I don't talk about it because I can sense their worry and hesitation.
They want to know our plans for the future and don't feel comfortable with a non-answer. Most especially, because there are children involved.
I remember when my ex-husband and I were dating, we would frequently be asked, "When's the wedding?" because we dated so seriously for so long.
Then when we married, we were asked, "When's the baby?"
Then when we had a baby, we were asked, "When's the next one?"
Why does everyone feel the right to decide what is going to happen next in your life?
Seriously. Is there some timeline or chart you're supposed to check off? Because if so, GJ and I have both been there, done that. We see how well that worked out for either of us.
I have friends who have been in long term relationships and they never married because they didn't want to. I have friends who don't have kids because they choose not to. Why is that a problem?
Why is that considered 'not normal'?
Over the weekend, my Gentleman, myself and all the kids went on a nature walk at a local museum/wildlife sanctuary. We took lots of great pictures of his sons with my daughters.
As we were leaving, GJ asked if we could get someone to take a picture of the 6 of us. In one beautiful shot, we are all looking at the camera and smiling. Six sets of denim clad legs that could be... maybe... one day... one big family.
I can't lie. Since we took that picture, I find myself looking at it. Could it be?
Then my Gentleman asks me on the phone the other night, "Do you find yourself looking at the picture of all 6 of us?"
"Pfft. Maybe," he laughs, "You know you do. And I do too."
I do believe that GJ and I both feel a bit gun-shy after previous relationships. I know that I certainly wonder if all of this long-distance-goodness can translate into real-everyday-life wonderfulness.
After all, I spent a year and a half listening to a man in my last relationship plan out our future together without really ever referring to me as his girlfriend.
I only realized that the other day. The only time he implied I was his girlfriend was when I suggested that perhaps he go find another one. Yet, I hung on to those glorious plans and pie-in-the-sky conversations about how our relationship would be like no other. How we'd be the perfect made-for-each-other couple.... only to find that it was just that: a dream.
I do believe that he loved me. I do believe that he wanted that. But as I hung on to those words, that dream evaporated into nothingness.
So, yeah, I'm a bit nervous about these same conversations with Gentleman Jack. The difference is palpable though.
When I cling to GJ's words, much more loosely than I ever did in previous relationships, they're always followed by action. Instead of cold nothingness, my arms wrap around healthy, warm love.
Gentleman Jack and I love each other. I believe we both love the idea of joining these families into one big almost Brady-like family. At the moment, however, we are also very happy with where things are and neither of us feels the rush to change it.
What if we choose to have a long-distance relationship for years? What if we choose to continue seeing each other twice a month, living in different towns, staying in contact and emotionally supporting each other over the phone on a daily basis?
Is that not still a relationship? Will we still be judged for not being 'normal'?
Then so be it.
Normal is overrated anyway.
I have no idea what is going to happen. We're still, as we have since the beginning, taking each day as it comes and having a damn good time at it (and quite frankly, our children are too). Until one of us decides we want more, no decisions need to be made. No wedding needs to be planned.
"It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life."