I like TOJ a lot. In so many ways, he is tailor made for me. There are a few key things I need in a relationship to feel stable and he provides them without me even asking. He texts/IMs/calls on the regular, without provocation. He tells me where he's going and what he's doing, so I always feel like I know what's up. Seriously, boy texts like clockwork the second he gets off of an airplane or arrives at a destination and I like that. When I like you, I think about what you're doing, where you're going, and if you're safe and sound. I like that he checks in on his own and I don't feel like his fucking parole officer. It's nice.
That being said, I enjoy the fact that we have very separate lives. He does shit with his boys - drinking whiskey, going to dirty punk rock shows, etc - and I don't go. Nor does he invite me because (1) he knows I don't want to do that shit and (2) it's important to him to have his own personal space and time. I do my own shit - champagne brunches with my friends, going to fancy schmancy bars for overpriced cocktails, etc - and I don't invite him. I need my space and quite frankly, I know he would rather go to a dive bar or eat a nice dinner than do any of the aforementioned activities. I like that I don't feel pressured to include him in these things and I like that he has enough of his own shit going on where I don't feel like his cruise ship activities director (cough-The Blexican-cough).
Sometimes I wonder how/if we'll meld our lives. So far, he's only met two of my colleagues and I've only met one of his friends. I don't feel like we're hiding each other from people - given the way he talks, I know that he tells people about me and you know how I am - I run my mouth all day everyday about the most personal stuff, so everyone knows about him. Yet, I still wonder if we'll find the perfect level of integration. It's pretty early in the dating process, so I'm not super worried, but I do think about it a fair amount.
Which brings me back to the article. If you didn't read it, this quote from Stephanie Coontz kind of sums up the basic gist:
"One interesting trend in the past 20 years is that more people (are) reporting their spouse is their best friend, but the total number of friends people have has been declining. So we’ve become dependent on love to meet more of our personal needs. This diminishes our larger social ties, and it also puts a lot of burdens on the love relationship."I always thought I'd want to marry my best friend - I mean, that's how my parents describe their relationship, and it seems to be the model most people follow. Yet, the more I look at me and who I am as a person, the less I think I actually want this. I love my friends. I love them more than anything in this world and some of them have been with me for much longer than any of my relationships. I don't want to lose that. I am crazy dependent on those friendships - pretty much everyone in my life has a specific place and I really enjoy that. The thought of all of that support residing in one person terrifies me. I am a flaming hot mess about 95% of the time - I cannot imagine laying all that on one person's doorstep. I'm kind of a needy person, but I disguise it pretty well by having so many emotional outlets. Distilling that to one person makes my head explode.
As things move forward and progress with TOJ, I'm excited at the prospect of dating a man that I adore and really care about deeply, but who I don't rely on 100%. I know it's early and we could stop seeing each other tomorrow, but he gives me the hope that there is potential for me to find the relationship I've been craving my whole entire life. Almost every other man I've dated who actually wanted to be with me wanted that all-consuming, best friend, do everything together kind of relationship. For a while, I thought I just hadn't found that one person that I wanted to be with in that way. Now, I'm starting to think that there isn't one person that I want that with. I don't think I'm built that way. I need a relationship in which I don't have to surrender myself to anyone, yet I still can feel secure and cherished. Hopefully, one day I can find it.