Saturday, March 14, 2009

The history of III and me: part II

(Part 1 here)

After our eventful second date, III and I would speak on the phone about twice a week and see each other about once a week- usually on a Thursday or a Saturday night. I really appreciated that he called when he said he was going to call and was up front about what he was thinking and feeling. I think he appreciated that I didn't call all the time. :)

We both had done a lot of dating and endured a lot of game playing. We both said "I'm not interested in playing 'the game'" but a lot of people say that, and then as you start dating you realize that they are just saying that because they are supposed to. As we got further into our relationship, some things highlighted that we did both mean it.

One week, III called me on a Wednesday night. He said "I just realized that I have to work tomorrow and you are working all weekend and so we probably wouldn't get to see each other this week. Do you want to come over tonight?" I thought about it for a minute and then said, "No, not really... I'm tired and I think I'm just going to hang out at home and watch TV." He was a little taken aback but said "Oh. Okay..." The next day we spoke on the phone. III said "By the way- when I invited you over yesterday, it wasn't just a booty call- I did really want to see you. But I was afraid it might have come across like that..." I laughed and said "No, I didn't think it was. But if it had been, don't worry. I wouldn't have been offended!" That was definitely a moment where we both realized the other was really being up front and not playing 'the game'.

Thanksgiving arrived, and we both headed out of state to visit our families. III left before I did, and coincidentally, my itinerary left me with about an hour in the airport in his hometown. While waiting for my flight, I called him to say hi. He later told me that, when he got that call, he found himself really excited to hear from me.

The day before I was headed back home, III called me. He was back already. We chatted for a bit and then he asked me if I wanted him to pick me up at the airport. Always independent (sometimes too much for my own good), I said "No, that's ok. I'll just take the train." III was a little taken aback, but as we talked about getting together we decided he would pick me up at the airport after all and then we'd go to dinner near my condo. When I got home, III commented, "I kind of missed you this week!"

The next month continued the way we had before Thanksgiving. My friends started to talk about my 'boyfriend', but I was adamant: "No... we have an 'understanding'". Because of this, I was really surprised when III showed up on my birthday with a gift for me (a sweater from one of my favorite stores).

I stayed in town for Christmas (I don't celebrate it anyway) and III headed back to visit his family for a week. We made plans to see each other the night he returned.

When he got home, he was pretty tired so I went over to his place. We were laying on the couch watching TV, and he said to me "You know how when we met we agreed this was going to be a casual thing? Friends with benefits?" Of course I remembered.... He said "Do you still feel that way?" Always guarded, I said "I don't know... why?" and he replied, "Because I don't." Yay!

We spent New Year's Eve together, and B-Dog and I stayed at his place for the first time. For the next two months, we still only saw each other about twice a week, and I regularly received emails that said "I miss you!" One morning, we were laying in bed at his place when III says to me "So...." In my head I thought, "Uh oh. 'So' usually means some sort of big announcement." "Not to get ahead of things here..." I was such a pessimist about relationships... I was sure he was going to say we were spending the night together too often or that he wanted to slow things down... instead he continued with "...but I think I'm falling in love with you." Oh. OH! My response? "Wow. Ok." I'm probably lucky he didn't run the other way! LOL.

It took me about two weeks to reciprocate. I got to a point where I knew I felt it, but I didn't know the right time or way to tell him. It ended up being on his birthday- he'd worked all day and then surprised me by showing up at the bar where KB and I were hanging out. I knew he had really made an effort to come and see me and was really touched. In the crowded, noisy bar I leaned over to whisper in his ear. I thanked him for being patient with me and assured him that very much loved him too.

About a month later, we were at my place when religion came up. I had been in an interfaith relationship before with M. Religion was often a difficult subject, and I think that our inability to come to some sort of compromise about it is part of why it didn't work out between us. III had never had that experience, and I was concerned he didn't realize what a big deal it was that he was Roman Catholic and I was Jewish. That night, I was clearly concerned and upset about the whole thing. The next day, I got an email from III telling me that he really loved me and was sure we could work through this. I appreciated his words, but was still concerned he didn't realize just how difficult this would be.

That was the last time I underestimated III. The next time I saw him, he sat me down on the couch and said "I want to talk to you, but you can't say anything until I'm done because if you interrupt me I'll forget my whole speech." Oh, how well he knew me already! He then told me he had spent the time since our religion conversation researching interfaith relationships. He had been online, bought a book, even talked to his mom. He decided he had to figure out what he was willing to do regarding religion, especially around three things: conversion, a wedding, and kids.

I was amazed. He'd done more in one week than M had done in six years! Everything he said showed thoughtfulness and that he had carefully considered my feelings and experiences. That day was a turning point....

To be continued...again....


Lisa said...

The part about him doing all of that work around the interfaith relationship is really sweet! I mean, it all is, but that part especially!

Caroline said...

That is a sweet story. He sounds so in love with you! I agree with Lisa's statement, that it is touching that he put all of that thought into considering an interfaith relationship. What a lovely guy.

kirke said...

I love reading your blog...each post is a new chapter. You really have a gift for storytelling, and now I can't wait to see how you resolved the interfaith issue....

What a cliffhanger!