Three little words…
I’d wanted to wait for that magical six-month mark and that’s another month and a half away. And it may be too soon then, we will have to wait and see.
Only I didn’t. The cat is, as they say, out of the bag.
It just slipped out, in a moment when I let my guard down. Late Sunday afternoon, we were driving to friends to play board games. The sun was out and it had gotten warm enough to where things had started to melt. We’d been enjoying yet another wonderful weekend and were both feeling content and relaxed, chatting idly. In a moment of quiet I reached over and put my right hand on his left thigh, as I frequently do while driving. I gave it a squeeze and said, “I love you.”
Silent alarms went off in my head. Protocol had been breached. A sharp intake of breath, as my eyes went wide with surprise at my own lack of discipline. I’d let down my guard.
I think his response was, “Whaaaa?”
I immediately moved in to fill the void. “Oops. I didn’t mean to say that. It just slipped out. Sorry. (I am forever apologizing for everything – a bad habit that comes when frequently making stupid mistakes.)
Then I pressed my open palm to his forehead, as if to erase his memory and added, “Just forget that I said that, okay? Pretend it never happened.”
He merely laughed.
“I don’t suppose I can call ‘backsies’ after the fact.”
Again he laughed. I think. I can’t remember if he said anything, so overwhelmed was I.
Changing the subject quickly, we don’t talk about it again and still haven’t.
The rest of the evening plays out. The game was fun. We all ate bagels and talked about dogs. Back at his place, we ate (a simple spinach salad with feta and shitake sesame dressing, with fresh-out of the oven cornbread muffins – yeah, I’m in a domestic phase), and watched a couple episodes of a BBC comedy/drama all cuddled on the couch. I did the dishes before packing up and heading for home. It’s getting harder and harder to leave.
And that’s a good thing.
Monday, another day of melting snow, we go for a long walk along the greenway, holding hands the entire way. Holding hands is one of my favorite things about our relationship; it demonstrates a sort of declaration and bravery that had been foreign to me before. It also represents the kind of casual intimacy that I have long craved.
It feels beautiful to me.
And he is… beautiful to me. He treats me well, we laugh, share adventures, and interests. Everything is going really well.
So, I am not going to beat myself up for my little slip up. I think he gets it. We don’t need to dissect it or discuss it further.
It simply ‘is’.
While I definitely find myself playing with various scenarios regarding how it all plays out and where we end up, nothing is written in stone or ink. I keep reminding myself to remain open to the experience and to enjoy it for what it is, in the moment, as it is happening. That’s healthy, for both of us, and a lot of fun. I remain grateful and happier than I have been in years.
So, for now… I am going to hang onto those ‘three little words’, until the time is right. Or maybe until he says them first.
In the meantime, I have adopted the word ‘adore’ as my go-to word.
Because I do…
…I absolutely 'adore' the man.