I've been trying to put myself in my friends' shoes with regard to Carolina Man, but it's really been a struggle. I get the fact that for those who care for me most, what's most important to them is that I not suffer needless heartache again. They've warned me against moving too fast, urging me to be cautious (though when I ask "what does that mean?" they can't tell me) and to get to know him better before I make any big decisions.
But last night I ran out of patience. I was talking to my very best friend, and I snapped at her when she told me to be careful. "What does that even mean?" I snarled. And when I mentioned moving to North Carolina, she said, "Well, you'd be moving into your own place, right?" Earlier in the week when I told my good friend from college about how strong my feelings for Carolina Man are, he rolled his eyes and said, "You always do this." Always do this? It hurt to have my happiness cast aside as hopeless romanticism, as just another leap into the abyss of future disappointment. It was almost as if he was saying, "Haven't you learned by now?"
I want to scream, "You don't even know him! How can you judge someone you've never even met? And for God's sake people, can't you fucking trust me on this one?"
I was nearly in tears when I picked up the phone and called the most trustworthy voice of reason in my life, my mom. I told her how frustrated I was feeling about my friends' doubting reactions to my newfound happiness. "I know they want what's best for me, but why can't they just trust me on this?"
And this is why my mom rocks so much. She said, "Sweet girl, I have known you your whole life. I've always told you that when you met the right person, you would know instantly. I have never heard you talk about anyone the way you've talked about Carolina Man. And I trust you."
She said many more helpful, affirming things about my maturity and self-awareness, but what meant most to me in our talk was that she said she trusted me to know that this is right.
I want my friends to fall in love with Carolina Man. I'm hopeful that once they meet him and see us interact, they will. But, at the same time, my confidence in our relationship is based primarily in my own gut feelings and experience of him. My top priority is ensuring we have as much time as possible to get to know each other and experience each other in different settings, which is why I'll be driving down to North Carolina for five days this week. I can't wait.
Trust me on this one, friends. I know quality when I see it. And in time, I'm certain you'll see it, too.