So how do you do a relationship that has already been deemed “temporary”?
T.E. and I are still together, still going strong – stronger than ever maybe. Last Sunday we hung out together on Skype for 10 hours straight, with him finally going to sleep at 8am his time. We’ve had deep, meaningful conversations (or DMCs as he calls them) several times in the last few months that have continued to grow our bond and deepen our connection. In all the ways you’d normally diagnose a relationship ours would seem solid and secure, with nothing but a bright future ahead of us.
So why do I get so nervous?
There are a lot of things I guess you could point to which cause my nerves. Some of them are all mine – when you spend the amount of time single that I have (of my 26 years of date-able time I’ve been in relationships a total of about 6 years with only a handful of men. A small handful. Little kid hands, or possibly midgets. Or maybe squirrels – their hands are small too, right?) it tends to impact your opinion of whether or not you can attract and keep a partner. Just does.
Some of the things are our logistical challenges – for those of you who are new and haven’t yet combed through the archives to find out just what the heck this crazy chick is talking about anyway I’ll round those challenges up for you: 20-year age difference, 5000 miles between us, 8-hour time difference, he doesn’t like bacon… All big things. Especially the bacon thing. (Seriously, who doesn’t like bacon?) But don’t let me focus on that. (Bacon! So tasty!)
But I have to admit that the biggest challenge for me tends to be the knowledge that James, ever the pragmatist these days, has really thought through the potential future for our relationship, with all those challenges, and determined that at some point we’ll end. He’s not setting an end point, and has said he wants to stay with me as long as we can, but he’s not fooling himself that we can make it long-term. Some day, he says, we’ll be done. We’ll go from being lovers and partners to being friends. We both know with complete certainty that we’ll always be friends and connected but he can see that there must be an end.
Ironically I was the one that started out with this idea. In the beginning of our relationship I felt it was very important that I be realistic about this. “All these challenges really say that having this relationship is flat out impossible and don’t you forget it!” said my rational mind. “This is a fling. Just a fling. Don’t get too attached, and for the love of GOD do not fall in love.” What changed my mind? He did.
In the first year or so of our connection he kept telling me wonderfully romantic, idealistic things like “well I guess I’ll just have to keep you forever then.” Or “it’s a good thing that we found each other because we’re clearly perfectly matched.” I tried to hold those ideas off as cute but crazy. The cute was just so cute, that it trompled all over the crazy and left me nothing but cute to focus on. Eventually I was convinced that we could make it.
And make it we have! We celebrated 2.5 years this December! We’ve already beaten all the insane odds!
But part of what fed the break-up last spring was T.E. reaching his own conclusion about our odds, and it was that we had to eventually end. We just can’t really last forever, and he has reminded me of this periodically since then. I know he’s being smart and he’s most likely right. I should try to get back there too. I should get realistic and get ready for whenever that end comes.
But then I keep coming to that question: if I know we can’t last then how do I trust in this relationship now? All of those damned love songs playing on all those radio stations talking about how person A will love person B forever, until the end of time, til the world explodes, etc. – I shouldn’t be able to relate to those because I have been assured that’s not going to happen. So even though I’m in this for the long haul, and have told T.E. that , I’m on my own there and it leaves me feeling a little out here on my own. And from that? Comes some nervous.