BFD came over tonight for a quick dinner and to talk.  It was among the shortest times we have ever spent together, and yet, as a result, things feel even more solid.

Though we had planned to see each other Sunday (for our first ever two dates in a calendar week), I never heard from him.  I called him mid-afternoon, emailed him about his assistant position, and then I called him late last night.  That I did not hear back from him did not disturb me, but I was a little disappointed.  We have been doing so well with our communication.

I knew he was okay, since I had seen him on fb, uploading some adorable family photos and some photos of his sporting life.  Never before have I wanted to climb a mountain, but now I cannot stop thinking about it.

This morning, I was on fb and saw this in my news feed: “[BFD] is no longer listed as ‘single.’”  To my knowledge, BFD has never been listed as single, so I have no idea what he toggled.  Neither of us has relationship status on our pages.  I had to laugh — and I immediately told my cousin T.  I also acknowledged that my reaction would have been much different if he were suddenly listed as “single.”

BFD called me around 1 and we played phone tag for a while.  Eventually he shot me a message offering to come by after his workout and apologizing: “sorry about last night…     I was too tired and too depressed….”  

Now, because I am a good girlfriend, I was immediately concerned and I thought for a while about how to respond.  Ten minutes later, I called him, but my network went down.  I emailed him to accept to see him tonight and to ask what was going on.  He let me know it was about business.  We made plans for 7, but his schedule went awry, so we ended up having to push until 8.

He arrived with dinner — double cheeseburgers, fries, iced tea. Unlike usual, we did not greet each other.  He was starving, obviously, so I invited him to sit, while I gathered the plates from the sidebar.

He really needed to talk about what was happening in his life.  He went into a lot of detail about the impact of the business delay on the next 14 months of his life.  He had scheduled things so carefully so he could have a light schedule for his competition season this year and next.  His plans have been derailed again.  The bulk of his activity has again been shoved into the 3 month window that comprises the main part of his season.

I told him how well things are going business-wise, but acknowledged I am having “a cash-flow problem.”  Which I am.  He was a little concerned about my ability to handle the car responsibility.  I assured him then, and later via email, that it was not a concern, which it is not.  I also told him how well things were going.  He told me that he decided that I can raise money for one of his projects, if I want.  He offered me a little under what he offered when we talked in December, but still over what he would need to pay.  If successful, it would cover all of my fixed expenses for the year, so of course I want to do it.  He said we’d talk more about it on Friday.

Adorably, he picked up the 1/3 of my double cheeseburger that was sitting on my plate, and began eating that, too, and picking at my fries.  After we finished eating, we continued talking and watching the basketball game I had on when he arrived.   We leaned back on the sofa and I realized how much he was looking at me.  He had made it clear from the beginning that he was leaving after we ate (i.e., no sex).  I never pay any attention to how attracted to me he is, so it was really amusing to see him checking me out as we sat there.  Every once in a while, I would see him staring at my chest or at my legs, as I was curled up on the sofa.

We spoke about our calendars and he asked if I could take Friday off “so we could have lunch and a massive amount of sex.”  He told me that he is flying out on Saturday for 5 days to deal with some business issues.  Five days is so easy.  

He let me know that he is changing up his workout routine a bit, which means no more Tuesday/Thursday dates.  Now, our only opportunity for midweek is if he decides to skip his Wednesday workout, like last week.  Because he is a competitive athlete, he works out doing something every day he is in town.  Since he is rich and spoiled, he also gets post-workout 90 minute massages at least twice per week.  That means on Tuesday/Thursday, he is out of pocket for about 6 hours (including travel time).  He mentioned toward the end that he had such a vivid dream dealing with the business issue he is confronting starting Saturday that his back felt better.

As he was leaving, he kissed me passionately and pulled me close.  Just kissing him still feels so amazing.  I emailed him later to give him a game update and to say how much I am looking forward to Friday.  He was back working and responded.

Our relationship feels different over the past 8 days.  It’s like we are more committed to making it work.  We are both fully embracing that we’re together, that we’re both better together.  It’s not just about sex . . . we’re happy to just be together. 

I have finally noticed that we have a similar behavioral tic that is not relationship-positive:  in times of crisis, we retreat into ourselves and power through.  He refuses all contact and simple retreats.  I look more present than he, but in reality, I keep things very superficial when I am extremely stressed out.  Ask me a question and I will talk to you about sports, or the oscars, or anything other than what my brain is really dealing with.  Once I am done and have resolution, then I will tell you how bad it was.  But in process?  It’s like it does not exist because I cannot possibly deal with you and your feelings about my situation when I am trying to put out the fire.  He just retreats into his cave, sorts things out, and then reemerges.  

I have been aware that he does it, but I have changed how I deal with it.  Rather than ignore him when he is in the cave, I keep reaching out.  I let him know I am here.  I continue to treat him exactly the same as before . . . while calibrating my response expectations.  I know I won’t hear back, but I want him to know I am there.

Next Wednesday marks five months from the Best First Date Ever.  It is hard to believe that we are still together given some of the stuff with which we are each dealing, but things feel so solid and so real.  While I am always a bit disappointed when we do not have sex (which has only happened 4 times, I think — first, third, twelfth, and tonight), the opportunity to be with him just talking, just being together, just watching sports is very, very special.

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