DD has been a lifesaver over the past week or so. Fortunately not in the surf, though he was a swimming instructor many moons ago.
I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by my rollercoaster life and making mercy dashes up to his place for swims, lunches, hugs and glasses of wine on his couch.
It’s times like these that I wish he didn’t live 35 minutes away.
Although the distance is a good thing in other ways, because driving to the sea disconnects me from my dramas.
On my most recent mercy dash, as we sat chatting on the couch together, it felt like we’d reached a milestone in our relationship. Our connection was strong and safe and warm and relaxed.
I like that our relationship feels – to me at least – like its in the giddy early stages, despite the fact we’ve been together almost five years.
A website called Better Relationship reckons: “Typically after you’ve been together a year or two, you’ll notice that things have fallen into a slightly different pattern … There will be a decrease in the strong feelings of lust, and perhaps also the feeling you think of as ‘love’. There will be more awareness of and knowledge about the differences between you, and probably more conflict, as well.
“This is normal. The thing is, we learn from movies, books and magazines that “love” is supposed to be a non-stop courtship phase, with strong feelings of love, lust and happiness and little conflict… forever. This is not realistic, and the end result is that when those initial feelings begin to decrease, many people think that this means something is wrong – maybe this isn’t “the one” after all.
“However if you follow this track, you will go through an endless cycle ending and beginning relationships. Because the fact is that those initial strong feelings are largely a chemical reaction in your brain – one that simply cannot last forever.”
Except we haven’t lost our courtship joy or any of the initial stuff. We’re still sending heart emojis and taking sunset selfies and treating each other gently.
I lost that somewhere along the way during my 23 years with my ex … and then I lost him.
I wonder if I’ve kept the joy with DD because we haven’t moved in together or blended families or had children.
We both lead very busy lives, so we only see each other a few times a week for a few hours apiece. There’s no time for complacency.
I contacted an old friend yesterday to check how she’s faring. She asked if I was getting married … presumably because that’s what people do when they’ve been together for almost five years.
But I’m still married to my ex and even if I wasn’t, a wedding wouldn’t be on the cards. DD and I lead separate lives that might be logistically and financially easier if they were completely shared, but how much magic would be lost in the assimilation?
I admire anyone who blends at my age and life stage and makes it work, because it can be bloody tough. (I particularly admire couples who manage to make married life work for decades.)
DD and I have chosen to leave most of the hard stuff out of our relationship and focus on the fun.
Well, it hasn’t been a whole lot of fun for DD being bombarded by my recent single mum woes, but he’s a very good listener and supporter.
Not to mention very patient – he hangs in there and waits for the sparky me to return.
She always does.
And we will find a window in our busy lives for a little escape the daily grind.
We both need one.
Song of the day: Robbie Williams “She’s the one”