There is a term used by those closest to me when describing what is commonly known as red flags within a romantic relationship: Bubbles. And there is hardly anything more disheartening than watching that first bubble emerge, then crack upon the surface of the water.
When young, more often than not, we formed unions based upon every reason in the book except the right ones. When older, and after having lived through a few perilous relationships, we submerge ourselves into the dating waters carefully. Or I should say, this is the method used by me and my closest, single friends. Me being the one that refused to go into the water for the longest time.
There is a period when getting to know someone during which, although blissful, we hold our breath within ourselves. This period being the first moments after our head goes under, and we find ourselves captivated. It is the period between discovery and total release. It’s as if all parties involved fill their lungs with air, then try to determine the structural integrity of the other. For me, I will admit, this does not happen often or easily. And perhaps, this is why amongst the others, I tend to be the most ungraceful of underwater swimmers.
Bubbles in no way are deal breakers. They do not necessarily hint toward the imminent drowning of anyone. Having said that, they do require a bit of thought. These small signs are indicators that things might not be held together as strong as we had hoped. Things might not be able to last as long as we had hoped. During my marriage I saw bubbles early. I ignored their presence and often blamed them on something else. When the truth was, they were signs that things were quickly loosing air. Now, as soon as I see a small bubble my eyes close softly, as I know I must honor the promise I made to myself to never again ignore what I am being shown.
Blame it on age, but we tend not to live just in the now when it comes to romantic pursuits. Instead, we take serious consideration as to the fact that what is in our now may also be what is in our future. Knowing also that a small bubble often becomes larger in time, we tend not to separate the two, now and then, as we did in our youth. Ignorance is bliss they say, and yet that truth has never been mine. So we plunge deeper, and examine from where the bubbles emerged.
I say all this with clear knowledge that we all have chinks; areas in which a bit of air can escape for the most benign of reasons. But instead of being an ever smiling young girl who saw bubbles as a mere byproduct of dating, I now pull back and exam things again. Ever thinking. Softly considering. Although I refrain from running at the sign of something that makes me wince, years of living with bubbles that explode upon the water’s surface was not healthy, nor fun. So if the bubbles are streaming upward in a steady pattern, I will remove myself.
I have to believe by the time a person becomes acclimated to staying underwater for long stretches, they’ve also managed to find someone who does not emit too imposing of bubbles. I really can’t say however, as none of us has felt compelled to stay under water that long. But one day we will.
Highly metaphoric meanderings tonight, no doubt. But often when I am most talking about something, I choose to do so by talking most about seemingly nothing.