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12:37 p.m. - 2012-09-11
Where I am right now
Coup de foudre? No. I think I am incapable of that these days. The few women I met before A., and A., I sized up with a critical, detatched eye: "We all know she's showing what she wants me to see, and I'm seeing only the parts of that sliver of a person that I want to see. So she's sweet and funny and thoughtful -- WTF do you expect, she's trying to find a girlfriend, for goodness sake!"

So I tried not to see what I wanted to see. Instead, I examined her/them for clues to faults: "What about this person is really gonna piss me off?"

I worried that A would be boring (there, I've said it) and difficult to extricate myself from if I wanted extrication. Her longest relationship before was only 18 months (must be something wrong with her) and she has a lot of pets and watches a lot of movies (I rarely watch movies and think they're boring and a waste of time). She does not come across as being very emotional -- maybe underemotional, unaffected. She has a good job, and a house and a car, but she isn't career- or success-driven. And worst (horror of horrors) she really liked ME. (Definitely something wrong with her there, right?)

So I was very cautious, I think, but I did finally tell her I think I'm in love with her. It's true and I'm sure of it, and it's not the same thing as "I love you," which I think carries more commitment implications. "I think I'm in love with you," as we both know, is basically infatuation. Short lifespan. Can be expected to fizzle out in a year or so, or so I've read. High school kids feel that way and think it's forever; adults feel that way and know better. At least I do, NOW.

Long-term relationships are more about work, acceptance, getting along, and wanting the best for someone else, right? The big C word -- Commitment, and wanting to be committed (as opposed to committed, but not liking it much)? Right?

That's what I want, and so does she, and I've done a lot of worrying that the fact that we both want it deludes us that we're actually right for each other, when maybe the desire to have someone for always is all we have in common.

But she has that something -- the intangible. It is not so much that she makes my heart beat out of my chest as that I like life better when she is there, and I want to make her feel happy and loved. She is not unemotional; she is someone who has learned to keep her thoughts and feelings largely to herself because other people a) don't want to be bothered or b) stomp on them. She is truly not at all that career-minded/competitive in life but I think I like that; I am damn sick of coming in second to someone else's career and I am probably competitive enough for two of us. Maybe I would be a lot happier, and accomplish a lot more, without someone constantly upstaging and overshadowing me.

I like her because I want to sleep with my arms around her and she likes it that I do, and moves toward me in her sleep. She says no one's ever done that before. I've only had two people like that, my best friend/love of my life when I was a teenager and the man I married. I know from my post-Kate, pre-Matt years that I generally don't like sleeping remotely near people -- not even in the same room, forget intertwined.

I like her because I don't have to be an actress playing who I wish I was around her. I did with Matt. He always wanted me to be more traditionally feminine/unassertive/sexy/interested in sex than I am, and it was exhausting.

The only aspect of my personality that I've changed for her is that I generally care too much what other people think, and I want them to like me, and not be uncomfortable/disapproving of/with anything I do. I do still care what people think of me in every other area of my life, but as far as my relationship with A goes, my friends and acquaintences can go ahead and withdraw their friendship/approval of me if they're uncomfortable with me dating another woman. I don't know if I ever really decided to do this, but I've taken the "I'm dating this great girl and I want you to meet her" approach with friends/family, with no more explanation than if I was dating a great guy. So far the response I have gotten is the same as if she was a guy, from the people who matter most to me. Either I have really cool friends or they will cool off -- hopefully the former. I suppose it's a good exercise in sorting the people who are worth keeping in my life from the people who aren't. Actually, I will be shocked if I get the cold shoulder from any of my close friends (though all are straight and have always known me to be) because I have seriously great friends.

I think I am happy. I think maybe I will make her happy too, because I think I really want to keep her, and do just that.



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