I am still reading the book that is basically the equivalent of a female bildungsroman, and as the main character reflects on her early twenties, she recounts how she met a man at a bar in Manhattan, dated him for two weeks, and essentially spent the next six years pining for him. While I hope this is not what I have to look forward to for the next six years, I came to the same conclusion she had at the end of the chapter.
Yes, the man I can’t stop thinking about was(is) wonderful, fun, intelligent, attractive and special, but what made him even more so was that, if I think about it, he was the first man I had ever really dated. Until meeting him there was always a sense of a quest, every relationship had a goal, and end product to diligently work towards, meticulously guiding the entire process. And it did become a process.
But this was different. I was able to enjoy time with him and not run home afterwards to plan our wedding while coming up with names for our future children. Our times together weren’t stepping stones to anything else. This doesn’t mean these times weren’t precursors for more, more time, more everything, but also, more of the same. I wasn’t dating to get married. I wasn’t dating to have children. I was able to enjoy being with him for the sake of it, and it was unbelievably relaxing. Almost as if before then I didn’t even know such a thing could exist. You mean people do this?
Whenever I thought of us in the future, it was simply an extension of the here and now, a prolonging of what was without definite expectations, except that it would continue to be. Well, I was wrong on the latter, but the overall sense of easy continuity was liberating.
And now that I have had this wonderful revelation, I can return to my previously scheduled pining.