The person I was when we first got together wouldn’t recognize you. Oh, you look roughly the same. If anything, I’d say the years have been kind to you. There’s something about sustained happiness that has a way of elevating a person’s appearance, reshaping the facial muscles into pleasant shapes. And we’ve made each so very happy and for so long.
But your personality is so different. Mine too, to be perfectly honest. When we met, we were frankly a couple of doormats, who thanked other people for stepping on us. We became friends first, processing the situations in which we were being taken for granted. Not with any eye towards stepping into the place of our current lovers or anything. But as a supportive ear. A shoulder to cry on. An “am I way out of line to think X?” detector. That sort of thing.
The “check yourself before you wreck yourself” friendship. We had that. And it was glorious. Even when it was just that, it was glorious.
And then later, somehow improbably, we got together. And that… oh my goodness… that was a surprise. It blindsided us both, how compatible we were. How deep the love was.
Being with another doormat was wonderful. It had its quirks for sure — we had bouts where we’d try to “out-nice” each other. Mostly just annoying but still. It was a thing. (And frankly is still a thing from time to time).
But the best part of it was that it was so easy for me to tell you when people weren’t treating you well. When you needed to be more assertive and push back. And you were so good at knowing the same for me. Because it’s obvious when it’s someone else (although tough to detect when you’re the one doing it).
And we’ve taken turns over the years changing and growing. At different rates. In different ways. And at any time, if you took a still shot of us, it was a different relationship each time.
We’ve frankly been with so many people over the years, just being us.
(Setting aside the polyamorous stuff, which adds to it.)
I get a little dizzy thinking about it sometimes. And proud of us. For the flexibility, for being kind during those dances even if we sometimes stepped on each other’s toes.