listen. this isn’t something that I’ve talked about much because it’s new and strange and difficult but at the same time so bone-deep heart-centre right and certain that in between the shyness and the sense of beyond-language yes-ness it’s difficult to make words out of.
but being in love – which is not the right term; we were in love for a month or two, but it settled into Love fairly quickly, because we are the sorts of people built to want and need that – is good, so good – it’s not giddy or magical or dizzying except when you think about how much has changed and how incredibly lucky and grateful you are – for me it’s that feeling of when you come in your own door, or you get in the car with your mom and your sister after a job interview or a long hard class and something you never consciously recognise tells you that now you are home and safe. it’s so small and right you don’t think about why you relax, why you feel like all the pretense is unravelling and you’re you again. it’s just – being. and safe. and good.
when I met Corey I was fairly convinced I wasn’t capable of falling in love, of becoming a shoulder-to-shoulder – what is it? we’re not two halves, we are already whole and together give each other the strength and space to make our own selves more whole and more Ourselves. I feel more comfortable in myself and more brave and able to reach into deeper parts of me with him, and I want the same for him. but I’d never been in love before – really, truly, I’d tried, because it’s mad to be twenty-four and know you’re not asexual and know love is a thing you want but never ever find it even when you open yourself to possibilities –
the point is, I met a man, and he became the kind of friend that’s even rare in my friendships, and even though he was infatuated with me from the beginning (which I still find absurd and improbable and delightful – not least because the first thing that he decided was that he liked me enormously as a person and would be happy with only my friendship because he valued me) he respected me as a human and not as the object of his affections. and we discovered we had nearly all the same goals and values. and that we loved and desired each other and wanted to share our lives and support each other.
and the whole time it’s just been – good.
I’ve found a person I can live in a single room with and not need introvert space away from. I’ve found someone who makes me want to dream too big again, who delights in my turns of phrase and idiosyncrasies. who understands when I am me and when I am terrible Not-Me and will physically hold me and anchor me through my own monstrous transformations of illness and fear until I am human in his arms again. someone whose every movement and choice and fondness and hobby and value makes me ache with fondness. but most of all someone who is, who was almost immediately, home.
we’ve never fought. we’ve had many disagreements and misunderstandings. w have both, just before we found each other, crawled out of a strangling evil pit of un-selfing mental illness. but we have somehow found our way to a trust in each other so complete that when one of us inadvertently triggers or upsets the other, we say something, gently, without anger, and we figure out how to proceed in ways that are healthy for both of us. neither of us have held a grudge, and in six months of far more real-life hardship than your average new relationship should have to factor in, never once have we been cruel or manipulative towards the other, no matter how unhappy or un-selfed outside forces have made us.
and I love him and I delight in him. and he loves and delights in me.
I didn’t think this sort of relationship could be asked or wished for. but God, I am so thankful, and so glad. all the things I thought I was selfish in wishing for in a partner he gives me freely, and I delight in offering the same relief.
being in love is not giddiness and soaring, though those things are lovely, and can be accessed within all sorts of relationships, old and new. being in love, choosing to love and show love, is just: making homes.