I met the man I like to call The Captain almost two years ago, and I can’t say that I regret any moment of our relationship. We are two similar yet different people with our own hopes and dreams, and some intersecting goals of a future together. But to understand where we are today, I have to tell the story of where we’ve been.
We met online, on a social networking site for a specific thing we both like, and began talking. He messaged me first, asking about my favorite music and basic small talk. We talked a lot those first few days, the kind of unexplained excitement that comes with talking to someone new. I later found out that he’d only been on the site for a week when we started talking, after much pushing from his friends who’d had experience with it. But after a bit of talking and getting to know each other, we made a date at Starbucks on campus.
I remember going into the bathroom after my class and fixing my hair and checking my make-up before fast-walking to the coffee shop to meet this exciting gentleman caller. I got into line for coffee behind a tall guy, who then turned around and introduced himself as my date. He bought tea and paid for my coffee—I then learned that he did not like coffee (but hey I wasn’t 21 so this was as close to meeting for drinks as I could get!). We spent a lot of the first date talking about school and our goals for the future, but we also talked about our romantic pasts. His previous relationship had ended eight months prior, mine almost a year. We’d both gone to the same high school, but never met. Lived near each other for a couple of years, but never seen each other. It seemed funny.
At the end of the date, feeling daring, I stood on tiptoe and kissed him. Just because I wanted to, and because I figured if he didn’t call or text again then I’d have that one kiss.
Then we had our second date where he fixed me chicken, and forgot to make a side dish (he still beats himself up about that). We spent a lot of those first few weeks watching movies and talking, hanging out at his house with his roommates. Then I started spending the night here and there until, almost accidentally, I was practically living with him. He quit smoking sometime around then, because he wanted to get fit and save money, but also because I thought the taste was horrible. We adopted a cat together, and named him Lenin.
I got my first job, and he spent some nights rubbing my feet after eight hour shifts of hell. I met his family and truly enjoyed spending time with them. He met mine. I moved ‘out’ of his place because of some social anxiety issues, but still spent a lot of time with him. He got me a beautiful necklace for my birthday; I got him a dagger for his.
His hours at work got cut, so he had to move back in with his mom. She was nice enough to let me still spend some nights, but they were on a schedule based off of his autistic brother’s. We dealt with a lot of stress based off of school and money and our living situation, but we held on and kept going. He officially asked me to move in together Easter weekend, and we set a date for June. We also adopted a second cat, and named him Logan.
But when I quit working at Target after two weeks due to my anxiety, we had to cancel those plans for the time being. We dealt with more stress, and time apart once school started again, but then a strange miracle happened.
Two rooms in the house he’d lived in opened up at once unexpectedly. Our friend who owns the house made us a deal—move in and become official tenants and he’d cover half the rent for a couple months. I pulled some money out of savings, packed up most of my clothes and my favorite books, and moved out of my parents for the first time.
Living together officially was bizarre at first, mostly because I didn’t have to spend the early hours of the morning driving back home or using too much gas to get all the places I wanted to be, but it’s been great since. It was awkward telling my rural, mildly religious and old-fashioned family that I was living with The Captain, despite the fact that we were not engaged or for any other reason than we wanted to live together, but they seemed to accept it.
And we’ve developed a familiar and nice routine. We take turns making actual dinners on Sundays. We spend nights watching TV shows or a movie and relaxing. We know each other’s habits and how to deal with what might be annoying or not-so-fun. He snores. I have anxiety. It seems like a reasonably fair trade off.
What does the future hold for The Captain and me? I’m not a hundred percent sure. We’ve talked about marriage and kids, but when you’re in university and getting a diploma and a job is more important than anything you can’t really focus on anything else. So for now we take it one day at a time, and I’m perfectly happy with that.
Because I found a person I can be myself with, and I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. Sometimes you just have to find someone who’s just as weird as you to make sense of that thing called love.