October 23, 2017 will mark the 6-year mark for S and I’s relationship. “Where has the time gone?!” would be the common response to this fact, but you can’t ask me where all this time has gone so quickly. What you can ask is how we’ve managed to keep things pushing forward.
Six years is like 20 years in gay years. All jokes aside, and in my opinion, this amount of time in a relationship can be defined as “long-term,” or at least be bordering the category. Some couples stay together for one to three years and consider that to be long-term, but that’s a blip of time in the grand scheme of things.
So how have we lasted this long? We put in the work. From first days of our relationship, communication and being open with each other has been the sole requirement and expectation for each other. Sure, there are other factors to consider – like not being a shitty human being – but communication ties to every aspect of our relationship.
You’ve all heard me go on and on about the importance of communication’s presence in any relationship, but I won’t bore you with those points for hundredth time. Where things get interesting is when you’ve been together for an extended period and you check in on your relationship.
How are things going?
So many couples get caught up in the ebb and flow of their relationship routines and lose sight of the work it takes to maintain a solid partnership. This is a lesson S and I learned recently. For the most part, we’re a pretty easygoing pair of husbands; handling any issues as they arrive, if we have any at all. So when we discovered a couple of glaring blind spots, we knew we had to take action.
The past handful of weeks have been dedicated to just us. We’ve been social here and there, what with the baby shower and all, but our attention has been on each other. We noticed that we’d been stuck in our relationship routine; if you can even call it that. Work… work… tv… more tv… sleep… more work. We were very much together but caught up in the chaos or our individual worlds. It’s no wonder some relationships don’t survive when spouses have higher-level careers – there’s no time to put in the work.
Flipping the script and focusing more energy on things like date night, versus corporate fatigue, has kept us engaged and energized. Instead of complaining about work and becoming a prisoner of exhaustion, we put time into activities and entertainment we can enjoy together. Things like: going to dinner, playing our favorite video game together, our low-carb health, organizing our house, or exploring Indy.
S and I weren’t so far gone that we couldn’t recognize an opportunity to build a stronger foundation. Becoming that disconnected couple who puts on a show when friends and family are around can never be an option for us. I’m grateful for our drive and for the focus we harbor. It shows us that no matter what, and for many many years to come, we’ll have each other’s support in maintaining us.
If you’ve made it to the end of this post, turn to your partner and surprise them with a kiss. Ask them something other than how their day went. Hold their hand and meet their eyes with a smile. That feeling you’re experiencing? Don’t ever let go of that.
The interstate was dark, empty, and had thrown me into deep state of reflection. I watched the road as every marking flickered in and out of sight around the car, and wondered where I was going. It was just around 4:30am, and I’d just dropped off mom and sis at the airport for their flight back to Alaska. Sadness resonated as the realization of their pending departure grew brighter in my mind. I was grateful for their presence over the past eight days. Life had been testing me, as of late, and I needed reinforcements.
I’ve been at a crossroads with my current professional situation. While I was on vacation, I found myself answering a small beacon of hope. This hope presented itself in the form of an interview. An interview in my dream position, a publicist, back in Bloomington.
Over the past few months, I’ve been struggling with a decision regarding whether I would stay or leave my current position. “If something is wrong, do your best to fix it” is a mantra I’ve kept at all of my places of employment. It’d been months of me stepping outside of myself, looking for some way to better my current situation, and found myself still wanting more – More from my employer and more from myself.
Everything about interviewing for the publicist position in Bloomington was great. Everything was flowing perfectly up until the end. The ending of that new possibility was purely unexpected. I sent in my resume and cover letter feeling extremely confident that I would get the job. It was with a very heavy heart, that I had to decide to not continue in the hiring process. It just didn’t feel right in the end. Not forever, just, not for now.
So where was I going (besides back to our slightly-deflated air mattress)? The galaxylike view through my windshield continued to flash before me as I cruised down my lonely runway. Not getting that job was a possibility. So, now what? What are you going to do to make your current situation work? I allowed myself to feel a bit at ease, as I scrolled through the things I did have going for myself in Indianapolis. This doesn’t have to continue to be this bad. This can only be what I make it.
I miss being just far enough away from my team to embrace any zen moment that presented itself. You see, when I moved departments, I was sitting away from the nucleus of my team. When you’re a team lead, staying in the know is important, but sitting away from the chaos (that is the majority of team) is relaxing when you deal with customers the majority of your day. When I was tucked away in a far corner – away from constant interruption of whatever media I may’ve been consuming at the time – I was able to interact at my leisure. It’s been about two weeks since the move to my new cubicle, and I wonder what kind of facial expressions I’ve unconsciously delivered to those who around me. I’m a nice guy, but do you have to hang over my cube wall to talk to me? Do you really need to be sharing that NSFW story at audible and very clear levels, mister supervisor? I put on a cheery face, listen, and interact, but I’m sure I’ve thrown some shade with my tone or lack of responses. I don’t care, though. Some days you just don’t want to be bothered.