Hello, everyone. I’m sorry it’s been a while, but I have two excuses.
One, I just decided to start a big writing project that will require a strong exercise of discipline, and I am not very good at exercising discipline at all, and if I am ever going to exercise discipline successfully, I can only concentrate said discipline on one thing.
Two, for the first time since I started blogging, I am in a relationship. A real relationship. As in there is a person who I can introduce as “my boyfriend” without panicking that he will race immediately from the room/board the next available flight to Panama/think that I’m crazy.
(I was fairly sure that this was the case, but, for the record, did wait for D to initiate the gesture by introducing me as “his girlfriend” before I began to reciprocate. I hear Panama is lovely this time of year.)
Now, as I’ve told you, at the outset D made the very thoughtful gesture of offering not to keep reading my blog. (I don’t mean to classify it as heroic for someone to deny themselves the pleasure of my writing–though he does like reading it–but, well, you get my drift.)
What I have not told you is that I promptly sabotaged his generosity by informing him that there would be some posts he could read–thereby putting myself in the awkward position of having to determine whether each entry is or isn’t “D-friendly.”
(For reasons that may be no more complicated than ego, I have an oddly fierce desire for people–like my parents, and now boyfriend–for whom reading my blog is a distinctly perilous endeavor, to read it anyhow.)
But I digress. The point is that D, thanks to my ego/idiocy, may or may not be reading this. And so I hesitate to write, well, anything. But especially this.
What I lack in discipline, though, I make up for in fecklessness. So here we go.
I may, or my not, be in love with him.
I don’t state this equivocally because I have any hesitation about us: I know that I love us. I grow more impressed all the time with him as a person and with how much I enjoy being with him. We are good.
But what interests me is not so much the question of whether I love him, which is, after all, rather personal (I know) and I’m sure will become clear over time. What interests me at the moment is the fact that figuring out whether I do seems, sometimes, entirely distinct from figuring out whether to say “I love you.”
Bear with me. Because it’s all about those moments: you know what I’m talking about. Those moments, when you’re embracing, or just looking at each other longingly (or, you know, “lovingly”), and it feels like you ought to say something.
And, well, “I like you” just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
I remember that before my ex said he loved me he, in those moments, would call me his “favorite thing.” D and I sometimes tell each other how “wonderful” or “amazing” the other is. There are things to say.
But still, I find myself beset with an impulse to say it–that most committed, serious of declarations–that I fear is entirely separate from the question of whether I truly feel it.
So for now, I’m resisting. I think it’s safe to say that I am falling in love with D–with all the blissfulness and wonder that implies. But there’s no need to rush things.
Starting to call me”babe” by our third date notwithstanding, D does tend to move rather slowly. (A claim that he supported, upon my casting of doubt, by informing me that he did spend two months considering whether to ask me on a date.)
Anyhow, I’m not sure what will make either of us genuinely ready to say it: it’s a big deal, but it’s also not– my informal survey of friends revealed that most people said it after something like two months–alarmingly short, to me.
But then there’s one of my best friends, who (thrillingly, inspirationally) appears to be just about as much in love with her new beau as anyone I’ve seen in years–who, after five months, still doesn’t feel like it’s something she needs to say or even hear.
And as she put it, that isn’t really what matters. What matters is the fact that the other day on the subway she saw a young woman sitting, tenderly, together with a man, her partner, in a wheelchair and felt like she could truly relate to their feelings for one another–something she wasn’t sure she would have said before.
“Love,” she wrote to me in her email. “Pretty crazy.”