I have some news for all of you who have been reading about my prehensile perseverance of love, despite all the disastrous dates, the specious suitors and the desultory dopes upon whom I have pinned my hopes:
I've been caught!
I know I said, in my post from June 10, 2006, that I wasn't going to write about my real love life here. Well, I lied... I'm going to revise that statement to say that I'm not going to write public posts about problems I'm having in my love life. In my post called "Why I'm Not a Catch..." from May 07, 2006, I said, "getting caught isn't what I'm looking for." Well, I guess there's at least some truth to the theory that you sometimes find something faster when you stop looking for it.
I've just spent the last few weeks getting to know a guy I've started to call my "boyfriend" (that term is going to feel weird for a while.) As we were in the midst of enjoying each other's company, including more than a week camping alone, I thought about the phrase, "getting caught." In the context of romantic relationships, which also includes phrases like, "there are plenty of fish in the sea," and "(s)he's such a catch," the expression presumably refers to the capture of one person by another. This suggests a predatory relationship, whereby one person relies on skill, opportunity and chance to reel in the "catch," who is in turn presumed to be of great value and thereby worth the effort. While I do value him greatly and consider him a "catch," the fishing metaphor doesn't adequately describe the situation.
Finding myself in a relationship with Chris (the name he goes by other than boyfriend =-) has felt much more like getting caught in a summer drizzle...you know, the ones that start in the middle of a sultry sun-drenched day. One minute, the sky is clear. The next, a foreboding cumulonimbus has moved in, shrouding the glaring light. Looking up, it seems as though someone has dipped a paintbrush swollen with dark paint into the mix, as billows of grey and black swirl in the sky, that only moments before had appeared whitewashed by the sun. Then, as the raindrops begin to fall on the hot pavement, they turn to steam at your feet. While the sudden and ominous darkness can be disconcerting, the benefits of the phenomenon quickly flood your senses. The clouds provide the relief of shade, the surrounding mass of hot, stifling air has begun to rise and the Earth begins to cool. Simultaneously, bolts of lightning flicker in the distance, promising the excitement of electricity. Somehow, this more aptly describes the surprising and wondrous nature of falling for someone...at least better than fishing could hope to.
Like the sudden storm on a summer's day, I had little warning as to what was coming when I met Chris. Yes, I have been going on a series of first dates, hoping to end my romantic drought, but I had long since abandoned the practice of carrying an umbrella with me. Furthermore, while my initial conversations with a new guy can sometimes inspire hope, as did those with him, I have learned to cloak my expectations with skepticism. After all, promise is broken often, once two people move from the cyber-fantastic world of virtual infatuation, into the harsh reality of real-world chemistry. In this instance however, the dark clouds of my own doubt have evolved into productive agents of much needed change. No longer filled with trepidation, they saturate and soothe.
Well, that's all very lovely and poetic, but realistically, this relationship has just begun and has yet to face any real challenges. Undoubtedly we will face difficulties and disagreements going forward. Neither of us can predict at such an early stage whether or not things will continue to work out. That being said, falling in love with him has been, and continues to be, glorious fun. Both of us are in our late 30s and, as such, have had to learn how to move on from failed relationships in the past. Should we have to do the same again, if things don't work out, I'm sure we both will. Nonetheless, whether this relationship lasts for forty more days or forty years, this is turning out to be one of the best times of my life and I'm enjoying it...we both are.
In the meantime, Chris has thus far proven to be all that I had hoped to find, as described in my previous post. He is an unusually strong spirit who is nourished by my attentions and in turn feeds my soul with his, no matter what emotional or physical obstacles we have encountered. Just as I had hoped was possible, he seems to see me so clearly and compassionately that he believes me to be a beautiful, passionate, successful, intelligent, strong, confident, independent, articulate, creative, joyful, affectionate, and worthy woman, even though I have already revealed to him that I am also occasionally insecure, fraught with self-doubt, anxious, uncomfortable, ignorant, speechless, vulnerable, neglectful, withdrawn, unhappy and self-absorbed.
Like me, he seems to have been longing for someone with whom he can share his lot...someone with whom he can celebrate victories, weather loses and undertake challenges. On the other hand, he has yet to fault me for being a lot. He doesn't seem to mind that I think a lot, talk and write a lot, do a lot, know a lot and feel a lot; moreover, while we are kindred spirits in this way, he seems prepared to handle a lot. As I lavish my attentions on him, I know that he both appreciates and reciprocates. When I look at him, I know how lucky I am to be with him, and I know he feels the same way. Fortunately, for us both, another thing we each think when we look at each other is:
"Wow, you're hot."