Mr. Possibility and I had a conversation about chopped garlic the other day. Yes, I’m serious.
We were getting ready to go out to dinner in his neighborhood, I was brushing my hair and he his teeth, and as if it was the most important topic of interest, he asked about the new container of garlic I bought. He remembered buying a smaller size a few weeks earlier and wanting to save space in a fridge that’s already crammed, he suggested combining the two garlic bottles to be more efficient. I paused and must have given him a strange look, so he carefully inquired about my attitude.
“Do you realize we just talked about garlic?” I asked. He nodded and grinned. “Could we get much more domestic?” I continued. He laughed and pulled me into him, and while this cooking essential probably shouldn’t signify anything, I realized how comfortable we are.
And getting comfortable makes me rather uncomfortable.
Every relationship reaches this point – where you stop being so careful about what you say, you’re openly yourself, and talks are less about getting to know someone on the surface level as the option to be a mate, but getting to know how they are as a person in their everyday habitats. You stop worrying about always looking put together and focus more on just enjoying the company of the person you’re with, and you learn how to live together, though not necessarily literally as I am through mid-May, but by synching your separate schedules to make time for each other, yourself, and your friends.
For me, I’ve known I’ve reached feeling comfortable with men at different stages and for different reasons, and each time, it has made me a little nervous. While this important milestone denotes a positive progress, it brings with it a heightened sense of vulnerability because you realize how much of your heart and your trust is on the line. Once you’re comfortable, those walls don’t seem so thick or so high, those dreams so far-fetched, and those words or intentions so questionable. The relationship becomes engraved into your normal activities, his presence becomes something you expect, and as independent as we are, we let ourselves be a tad dependent on this person. If for nothing else to help move heavy boxes, share our bed with us, and be a phone call, train, or text away.
But when you’re comfortable, you realize how uncomfortable it would be should things change. Or how uncomfortable it is to let someone in when you’ve kept romance at bay for so long. Really though, it’s more than that – it’s also uncomfortable because we’ve been here before. We’ve grown accustomed and laid down our guard, and soon after watched everything fall apart. We’ve felt that pain; we’ve felt that disappointment in another person, in ourselves, and in love itself. We know what it feels like and we know the steps to take to recover.
I’ve been lucky that each relationship I’ve been in is a step up from the previous. I’ve been smart to learn from the past and apply it to my present, and I discover more about what I want and what I don’t as I go and as I grow. And so, as Mr. Possibility and I settle into comfort, I also prepare myself for uncomfortable feelings that accompany the shift.
While I’m learning to trust and allowing myself to relax in the scariness of vulnerability, it’s easier to enjoy the progress because for the first time in a relationship, I trust myself. I trust my ability to take anything that comes my way, survive any heartbreak or struggle, and believe in other possibilities if this one ever turns impossible. I trust my strength and my heart, my decisions, and my mistakes – all of which make me capable of giving and receiving love.
Though I hope the majority of my conversations with Mr. Possibility don’t resort to condiment discussions or laundry that needs to be folded – I’ll enjoy the time spent side-by-side, comfortable and content with where I am right now, with or without him. Because for once, it isn’t that I’m uncomfortable because I think I need someone, it’s that I comfortable just wanting them.