on the first date — or the second or the third or the fourth for that matter — even though it was very clear that we were both very interested in one another. And there was no casual throwing around of the word “girlfriend.”

She asked when she was ready and because I was ready, I said yes. Same went for saying, “I love you.”

I’m not saying we waited a crazy long time for any of those things. We didn’t. But we did wait. It felt so incredibly different. It felt conscious and thoughtful and intentional.

It felt good.

And, interestingly enough, it feels more secure and concrete then the rushed versions of my past. I know she loves me. I know she wants me to be her girl. And those things are equally clear for me, too.

Will we be together forever? Too soon to tell. But I do know that the foundation we’ve set is a firm one and that each step we take forward will be a smart one.

Jenny Block is a writer and the author of the Lambda Award-winning book Open: Love, Sex, and Life in as Open Marriage. Her writing appears in and on HuffingtonPost.com, Curve Magazine, Dallas Voice, Edge Media Network and many others. Her new book, O Wow! Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm, is due out summer 2015 (Cleis Press). JennyOnThePage.com.