I had a guy once who would call me and when I answered he would say “hello” or “good morning” and he would draw it out long and excitedly and I loved answering the phone, because I knew on the other end was someone who genuinely wanted to talk to me. Then one day, it just stopped. He didn’t need to pretend he was excited to talk to me anymore because he had me exactly where he wanted me and there was no more need for the make believe.
In the back of my mind, it was that excitement that I wanted. I wanted to answer my phone and hear the person on the other end of it excited to talk to me. As excited as I am to talk to them. And not for their own selfish reasons. And I gauged every phone conversation after him with that in mind. Of course I know that is a terrible gauge because not everyone expresses themselves the same way but it’s kind of like when you are a secretary or you have a job answering phones, you are told to smile when you talk on the phone because people can actually hear a smile and it makes you more personable. That’s the thought I’m going with. I want to be able to hear someone smiling just because they are talking to me.
I think Derek smiles when he talks to me. Every time he calls and says hello with his cute British/African accent I just want to jump through the phone and kiss his face like an excited puppy. I’ve noticed, though, that in the between times when we are not texting or talking with each other, there is this space of nothingness. And it’s not nothingness in a negative way. It’s just a lack of…..something. I’ve dated other people who would get upset if I didn’t text back immediately or if I flew the coup and went on one of my one woman adventures. There was always an undertone of distrust that maybe I was up to no good or with another man and over the years in all of these unhealthy relationships, I was somehow programmed that those were normal people reactions.
So I’ve been sitting and examining this feeling of nothingness that I have going on inside me and I think I figured it out. This is what a healthy relationship feels like. That nothingness is contentment. When I don’t hear from him, I’m not thinking about him spending time with someone else and I’m not out trying to get to know someone new. I miss him, but I’m content. I’m satisfied in knowing that he exists and he is in my life and I accept that he has a life. He has the life he had before I ever showed up in it and he continues to live his life. Just as I am able to continue to live mine with no need to change anything from how my life was before I met him, minus the sexual partners, of course, but we haven’t even had that talk. I just have no desire to spend my precious time with anyone but him. He doesn’t even have to ask if we are exclusive. He can tell. He told me before we even slept together, he could tell I was in love with him. He didn’t make a big deal out of it. He didn’t try to use it to his advantage. He simply said he could tell by the way I light up when I see him. I didn’t try to deny it. I didn’t say anything. I just smiled and he moved on to another subject. Later, when he sent me a text that said “I love you,” I had a small moment of dread. Could this really be happening? Is this all moving too fast? And I didn’t say it back. I just sent a string of heart emojis because I didn’t know how to reply. And I was thankful that he didn’t say it in person because I wouldn’t have responded the right way even though I was feeling the same way. And then today after we got off the phone, I sent him a text and told him that I love talking to him and I miss him tons. His response, “I love you.” So instead of being weird about it again, I just said it back. It was so easy. And it just felt right. We’ve talked about how relationships don’t work if one person is always trying to control the other. We’ve talked about how it never works if one person is always making themselves unhappy in order to keep their partner happy. He just gets it. He just gets me. And I want this contentment and happiness to last ….forever.