When I was with my ex, we were both very self-contained. We didn’t eat meals together. Didn’t go to bed or sleep at the same time.
We were the proverbial ships in the night. More like roommates than lovers or even close friends. It was especially this way at the end of our relationship, when things had become strained.
But even when things were good, I always felt like he wanted a lot of space. A lot more space than I wanted, frankly. But I compromised and learned to find joy in my own company. And to savor whatever closeness we occasionally had.
The fact that we ended up on such different schedules was itself interesting because this was the case when my ex didn’t work or go to school. So if he’d wanted to, he could have totally synced up with my work schedule. But he didn’t.
Instead, he played a lot of games. Stayed up late raiding with the guildies. Slept while I worked.
There was a kind of distance between us that I took for granted at the time. My ex tended to frame it as though his way of relating was right and mine was wrong — he told me I was too needy, too clingy. That the fact that I craved closeness was not simply one quality of me but a sign of a deep personality defect. He told me that I wanted too much. Not just more than what he wanted — but more than what a healthy person would want. And that any reasonable person would want what he did.
Looking back, I can see that this distance manifested in other ways, too. We shared a bed, but even when we were sleeping in it at the same time, we had our own blankets. We didn’t share covers. And he’d get upset if we even touched incidentally while asleep.
Conversely, you pulled me to you in a tight cuddle when I started spending the night with you.
And after I moved in with you, you started shifting the time you went in to work to better line up with my hours — since your work schedule was more flexible than mine. You always wanted to eat dinner with me. When I got tired, you’d come to bed alongside me.
You wanted that closeness with me that I had always craved. That I’d been told so many times that no one would want.
And we’ve continued to do that all of these years. Whichever one of us has more flexibility adjusts. It just happens.
Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that it meant a lot to me when you got on my schedule. More than you probably realized at the time.