Despite the fact that CBG and I have been together for over four years now, we’ve had very little practical experience as a “real” couple. Sure, we’ve experienced lots of things, but let’s face it, as a long distance couple we had the luxury of being able to enjoy an extended blissful honeymoon phase. Our weekends together were full of basically nothing more than fun, adventure, laughter and plenty o’sex. And ice cream. Don’t forget the ice cream.
Really, we were only experiencing the best of each other. I mean, sure, we went through some serious things together. Depression and anxiety. The death of CBG’s mother. Family drama with parents, kids and exes. Moves. Job hunting. Weight loss. Bad hairstyles. You name it. We’ve always been there to help and support one another through these things. Mostly from a distance, though, which makes a difference. There’s something to be said for being able to take a step back and focus on your own stuff while your partner is off doing his or her thing.
As much as it sucked donkey balls to be away from CBG the majority of the time, I must admit that I came to value my independence. I learned to do for myself. I carved out a comfortable little niche for myself. I could focus on my own crap in the two weeks that we were apart, and then on our weekends together we would put it all aside and do nothing but have fun together.
In a lot of ways it was pretty ideal.
And now CBG is here. And life has changed.
Not that I’m complaining. Because I am so not. I love having him here just as much as I thought I would. I love falling asleep in his arms and waking up next to him every morning. I love working to create a life together. I love sharing the boring little details of life together — like housework and running errands. All of the working parts that make up life.
But well…it’s different. As much as our life is full of laughter and joy, it’s also weighed down by reality considerably more than it was before. And the thing about relationships, even relationships between two people who love each other very much, is that they are sometimes uncomfortable. Loving someone means sometimes saying the hard thing…the thing that maybe might have been ignored when you were only spending four days a month with someone.
So this is where life is right now. We’re wading through a bit of murkiness right now as we figure it all out. While life is still very much full of laughter and joy, it is also uncomfortable at times. I am willing to go through this discomfort because life has taught me that discomfort leads to growth. And growth is essential to having a successful relationship. It’s like we’re outgrowing our old skin…soon we will shed it and step into a new phase of our relationship.
But right now? This place we’re at kind of sucks. But the good news is that if sucking = growth then we’re going to 100 times more awesome together than we already are. Good thing we’ve got 4+ years of love to see us through.