It’s funny how a relationship develops once two people start to spend time together.
That is the the mistake (well, one of the mistakes we made years ago): we didn’t make time to be together properly. We perhaps thought we were together frequently anyway. Afterall we were living in the same home.
But we were always with other people, our flat mates and the many visitors that poured in. There was always something going on in our home. People loved to just pop in. We were all very sociable, so it was fine. But of course it meant he and I were not having the kind of conversations that we have been able to have recently.
He and I were often at the same social events, large and small. We have been invited over for dinner by close friends (I am sure they were trying to matchmake us) and we have sat besides each other watching movies at the homes of friends. We have sat so close that we were touching. But at the time, that was all. There was nothing we could do about it.
But we did not have chance to really spend time together, just us. We didn’t talk openly. The two occasions we did have private conversations were very intense, too intense really. You might remember that one of them involved a kitchen knife and tears! Aaaah sigh – trying to forget all those awful memories.
But now…things have changed. Our relationship has developed rapidly. It is all because we made time, and we are both super-busy (him more so at the moment) to be together. We have had to plan a lot. We had to travel away from our homes to be together, because we didn’t want our friends to realize what was going on too early.
I can’t wait for our close friends to know. i want to spend time with them, Jack and me as a couple with our other friends, some of whom are single, some of whom are married or in a courtship.
But until the news breaks, it has been fun for us to just be together on our own. It has been dun. Jack is fun – it is his default setting. I am very fun-loving too, which is probably why I love being with him. It could so easily have been too intense with so much from the past to discuss and straighten out. But Jack has been very good at closing down conversations that were getting nowhere and getting me to agree that we would discuss it later. He has made sure that we had fun whenever we were together. Whenever we parted, I wanted more of him.
During our time together, we have got to know even more about each other. I think we did know each other pretty well. But of course it’s been over four years we have had no contact. So there has been a lot to update each other on. Also Jack has seen the health concerns I have since my head injuries. I have had to fill him in on everything that has happened and prepare him for what to do when I have black-outs.
I feel as if we are a real couple. It doesn’t seem like a game. I was scared at one stage incase this was some kind of game, terrified in case Jack was trying to prove something. But those worries are long gone.
We have done a lot of relaxing together. That is partly because we have been indoors a lot, mostly at places he hired. We have rested and snuggled up on sofas that didn’t belong to either of us.
We have had plenty of evenings in, whole days in, playing cards, board-games, listening to music and watching movies. All kind of uneventful, but it was the togetherness that mattered. Just to be with each other. During that time important conversations have occurred naturally and spontaneously. We have had a lot to talk about. But it has usually been while we were relaxing, which was helpful.
We have eaten together. I remember reading years ago that eating with someone draws you closer to them. I think it does. I don’t think someone quite crosses the border into real friendship until you have scoffed food together. We have eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner together. We have had snacks in bed.
We have cooked together too. I have baked for him, he has loved everything I have made. We have washed dishes together (which was something extremely hilarious to both of us after that caused so much contention in the past!) He used to make a mess of the kitchen, leave it for the rest of the day. I used to clear up after him. He would tell me after I had cleaned that I should not have and he would have done it.
He has an idea of us going on holiday together at some point. I don’t know when that will be. But he thinks it would be a good idea to travel together.
The life of an international volunteer involves a lot of travel. At the moment, I don’t think they will allow me that assignment until I stop having black-outs. But we can see how things go. But he still wants us to try travelling together at some point, just for a holiday rather than a work assignment. That will be lovely – I think.
We have spent a lot of time in his car. He has driven me to nearby Wales, so that I could visit my family. He has also driven us out into the neighbouring counties to London for overnight stays at different holiday cottages and lodges. Even when we were stuck in a car, it’s all been important. Time together. Time to talk and laugh. Time to listen to music and sing together. Time to be silent and just hold hands. All of that time together on our own counted. It was all important. So although it may have seemed silly at times, him asking me to be somewhere earlier than we had originally planned, he knew that it meant extra time together. That is exactly what we needed.
Of course the intimate time together has also been important. Without sharing too much. It was strange at first. We have know each other for so long! And although now it seems safe to say we had major crushes on each other, we couldn’t do anything about it. We were so awkward back then. Then came the estrangement,
So the first time we touched each other was a bit weird. It started with just holding hands of course – as it always should. And that first kiss – my stomach in nervous knots. I was so nervous, I couldn’t enjoy it., I don;t know if he felt the same way. And then actually being on our own in the bedroom of a cottage he hired – it was weird at first.
But it’s not weird anymore. Not at all. Suddenly it feels as if it was always this way. As if there was never any awkwardness, as if there was never any estrangement. It is just as it should be. It can be anything we want it to be. Sometimes cozy and slow. Sometimes teasing and playful. Sometimes hungry and ardent. Sometimes…well, let’s stop there. It’s between him and I.
But it’s all developed because we gave time to each other. Time alone. It’s developed one day at a time. So although it feels very quickly, it has actually been due to a lot of time we made for each other. “Time – that’s the stuff life is made of”, said a very clever person. They also say “time is money”. That doesn’t mean much to me, but Jack could have been using his spare time (outside all the charity commitments he has) to earn money. But he has given up his spare time to be with me.
Nothing really can replace time together. Don’t be fooled into thinking gifts or compliments can suffice. So whether it is friendships or family relationships or if you are in a romantic relationship – make sure that you spend time together with your loved ones. It all counts – even being in the car together. There is nothing that can beat spending time together.
I never understood how much Jack wanted to be with me years ago. He said his biggest mistake was thinking that be and I were getting to know each other all that time we spent with other people. Maybe we were learning a lot about each other. But a relationship was not forming. He said he was longing for something to happen. But he didn’t know that people were telling me that Jack didn’t like me, that he hated me, that he couldn’t stand living with me. So he did not realize that I was pained throughout the time with him, interpreting everything as a sign he disliked me. How wrong I was! But now we have spent time together – now I understand at long last how he feels, and how he felt back then.