It's finally happened. There you were, watching a movie together, something sappy, her choice, while your kung-fu powerhouse pulsates quietly in the Blockbuster
bag. Let’s say you were watching When Harry Met Sally
. The fact that she chose that movie tipped you off she had something in mind. You’ve always been observant for any little shift in the behavior of your belle amie
. Maybe that fact emboldened you. You certainly weren’t swept up in the emotion of the film. You’ve seen it more times than you’ve seen the news.
It’s New Years
in the movie. It’s late October
outside. In here the moment’s frozen. You’re locked in a kiss you can’t remember who started. You can feel a well of energy from right in the very geometric center of you pushing its way through to her by way of your bridge of saliva and skin; such fine conductors. The night passes as nights tend to do and you find yourself still smiling sixteen hours later.
Welcome to the renowned curse of getting what you ask for, Your Majesty. May I call you Midas
? Don’t think of it so much as losing a friend, but rather as gaining a whole new tome of rules and guides on how to take something very simple and complicate the hell out of it. You’ve voluntarily made the move from being happy to see her a few times a month to missing her every moment of every day. She’s going to want more from you, too, meaning more time, more attention, more adventures, more… more good things, too. She’s going to turn your life upside down and you’re going to let her and smile all the while because she’s your girlfriend now
- You already know her. Everything about her. Same as she with you. You don’t have to go through the same tired questions to get to know her, so you can move straight on to talking about important things, like toothbrushes, and how many one should own at a given time. Also, where they’re found.
- Self-satisfaction. On your arm is the woman you originally only made friends with because you liked her, all those years ago. As you aged and matured, you’d grow the occasional crush on her that would dissipate whenever someone else popped into your life. Now it’s there, it’s constant, and it’s growing.
- Near-instantaneous great sex. You’ve talked about the subject a thousand times throughout the past. You actually paid attention to what she said, giving you the advantage of knowing exactly what she likes in bed. You’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised that she was paying attention too.
- She already knows you. You can’t bullshit her, or make up an excuse and then go out and party with the guys. She’d know. You share the same friends. This is only really a problem if there’s ever a time you don’t want to see her. There probably won’t be any time soon if you’re still new enough to need this guide.
- Paranoia. You’re not her only guy friend. She’s got two male roommates. People who you’d never thought twice about before become suspects now, potential usurpers of your new precious. You don’t start asking her more questions, because you know how that would look, so instead you just wonder silently and let your brand new insecurity nibble you to death.
- Your friends may never see you again. A few times a month becomes all weekend, every weekend. You’ll miss parties, concerts, group movies, computer shows, festivals, war protests, whitewater rafting, and possibly Mardi Gras because you’ll be inside with her, safe in your warm fuzzy bubble of warmth and fuzziness, feeling hunky-dory all the time.
There’s no way out, Midas
. This is the path you’ve chosen and you’re going to have to make the best of it. There are going to be some sacrifices. You can’t make an omelet without blah blah blah.
- If you’re going to be doing something with a female friend, be sure to tell your girlfriend about it at least three times before it happens. If you just come home late and say: “oh, I was out with Margot,” you’re going to be wearing that Pop Tart(TM).
- You have to meet her parents again. You have to. They’re going to look at you in a whole new light now. Their little princess is now corrupted by your dirty evil hands and she doesn’t call as often and she spends more time with your family than with her own and it’s your responsibility to placate them and assuage their fears. Wine them and dine them and make references to classic rock and if at all possible, do a funny impression. Have a firm handshake.
- More nights out, fewer nights in. You can’t keep doing exactly what you were doing when you were just friends. It’s not going to cut it to just have her come over and watch a movie and order take-out. You’ve got to keep her interested now. Show her the things you like that you’ve never mentioned. Take her to a TOOL concert, show her where you go to think, write her a song in a major key. Impress her with the full span of your talents and perspective.
- Even if you know the answer, ask the question. Being interested in the details of a person you already know so well isn’t an automatic thing. You know her little brother, but what about her cousins? What was her first home like? Old pets? What was the worst CD she ever bought? It’s all too easy to forget to make her feel special and appreciated. That would be a mistake.
- Acknowledge every month that passes, but only celebrate on your six-month and anniversaries. Even after a month of being together, it’s still going to be a little weird. If you’re easing into this new definition of your relationship, you’ll want to avoid being overbearing about celebrating it. No gifts until six months, unless some popular gift-giving holiday is to occur in this span, birthdays included.
- Easy on the L-word. It doesn’t matter if you were smitten from the moment you saw her and would leap joyously to your death on her merest whim, don’t tell her. This isn’t dishonesty, it’s tact. Your feelings may be old, but the relationship is new, and must be treated as such. Ease into affection, whatever your heart may tell you to do.
- Find another couple to befriend. Doing two-couple things like going to amusement parks or camping can be a lot of fun; a great diversion from the usual dinner-and-a-movie night. Of course, dinner-and-a-movie night with another couple can be fun too!
- About that paranoia thing above, avoid it like The Plague. Those guy friends of hers are going to remain her guy friends all through this and, Bog forfend, after this. You’re not in competition with any of them.
- Remain thankful to be with her. This relationship may be your best and it may be your last. It’s up to the both of you to make it great. Keep communication open, keep her in your thoughts, keep her. This is all you need.