RelaxWomen across the globe have produced countless phone calls, debates, books, diary entries and, yes, blog posts regarding the search for that elusive “someone special.” But for all the fretting and worrying some of us do prior to entering a relationship, we don’t always anticipate what’s going to happen when he or she comes along. Even a great romance is not without necessary adjustments to lifestyle and/or attitude that one might not have considered whilst pondering “When is he gonna get here?” Beyond that, stressing over the search may make it hard to sit back and relax once it’s finally done (at least for the time being).

My road to my current relationship was a long one. I had been single for just over a year—not exactly a long period of time, but my last situation was pretty superficial and lighthearted, and I had wanted for something of significance for far longer than that. In the midst of a summer that had been host to a revolving door of for-the-moment boos, it seemed like I almost accidentally fell for someone who I just didn’t see coming. By the third date, I had a feeling he’d be around for a while, and within a week of that, we were damn near inseparable. It was pretty shocking for me: I’d been waiting all of this time for something special and magic and safe—and here it was, staring me in the face and loving me back.

But for all of the happiness and good vibes, it was still hard for me to totally accept that I was actually winning the love game for once. It took quite a while before I stopped asking myself, “Will today be the day that he decides he doesn’t want me?” How defeatist and sad is that? I never questioned my personal worth, but it was hard for me to accept that, yes, things were going that well and that someone truly wanted to love me at the same time I wanted to love him.

I also had some fears over other women. They weren’t completely unfounded; he’s had a few missteps in his romantic past and there were some ex-flames who didn’t seem pleased with being extinguished once I entered the picture. He made every possible attempt to show me that he was not only serious about us, but completely divested from these other young women. I was privy to text messages, emails and phone conversations in which he said in no uncertain terms that he had a new lady and that he wasn’t about anything else at that point. Did that immediately clear up my doubts? Hell no. But between his actions (so far as I can observe them) and his words, I feel confident in his intentions to be faithful and his honesty with me up to this point.

My insecurities didn’t put a major strain on our budding relationship because I handled them early on (and, to be fair, I have a partner who is really understanding and, well, really invested in what it is we are doing). Had I continued to pick at him about, “How do I know you ain’t gonna just call her back up?” after he had already answered all of my reasonable questions (and then some), I could have done some serious damage to our bond. I finally learned to get out of my head and let my man be good to me. Instead of worrying over what could go wrong, I’m enjoying what’s going right. Now, I’m no fool; I haven’t made blind my eyes to the possibility of trouble, and I think I could recognize a red flag if I saw one. But anticipating or fearing the worst isn’t my focus; loving each moment together is.

If you put a lot of time or energy into your search for a partner, when you’ve found a good thing . . . enjoy it! Your relationship is, in some ways, the result of your own hard work, and you should savor the sweet reward. Don’t let your insecurities cause you to chase away something you’ve wanted for so long.

Be aware, but also be free to be loved.

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