This weekend, M- brought tears to my eyes. In a good way!
We were having pints with some friends after dinner and catching a few minutes alone (if you can be alone in the middle of a crowded bar.) Over dinner I had told one of M-'s coupled friends that he and I were thinking about their neighborhood for a house rental. The guy gave me a look and said, "Yeah, I think our neighborhood is a good compromise for you but not for M-. It's not downmarket enough."
"Yeah; he feels a little uncomfortable in places that aren't working class enough." I don't know if he said this because we had just walked through my neighborhood and they got a gander at all the new condos and the gentrification in Ukrainian Village, but it made me take a mental pause and added another mental brick to the pile in my brain.
Fast forward a few minutes and M- suddenly says to me, "You know, we don't have to do this until you're ready. I know you've been talking about this alot but ... you're not ready, yet." And he gave me his wry, Dad-look.
I said, "But I am! Really!" Totally lying.
And this is when he made me tear up. He cupped my face and said, "You're not. But if you insist you are going to break us up. We'll move in, you'll try to please me instead of thinking of what it is you want and then we'll break up and I'll be stuck with a goddamn house. I want us to do this because it's right for both of us at the same time."
I was quiet for a bit. "I thought I was hiding this better. I've been a little tense and anxious about this --"
"I know, babe," he said. "But when you're anxious, it makes me anxious and I can't take the stress. Ever since I was a little kid, I've been sensitive to other people's moods like this. When there's a problem, it makes me feel bad -- literally. I get sick when I feel that you're feeling all weird about us. So we don't have to do this now."
"And I get anxious when things move too fast. I just wanted you to know I'm committed to us, this thing we have."
"That's great to know you're willing to do this for me, but I don't need that big a sacrifice from you," he said. "You like living alone, you like doing your own thing and I like seeing you when I see you. Sure, I want to wake up with you. Sure, I wish we lived closer to one another. But don't worry about making ME feel good - I'm in this for the long haul. So when you're ready, we'll do this and it'll be good."
So we kissed, had more beers and went home for a rambunctious frolic and then some mutually disruptive snoring.
The upshot of all this cohabitation navel-gazing: I don't think I've felt more for this guy than during this conversation. How can any woman resist a guy who will wait for her?