In romantic comedies, people are always meeting someone and falling in love with them pretty much immediately. And when one person realizes they're in love with the other person, there's usually an accompanying speech where one person says, "I know I just met you yesterday and I don't know your last name—Beckerman? Is it Beckerman? Schwartz?—at any rate, I love you," and the other person says, "I believe you because it makes absolute sense that you would fall in love with me after three days because no one has ever lied to me and I've never felt pain!"
But when someone feels that strongly, that quickly in real life, we don't trust it. We can't make sense of it. You love me? But it's been a shorter amount of time than I think it should take for you to know that you love me!
Taking it slow is idolized. If you feel intensely for someone in the beginning, you have to—have to put a stop to that, slow down, and let it unfold slowly. But who says taking it slow is the one right way?
A while back I had a several-weeks-long kind-of-relationship. The relationship was eerily comfortable from the beginning and I'd honestly never felt so immediately at ease with another person. I knew it was moving way more quickly than I tend to move in relationships but I figured that worrying that it was "too good" was like worrying if I have "too much" chocolate in the house: That's ridiculous and the best problem ever. Then he mentioned it. Our intense feelings for each other couldn't possibly be healthy or real. He said it like he was upset about it. I still think that's ridiculous.
But even when it ended, I still felt like it was a great relationship. I had been fully committed to whatever happened between us, good or bad. I trusted how I felt and how he felt and what I hoped we could be.
I remember it like the best spring break ever—a fun experience that had an end date and maybe got a little too intense, but at least I don't have any regrets about it. If you went on a vacation to a remote island that looked like, say, this for example:
If something is good, why not just let it be good? It should be really great in the beginning. It should be so lovely and wonderful that you can't believe it's happening. It should feel different than other relationships that came before it. Thinking there's some invisible textbook we all have to follow when it comes to love, and if we don't follow it, the relationship is doomed, is so limiting and potentially even unhealthier than rushing into it, when rushing into it feels good for both people.
Respond to his cute texts right away. Say yes to dates instead of playing coy. Sleep with him as soon as you want to.
If you go in fearlessly from the start, yeah, you might get hurt and it might not work out. But at least you really experienced how wonderful it was, for however long it was wonderful. And then, years later, if you're still together, your "We said 'I love you' after three dates" way was the right way for you. But you can only get to that point if you trust that what you feel is real, for now at least, and go all in.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.