The Neighbor and I have come through the swamps of change and reality. When I told him I loved him in December after two years of dating [mostly on] I irrevocably changed our dynamics. I had the willful kind of naivete that only a love-starved divorcee could have: I told myself I couldn’t live with myself a day longer without him knowing. What if I got hit by a bus and I’d never said the words?!
So, I said them.
And it was anti-climatic, like an ice cream cone in December.
What ensued were months of struggle for the two of us as we tried to recalibrate our feelings with the patterns we’d established. Patterns like he came and went mostly whenever he wanted to, he never stayed the night, I never spent any time at his place, I kept him and Peyton separate, I kept him separate from my family and most of my friends, we fucked A LOT and late at night, I was kept separated from his friends.
Let me simplify it even more: we had a glorified friends with benefits situation going on where he got his cake and ate it, too. I felt like I had a pseudo-boyfriend. Then the L word came between us and shook our silly little asses all the fuck up.
I love you.
Just like that I expected something different.
Naturally, I drove the changes. TN, I’m willing to bet, would have been perfectly content to never have changed our arrangement. The man had it made, after all. I sometimes wonder if he was just waiting for me to pull the plug on it all and walk away. He’s just that inert kind of guy sometimes.
The first few months post-I-love-you were sticky and weird. I looked forward to moving away, to getting some space. Guilt weighed on me — I shouldn’t want to get away, right?? But I did. I needed air to breathe, sweet and open. Now that I’d closed the gap I was hyperventilating; the weight of what we’d done suffocated me.
And what happened? I moved a minute and a half away because it was the best apartment for the best price. I sagged at the irony, but embraced the distance nonetheless. TN started staying over for the first time ever and we both realized that Peyton had come to rely on TN’s visits, too, so now there was a day just for the two of them to see each other.
But I still chafed. TN was often, if not always late. He changed plans frequently. He was weird and vague when answering questions. I felt off, scared, vulnerable. Too vulnerable. And the sex dropped off. Not a lot, but something about the whole shenanigan just changed. It was the same thing, different day, and instead of pushing boundaries, we were pushing the clock. Quick, stick it in before I pass out from sheer exhaustion!
When he moved into my apartment complex my hyperventilations increased. Did I want to do this?? Was he the right man for me? I’d slipped back into this weird, my-partner-must-be-next-to-perfect mentality. His likenesses to my exhusband terrified me and seemed all-consuming. The sex continued to feel rote. The occasional blowjob, the requisite orgasms and squirting. It was nothing to complain about — it wasn’t bad — but my mind was elsewhere. It was in the courtroom deciding our fate.
And then one day close to the end of summer something happened: I began to be honest with him about my apathy, my fears, my knee-jerk clinging reactions to my feelings of vulnerability. It’s funny how injecting yourself with some no-bullshit bullshit can really work.
The sex got hotter, our times together more sweet, TN and Peyton began to cultivate a special kind of relationship, too, where my poor little baby finally got someone to help diffuse Mommy’s intensity. Most importantly, I let go of these traditional ideals of “forever,” I swatted away the notion of “wasting time,” and I embraced the fact that I never had him in the first place so I had nothing to lose — relationship Zen and all that.
I felt free to enjoy him and all his differences for the first time in forever. That space I’d worked so hard to ascend when we were just fuck buddies was once again under my feet. I’d climbed Relationship Everest once again.
We don’t have sex as often as we did when we shared a wall and my baby wasn’t in school — I’m just too damn fucking tired at 10 pm when he’s raring to go — but we do other intimate things. He fondles my breasts, I suck his giant cock, he watches me writhe and cum under my Hitachi, we cuddle like beasts.
I feel like we’re finally in a good place as a real life couple. For the first time ever.
Not surprisingly, it makes all our old, boring moves in bed all the more gratifying. The same old fuck is now a potent encounter. The same huge cock stuffed in my mouth as I cum is dirty and titillating. The same grope and squeeze is delicious and sneaky. When he looms over me with a sweet smile and a smack on my ass it blasts through me like a sunbeam through a misty morning.
I feel that unmistakable lift of love: the birds twitter, the leaves whisper, and the wind whistles to me. I think of him and I smile and when my eyes land on him I swell with bona fide happiness. I’m almost afraid to be this happy, but then I ask the all important question we should all ask ourselves, “Why not??” And then I go right ahead and feel the fucking love.