Going on a date with an anchor partner? Well, it’s quite a different matter than cavorting with the new shiny.
It lacks that nervousness, that glint of uncertainty. The frisson of oh my god, what is this? What is this right now? What will it become?
When you’re dating some new, it’s like clearing those impossible gaps in a platformer. Mario catching his boots right on the edge of a shelf o’ mushroom. Or one of those structures that look like strawberry wafer cookies. You are timing everything. Just making the jumps. Maybe. There’s always the question of whether you’re going to run out of lives or time to finish the level. Make a giant ass of yourself.
But an older, more established relationship? It’s like playing a whole ‘nother game. Especially if you’re stable and get on well (ideal, since you spend so much time with them), an anchor relationship is more like putting together a puzzle. It’s not as exciting from moment to moment. It comes and goes in stops and starts. And you’re working together.
A number of my friends who are single and/or casually dating crave this kind of entanglement. Old Relationship Energy. And it really does have its benefits.
But if you aren’t careful, inertia can lead to apathy. Emptiness.
I don’t want to be those people that spend night after night sitting in our pajamas in the basement. Screwing around on our laptops. Never talking. Never interacting.
So Skyspook and I make an effort to continue dating each other. We do this when it is just us and continue when there are others in the picture.
I have noticed, however, that even when we’re trying to disrupt the inertia of the comfortable relationship by making an effort to date each other that the Old Relationship Energy can’t help but creep back in.
But this can be a really good thing.
Date Night with the Anchor Partner
On our last date, we went out for hamburgers. But on the way there, we stopped at an auto parts store to replace my front headlight that had burned out.
After the meal, we went to World Market with the thought that we’d find some funky wine or booze to drink back at home. But while we were there? We bought some extra forks and spoons because most of ours broke or wandered off. And minced ginger so I can make Korean pork.
“Silverware and groceries. We’re such yuppies,” I said.
But we did find a cheap bottle of bubbly. Merlot rosé, a first for both of us.
At home, we downloaded a dating sim loaded with busty anime babes. A favorite of mine, but something past partners made fun of me for enjoying. After Skyspook figured out how to hide the announcement from his Steam friends, we were off to the races! Playing it together.
The rosé was superb, the gameplay solid, the anime girls super hot. Skyspook and I reveled, especially in the latter.
Several game endings later, we retired to the bedroom, a snarl of sexual tension begging to be untangled.