Friday, October 10, 2008

Third Time's The Charm

I say in the 'about me' section that I have a great partner, and I do. I have been out for almost 30 years now, and have been in a long-term relationship for nearly all of that time. My current partner is the third one I've lived with, hence the title of this posting.

The first guy I lived with--Tom--was married when we met, which partially explains why married guys that fool around behind their wives' backs piss me off so much. We were the same age and had gone to the same high school, though I didn't really know him at the time. He chased me in a way we'd consider stalking today. I was young, dumb, and flattered by all the attention. We stayed together for almost 12 years, mostly because I was afraid I couldn't make it financially without him. Last I heard, he was living in a trailer in eastern Kentucky.

The second guy I lived with--Kevin-- swept me off my feet. Kevin, 8 years my junior, was one of those life of the party people that's the center of attention wherever he may be. He is 6'4" with the bluest eyes I think I've ever seen. The first year was great. Then we moved from DC to Georgia and things went downhill fast. We stayed together for five years, mostly because I could never prove that he was cheating with everyone we met. He insisted he wasn't until I turned on the log feature on the chat client and printed out contrary evidence.

Both Kevin and Tom moved in with me shortly after we met because they didn't have any place else to go. Word to the wise--if they don't have any place else to go, there's a good reason. You'd think I would have figured that out after Tom. I am and probably always will be a slow learner. Tom's wife found out about us and kicked him out a few weeks after we met. Kevin's roommate changed the locks one weekend while we were visiting my family back in Kentucky. Live and learn.

I met my current partner and the love of my life in a chat room on At the time, I was 44 and he was 22. I know what you're thinking, but it really wasn't that way. I was very aware that I was twice his age and swore we would never be more than friends. In fact, for the first two years of our friendship, we were constantly fixing each other up with more appropriate men. We'd get together 3 or 4 times a week and talk about all the things that were wrong with the guys we were going out with.

He knew I was "the one" a long time before I figured it out. As I said, I'm a slow learner. About two years in, he told me that if I really didn't want to be his partner, he was going to stop seeing me so he could find someone else. I agreed that was what he needed to do, and he stopped coming around.

Sometimes, a whopping dose of what you asked for is just the thing to help you realize that it's not what you want. Now I see that period as the time I almost blew the best thing that's ever happened to me. Fortunately, I came to my senses--in about a week.

He moved in with me on his 25th birthday. Counting the first two years, we've now been together almost seven years. Despite the 22 year age difference, we are remarkably alike. We were raised very much the same way and have nearly identical views on a wide range of subjects. We have the same general idea of what life is supposed to look like (which definitely was not the case with Tom or Kevin). Because we're so much alike, we rarely disagree and never fight.

If I had known a relationship could be this easy, I never would have put up with the stuff I lived with before. Of course, part of me thinks that I could never appreciate how good I have it today were it not for the crappy relationships of my past. I'm more than a little moody and truth be told, kinda high maintenance. I get pissy now and then for stupid things, and pout. He always knows exactly the right thing to do to get me out of my funk.

He's the finest person I know. He has impeccable taste, perfect southern manners, a strong work ethic, and a kind heart. He's the kind of guy every Mom wants her daughter to marry. He's also gorgeous, with beautiful green eyes and a smile you'd have to see to believe. For the last year and a half, we've been working in different units of the same organization. Have to say that having him around has boosted my reputation among my coworkers, who all love him almost as much as I do. Because of him, I think they figure I must not be so bad after all. Otherwise, they'd still think of me as...

The Crotchety Old Man

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