Some things in relationships are inevitable. It is certain that any long-term relationship will include an occasional fart. Another certainty is that you’re not going to always enjoy the other’s hobbies, such as football, for instance. There should always be an element of happiness that is inevitable, and a genuine enjoyment of the other’s company. But just as inescapable as this enjoyment is, there is also the expectation that a certain level of romance that exists in the flickering excitement of the first few months of any courtship will change shape as a relationship evolves.
I have been happily enjoying a life of sin, with the best looking live-in lover one could imagine, for more than a year. It’s been more fun than a slip-and-slide party mixed with a talent quest. And I have never been happier.
Of course, along the way our relationship has taken a meandering path that I will optimistically call a natural evolution. The essence of beans that floated around the car on the way home from a trip to visit my folks a few weeks ago is stinking proof that we are comfortable with each other. It is also proof that my father is evil for feeding beans at every chance before a 13-hour car trip!
We banter over washing up – the most hated chore, and the romantic evenings sitting by the river watching the birds are less frequent. I tolerate his love of cats and occasionally he lets me use the remote. We even shower separately!! And we go fishing.
At times this has led me to undertake the sort of contemplative thought that leaves my partner with a worried look on his face. Too much thinking is frowned upon.
But I have come to recognise that there are much less subtle ways the romance peeks its shy little head up into our existence. My favourite is the towel. It makes my heart sing to step out of the shower and find a fresh towel waiting where the battered, grungy towel had been hanging when I entered the bathroom. There is the bottle of wine at the end of a rough day.
And then there is the day when I come home and the garden has been weeded and the freshly picked vegies are sitting on the bench. Of course, most often I barely see the things that are done for me and continue to hint about much more superficial deeds, such as flowers. Or the bloody washing up.
It’s so easy to pick holes in someone’s behavior when you live such closely entwined lives, but I am learning that the happier option is to search for and wholeheartedly appreciate the simple selfless deeds, the clean towel. Who would have thought a clean linen delivery could bring such happiness?