Dustin, my partner, left town on Wednesday and won't be back for two more weeks. His absence seems like the perfect time to examine our relationship. I don't know if distance actually makes the heart grow fonder, but it does remind you of all the things you truly love about that other person.
My relationship with Dustin is unique because we've hardly ever been apart. We met in college. We each had our own dorm room, but spent most nights together and saw each other for hours every single day. Three months into our relationship, Dustin had a falling out with his parents over our relationship, and he moved in with my parents for breaks and summer. We then moved to Florida and officially moved in together. Since then we have only been apart for two or three days at a time. Yes, in six and a half years, we have only spent three days at a time apart, until now.
Dustin is in Indiana with his parents taking an EMT course and will be gone for a total of 18 days. For some couples, this wouldn't mean anything, but for us it's a challenge and makes me realize how much I count on Dustin. While I have lived with Dustin for a long time, I do require a great deal of alone time, and he knows that. But living alone, for the last few days, has been different. The apartment is so quiet and the bed is so empty. I've gotten accustom to having someone to talk to all the time. That's the thing about Dustin, he truly is my best friend, and I don't really tire of him, which is one reason our relationship works.
In the end, relationships are about the small things. It is silly what you miss. I miss his hand in bed trying to play with the hairs on my body as he goes to sleep, which really annoys me. I miss having someone to go out with that knows exactly what I'm thinking just by looking at me in a crowded club. I miss all of his crap on the countertop...oh wait, actually I don't miss that.
Yes, it's kind of nice to have the place to myself (it is very clean). I plan on getting a lot of reading and writing done, but I know I'll be ready for him to come back very, very soon. I'm only three days in and I miss him a lot.
Since I have been in a relationship for going on seven years, I feel I should know some secret to keeping it going, but I don't. Dustin and I work hard at our relationship, and we challenge the norms constantly, but we also fail a lot and disappoint each other. Maybe the secret to a good relationship is realizing you aren't perfect and that you need to find a person that is better than you are in some way. Dustin is sweeter and kinder than I will ever be, and while I kind of like my bachelor time, I'm looking forward to having my other half back.
-Stephen (Child of the Sun)