Last week on my personal Facebook profile, I changed my relationship from “single” to “it’s complicated”.
No photos. No names. I’m not one to spill intimate details. I like to protect the privacy of the people who choose to expose themselves to a writer’s life ~ this writer’s life.The family I’m born into and gave birth to don’t have much say on the matter. But the ones who have a choice . . . those are the ones I admire. The ones who are strong enough to stick around when the word goes to print. The ones who don’t unfriend me on Facebook because they see the struggle between who I am and who I want to be, and the dichotomy between my very personal and sometimes public life.
Last week, my two worlds collided in a very unexpected manner. An old friend came to town. We went out. And then he said it. It. Those three little words that every woman loves to hear from the man she wants to want her in return.
Complicated? I’ll say so. There are many dynamics [read: hurdles] we would have to conquer to make a relationship work. Those are the private moments. But we’re talking. We’re sharing. We’re growing closer. That’s the public life.
He’s not perfect. [He had the nerve to ask “Why Toronto?” when discussing travel destinations.] He doesn’t drink coffee as much as I do. [That’s okay, I’ll have his share.] But he likes cats. He encourages my writing. And he’s taller than me. [Yes, mother, when I’m 5’8″, a man who can tower over me is a nice thing!]
I’m not perfect. I cry too much. I told him I hated him for holding my hand. I told him I was going to write every flaw and fight for dramatic content, of course. I drink his coffee and eat his chocolate. I order before he looks at the menu. But he likes me anyway.
It’s too soon to know if I’m blessed with this man or if we’ll end up hurting each other. I do know we’ve been friends for such a ridiculously long time it would be impossible to leave him completely. Right now, our complicated promise is only this:
The rest we’ll either figure out or we won’t. We’re not in a rush to make it work or find out it won’t. For This Girl, who thrives on stability and steadiness, this uncertainty is new. I’m used to being alone, solitary, not asking for help with decision making or planning someone else’s social schedule. This is familiarly new to me.
Is he a good catch? I think so. I’ve always thought so. Except for those in-between times when we’ve danced around each other’s lives with someone else. Except for those in-between years when we forgot we liked each other. After all this time, we are in the same place at the same time. And it’s complicated. Because it’s not.
It’s a little terrifying. A lot satisfying. And pretty much the reason I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in a week.
I want to make sure I’m not using him for his attentions. Let’s face it–who doesn’t love some nice “You look good” and “Have a chocolate” stuff. He deserves more than me just wanting his attentions. He deserves me wanting him completely, as he says, “warts and all”.
And so I’m praying. I’m praying for clarity and direction and all the things a person prays about in a relationship. I’m praying to be able to keep God first not just in this, but in every relationship. I desire God to be above all else in my household. I crave a man who is so in love with the Lord that he forgets I’m in the room.
It’s so complicated. I don’t want a guy to replace God as my Head of Household.
And in the quiet of the late night, when the rest of the world is gone and asleep and I’m left alone after hanging up the phone and My Complicated is far away, I hear God saying, “I’m still here.”
That folks, is what we in the writing world call “the hook” or “the cliffhanger”. Come back tomorrow for the rest of the story.
And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!