I’ve started to realize that when you’re in love with someone, there are various types of love.
There’s the super giddy, romantic, “Oh my God you are so incredibly perfect,” love. There is the super sad “I miss you so very much” love. There is the unconditional love that comes from realizing your lover isn’t perfect but you embrace their flaws. There is the friendship love that comes before you are in love, and now I’ve discovered a new one;
The “I like living my life with you” love.
It’s no secret that I don’t do relationships well. Or commitment. Or love. Or anything involving feelings. I hate feelings. They’re dumb. They make me anxious. They freak me out. Just the mere mention of marriage makes my teeth clench up a little bit. However, I’ve realized that I’ve always skipped steps in relationships & I don’t want to skip them anymore. I want to enjoy every single phase of my life with this person & let things evolve organically.
Previously, my relationships were fast paced. I was engaged after three weeks. We didn’t live together before the wedding, but we worked together and he was at my house pretty much every waking second except to sleep…and all we did was fight. Or I cried about the fighting. So, I always equated that part of a relationship where the honeymoon stage ends and you just get comfortable as “omg he’s losing interest, he doesn’t love me anymore because we’re not all lovey dovey and pukey and what is wrong?” Or “Dear God, what happens if we get in a fight? It’ll get violent or ugly or he’ll leave!” I was terrified for the chaos, the fighting, the violence. The only love I’ve known was chaotic, except for the person I am with now. I didn’t know how to effectively convey that I was afraid of that and I had never been in a relationship that just progresses when we are ready and not because it was essential. My friends at the time were all fast movers when it comes to love, so they too had skewed views of relationships. The questions of “it’s been six months, have you had the talk about where this is going?” This exacerbated my fears of what marriage represents to me, which is fighting and anger and a loss of identity. My married friends tell me that the right person will fix all of these things. But why do they need fixing? I feel like the right person gets that the piece of paper just freaks be out. I don’t want to talk about it, I want to live life until we’re ready to make a change. And my love should mean more than a piece of paper that signifies commitment. Does that really make me selfish?
Anywho, I’m rambling on. Let me get back to my point.
Over the last couple of days, I’ve spent time with my partner doing domestic-type stuff. We bought a table from Ikea for my home & put it together. He drove me to the gym. We spent a good hour laying in each other’s arms not talking, just enjoying that moment. I enjoyed it immensely, but it helped me realize something very important; that I finally understand that comfortable “I’m in love with you, but I genuinely just enjoy your company,” kind of love.
I am crazy about my significant other. There is no one else I would rather be with. He is smart, he’s funny, he doesn’t find my random bouts of panic or crazy frustrating, he thinks they are just a part of who I am. He’s loving and kind. He listens when I talk. He’s affectionate. He knows how I think. He respects my boundaries and understands that my fears when it comes to love are very real and he’s patient enough to walk through them with me. But I have no desire to marry him. I have no desire to change any aspect of this right now. I love right now. Right now is wonderful. We are building our respective careers. I am adjusting (sometimes very poorly) to my new province. I want to work on my portfolio and learn to drive & have built a successful career at my day job. I like that I get my space to do my own thing sometimes. But I no longer fear the “this is good, let’s stay here.” I like here. I like that here will progress when we are ready to move from here and it’s okay that I have no idea when that will be. Truthfully, I don’t want to know, I don’t really think about it, I want to be just as surprised as you are. I like random days of nothing. I like that we don’t talk every day, but when we do we pick up the conversation right where we left off. I like that we can talk about everything from our careers to our deepest thoughts, or laugh about stupid things.
But mostly, I like that I’m not afraid.
For the first time in my romantic history, I am not afraid. I cannot promise that this will continue forever, or even until next week, but in this exact moment, I am not afraid. I am not afraid of the future, because I know who I’ll be with. I’m not afraid of the present because it’s a really lovely present. I’m not afraid of the past because I know things are very different now, not just with him, but with me. I was afraid, but when I was overwhelmed with my life & terrified that he’d leave, I turned to him & he listened & helped me feel loved & for the first time in my romantic life, I feel safe. I understand that men resent this label, but I think it would be the best thing. I feel secure with this person. He builds me up. Celebrates my accomplishments, from fitness (even though he thinks Crossfit is dumb) to my career. He helps make me the woman I want to be. And I’m really happy with him. And because I am happy, I want to enjoy being happy. I don’t need to change anything. Not every moment needs to lead to something deeper. Sometimes it’s just a good day or a great conversation.
You can love someone very much, you can know you belong with them, but also not be ready for the end result. I always thought there was something so wrong with that, but now I know there isn’t. I know who I should spend my life with, but that doesn’t mean that has to start right now. Right now, I just want right now. I don’t just love my boyfriend; I like him. I like his company. I like talking to him about mundane, day to day things. I like joking with him. I like that I can tell him anything & vice versa. I like all the coupley stuff we do. But I learned that not every relationship needs to be a whirlwind. Sometimes it can just be a gentle breeze that guides you along, and that suits me just fine.