Months, that is.
S and I have been seeing each other about six months now.
For the first time in my life I'm not sweating the "next step." I'm not worried about WHEN we'll live together, IF he'll want to marry me, WHETHER he thinks I'm too fat, too thin or too old. I'm happy in this moment, happy with where we are and who we are together, and if it all ends tomorrow, I'll survive and look back on these months as a wonderful time of being in love, learning about myself and enjoying the company of someone I like and respect tremendously.
There's also an incredible amount of chemistry, but I don't want to make the rest of you feel bad, so I'll not brag.
We don't even fight.
Well, we had one fight.
Okay, so maybe HE wasn't fighting, but I was certainly giving it my best shot.
I'd had this really horrible day at work. I was mean and crabby and just looking for a reason to put my fists up in the air. He was trying to explain a concept to me based on what he thought was a question I asked (it wasn't a question, I was BITCHING about something, how DARE you think that was a question, mister) and I just lost my shit. I started crying, told him to stop patronizing me and if I remember correctly, I think I hung up on him.
I went into my standard "I don't want to talk about it, I'm going to be mad at you all night but I don't want to talk about it" mode. You know, the thing where you give him the cold shoulder, expect him to try and make it up to you for whatever mysterious thing he did wrong, sigh a lot and say "I'm FINE" in that terribly terse tone of voice when asked "Are you OK?"
He put up with about 20 minutes of it and then carefully unfolded himself from the couch, put on his coat, and said "Look, this is uncomfortable for me and I don't think staying here is going to do either of us any good. I'm going to go home and we can pick this back up tomorrow."
OH MY GOD.
What I love about being horridly codependent is that I don't hear what he's saying. I don't hear "Hey, I like myself and I won't sit here and be treated badly by you. I like you, and I think you need space to work through whatever it is that's bothering you. Since you don't seem to want to talk about it, I'm going to go somewhere else until you feel better." I don't hear any of that. My codie brain hears "I hate you and I never want to see you again."
It was not a good night for me, certainly not one of my best. Maybe not one of my worst, but definitely not one of my best. And fortunately, for this relationship, it has not happened again. I learned something from that night. I learned that you don't have to try and carry on a conversation that isn't going to get you anywhere. I saw and heard someone respect themselves so much that they very politely declined to be treated badly by someone else, and even if I didn't recognize it at the time, I remembered it and I learned from it. I looked at my own behavior and I saw something I didn't like, something I wanted to change.
The next day, and the following days, I also was treated to the solidity of a person who DID come back, who DID pick up the conversation, lovingly and without animosity.
I learn a lot from this man, about knowing yourself, about how to be loving to yourself and to others, about how to voice your needs without being overbearing or pushy.
All that aside, I am also incredibly happy, incredibly loved and in love. I am with someone whose company I enjoy to a degree that is ridiculous. Whether we are out with others, home watching a movie, discussing something deep or laughing about something silly, I like being around him. I like how he patiently listens to my kids and doesn't get his feathers ruffled by their issues. I have no idea how long this will last. I hope its forever.
So anyway, six months.