Friday, May 9, 2014

It's a Good Thing

It's a good thing I'm not getting ahead of myself in this young relationship.

It's been four months of dating now.  We're in a really good place.  I know that sometimes, especially when people reach their thirties and later, romances become whirlwinds, and people end up engaged after a couple months, married at six months.  That's not us.  It's not us now, and it won't be us.  He's pretty cautious, and I'm pretty cautious.  I'm okay with that for now.

If I were getting ahead of myself, I would worry about the fact that he lives an hour away, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on traffic.

I would worry that, while he works twenty minutes from me now, he's going to be interviewing for a job that is forty minutes from me, and twenty minutes closer to his house.  I would worry that our weekday visits would be so much harder to manage, if not impossible.

If I were getting ahead of myself, I would worry that my last great hope of making a logical play to get him to move closer to the city if we stayed together will disappear if that job comes through.

Sure, his daughter lives midway between us.  Sure, I live in Alexandria and work in DC.  But if that job materializes, my third and final argument about him working near where his daughter lives would be gone.

I lived about forty five minutes away from everything for Angry Ex.  He worked in the city we lived in, I still worked in DC. He made me promises of dinners every night, and other accommodations to ease the fact of my commute.  He lived up to none of them. I resented him for it, and I vowed two things:

1) I vowed to never move in with a guy again until I have a ring on my finger and a commitment.  We don't have to be married, but we have to be engaged with a plan.

2) I vowed to never move that far away from my job again.

For the first time, I handled news like this like an adult.  I didn't automatically make it about me, or how it would affect us.  I encouraged him to apply for the new job if it's what he wants.  I told him he'd worked hard enough to deserve it and put in the time (it's within his same company).  I commented on how it would improve his commute.  He told me that from all sources he has, including his past supervisor and current supervisor, the job is probably his if he wants it.

In my head, I was not quite so calm, but I realized that was my own nonsense, and it was way too early to worry about anything in this vein.  I knew that it would have been wrong of me to project my own practical concerns onto him at this point, when the job is just a possibility.  I knew it would be wrong to pull focus from the excitement about a great professional opportunity to indulge my own insecurities.

Also?  Somewhere inside, beneath the surface worry, I know we would be okay.  We would work around it.  We would make a new normal if this new job becomes a reality.  I can't conquer all the long-term battles, I can't know how we would deal with the living situation if we ever decided to cohabitate, but the ones about how our day to day relationship would change during this dating period?  Manageable.  Completely workable.  I know we both care enough to sacrifice a little more driving, a little more inconvenience, to make time to see each other during the week no matter where we work or live.

After we'd talked about it for awhile, he said, out of nowhere, "Don't worry.  I haven't forgotten about our weekday time at your place."  With those words, he addressed the unspoken, and it felt better to have him remind me that I was obviously going to be factored in than it would have if I'd called attention to my plight on my own.  In past relationships, I would have gone down that road immediately.  What about how this affects me??  We'll never see each other!!!  Oh well, whatever.  It sucks, and I'm going to make you feel really bad about it, but then tell you not to feel bad, even though I passive aggressively want you to feel bad. So unhealthy.

None of that happened here, and I'm proud of myself, and I'm proud of him.  These are little things, but I love the way we are handling them:  matter of factly, as they come, with a confidence that we'll make it work.

It's a good thing I'm not getting ahead of myself here.  ;-)


  1. I think its fair to ask how this would affect "me", that's fine, but not making someone feel bad about it obviously. There are individual identities in a relationship and there is a "we". I'm glad he mentioned something, but don't feel crazy thinking those things. Its normal.

    1. Well, I know how it will affect me, and him, and us. And right now it's just a possibility, and so there's no point worrying about it until it becomes a reality. I assure you this isn't a case of me biting my tongue and putting my feelings aside for his well being, it's a situation where I'm learning how and when to share my concerns in a grown up way, instead of instantly turning a positive for him professionally into a negative for me personally. :-)

  2. It's a sign of your own personal maturity and of the relationship's, that you're not only thinking about yourself. And BF has a daughter to consider, so it's great that you're keeping her in mind too.

    It's healthy not to get too ahead of yourself - I'm guilty of it sometimes...I have a ready playlist of breakup songs and movies, but I also fantasize about my wedding location, which rhymes with Shmawaii. But I usually reign it in and remind myself that fantasy land, or worrying about bad things before they happen, are a waste of mental space.

    1. Yeah, it is hard to not get ahead of things sometimes, but I think I'm doing a decent job this time around. :-) I tend more towards worrying about how things can go wrong, so I'm proud of myself for reining it in and keeping perspective for once!