So, tomorrow is four years to the day that Jake and I met and started a whirlwind and largely long-distance romance. It’s also two years since we moved in together (more or less). I feel so, so lucky to have met such a fantastic partner. Here are some of the things I appreciate most about him:
His compassion. Despite being somewhat of a misanthrope, Jake really has a heart of gold. A week ago he was almost home – about 100 feet away, actually – and saw two dogs running loose in the street with no people. He pulled over and got out immediately, calling me to let me know. One of the dogs was one we know lives nearby, so he returned her – the other? No people anywhere. She was friendly, and so we took her home with us. Turns out she’s pregnant! I was the one who ended up finding a beagle rescue that would take her and her pups and she went off to her new foster mom’s yesterday, but if he hadn’t pulled over, who knows what would have happened? He also took me to the urgent care on no sleep recently when my shoulder/back/neck got wrenched and took over a lot of the household stuff when I hurt too much to lift anything bigger than a glass of water :-) At my request, he has also started stepping up his participation in errand-running, household chores, and date-planning.
His affection. The first thing we do when we wake up in the morning is kiss and cuddle. Then I get ready for work (I leave before he does) and get a l-o-n-g hug and numerous kisses from him before I leave. When he gets home at night, we hug and kiss again, and often snuggle on the couch while watching TV – I’d say we make an effort to touch each other every 5 minutes even if we’re not sitting on the same couch. I also get a long hug and many kisses from him before I go to bed (and sometimes he tucks me in… ). I count this separately from sex because I really do think it’s completely different, and just as necessary. I asked him yesterday how things were after this long with his previous girlfriend (who he dated for three and a half years or so), and he said the tension was so high they were rarely in the same room and almost never talked to each other – let alone snuggled for 5 minutes in the kitchen when they were supposed to be deciding what they wanted for dinner, which is what Jake and I did last night!
His hotness in the sack. Jake and I have both said on numerous occasions that we are each the best sex that the other has ever had. I have fulfilled fantasies for him that he was too embarrassed to even tell his previous girlfriends he desired, and he is generous and considerate (read: mad head for me and he always makes sure that I have an orgasm if I want to, even if he’s only tangentially involved). Do we have sex quite as often as I think both of us would like? Well, he works 80 hours per week and has a sleeping disorder, so no, we don’t get it on quite as much as we did when we were a) four years younger and b) in school (when he wasn’t working at all and I was only working part time). So right now we “settle” for 2-3 times per week and count down the days when he can quit his job in favor of something better (right now the end of 2012 is the date we are shooting for, given our finances at this point). I put “settle” in sarcastic quote marks, because how can you call it settling when it’s the best you’ve ever had?
His sense of adventure. He is always wanting to visit places he hasn’t seen before (he’s coming with me to London!), eat at new restaurants, try new things, watch new TV shows, incorporate new sexual acts or fantasies, or just drop everything and go out for a beer. It’s very difficult for me to be spontaneous (it seems to me that anything that is a surprise is a bad thing, but since people don’t usually plan bad things, anything planned is usually good), so this is something I struggle with. But at the same time it’s something I’m grateful for, as I’d be way too rigid and structured if I didn’t have him to challenge me in this way. We’re trying a new restaurant for our anniversary dinner tomorrow, and I’m totally stoked – he’s been wanting to go there for years, he says.
How much we have in common. From everything to political orientation, dietary preferences, and religious views to what kind of pets to have, from whether to have children (or not) , to whether we want to buy a house (or not), to the kind of TV shows and books we like (probably over 50% overlap), to how much time we want to spend with friends v. just hanging out with each other (turns out we are both way less into hanging out with other people than we used to be, which we discovered in conversation the other day) – we are in agreement on almost every major issue, which makes compromising on the smaller stuff so much easier. But at the same time, we’re not so alike that we’re carbon copies – we have plenty of minor disagreements to keep us on our toes and remind us we’re not always right!
I get frustrated with him sometimes (and believe me, it’s mutual), but we’re both aware that matches like this don’t come around every day – we’re willing to work to keep the other, which is something I think so many people forget to do. Getting someone is the easy part – keeping them is what’s tough.