We’re around the six month or so mark, CBG and I. It’s been absolutely amazing. I think I’ve actually settled into a place where I finally believe that he’s going to be here every night when I get home from work, and that I’m not going to arrive home to an empty house one of these days.
It’s been a huge learning experience for the two of us, these past six months. Learning more about one another, our living habits, our moods, working together, and the meaning of compromise. Most of all we are learning what having a healthy relationship really means. That part is both easier and way more difficult than I think we both anticipated. Sure, it’s a piece of cake (mmmm…..cake) to be “perfect” when you are only physically together a few days a month. Not that we were perfect together even then, but still. Spending day after day together leaves us both a lot more opportunities to screw things up.
And trust me, screw it up we do. Both of us.
The thing is, that’s what happens in relationships. Not just with us, but with everyone. It’s part of the human condition. Trying to prevent screw ups all the time is an exercise in futility; all we can really do is our best to learn from those mistakes and do better next time.
I think my own biggest learning experience from all of this is realizing that I don’t have to be the same person in this relationship that I was in my last one. I don’t have to fight. I don’t have to be mean and spiteful. I don’t have to hold grudges and hang on to bitter resentment. I may make mistakes in this relationship, but they don’t have to be the same mistakes that I made the last time around.
This became apparent to me just last night when CBG and I ended up in a bit of a tiff. We had one of those brief, ugly moments that could have easily escalated in something truly awful. And honestly, in my previous relationship it absolutely would have. In the blink of an eye, in fact. But last night, CBG and I approached the brink of awful-ness but before it reached that point, together we reigned it in. As it was happening I had a moment where I realized all of this — how I could have reacted, how I wanted to reacted, and how I would have reacted in a past relationship.
And yet, I didn’t do any of those things. I simply took a deep breath and I did better. Maybe not perfect, but definitely better. And you know what? I’ll take that. Gladly.