Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Back To Basics

So - things have moved on a bit since I last wrote. The Climber and I are back together! Sort of.

Which makes it weird to be writing here, seeing as I don't think it's fair to blog about a man you're dating, as you're doing it. Feels like a running commentary and keeping score all at the same time.

However, I think I can blog about it in general terms without breaking any confidences, so here goes...

What we've decided to do - or, at least, I decided and he agreed - is not to spend so much time together. This might not sound like a great basis for a reconciliation but stay with me...

When The Climber and I got together nearly three years ago, he had just moved into the area and was staying with friends while he found a house. So, when he and I hit it off and spent our first wild weekend together, he basically never moved out. I was in heaven. I'd been widowed for seven years and was starving for male company. So we played at house for five or six months, while he searched for a house for himself.

When he eventually found a house, he moved out. I was a bit crushed, to be honest, but I don't think he ever saw what upset me. He moved into his house but we carried on playing mister and missus - two nights at his house, then two nights at mine. And that's how it's been going on ever since. We tend to do our own thing during the day but, apart from that, there's very little time to our individual selves.

I've been finding this harder and harder to deal with. Not married but with all the restrictions of marriage, and my own house and my own interests with less and less time spent on them. (There's a bit of a bone of contention between us about getting married as well, but we'll keep that for another day - it's not a big issue, just one of pragmatism.) So, when we started talking after this latest (and, I thought, final) fallout, I decided that if we were going to give it another go, then I had to have my own life back. So what we've agreed to try is almost to start over: to live in our own houses and date, dine together, stay the occasional night and see how it goes.

Results have been mixed so far. I've missed him and been glad to have my own time and space in equal measure. It's amazing how much more we are each getting done already. He's joined a boxing gym and I've started playing the guitar. We're both writing books and there are lots of words being written. But, after living as a couple for nearly three years, it does feel odd. And maybe it is the beginning of the end. Or maybe it's the beginning of a new beginning. Only time will tell...


Gretel said...

Dear Puddock - this may turn out to be a bit long winded, but firstly, I'm glad you're back together. From a distance, and not 'knowing' you as such, I still think that if you find someone you can be happy with most of the time, then it's worth working on. I only found this blog a few weeks ago, and I've read back with interest, and much gratefulness for your honesty and candour. I don't personally know anybody else who has been in my position and it feels less lonely and weird reading your thoughts and experiences and knowing that I've not been alone. Dating sites and all...

I didn't realise, all those years ago when I first started blogging (and I think you may have bought an early piece of mine, 'Eggnest'?) what had happened to you, and it's been so much help reading your posts and finding parallels and similarities. When Andy died, it was cataclysmic, and like you, I couldn't imagine ever loving again. Never did I think I'd find a relationship that was actually more better and more compatible; it feels like treachery even now to be writing this. But Andy and I worked hard over 21 years, and to be honest, in so many ways we weren't at all suited. But we learned to get over the differences. My relatively new relationship is fantastic - it's like being with myself, and none of the rows or misunderstanding I had in the early days with Andy. It's been hard to put a marker between the two, and to forgive myself for loving again so strongly. But one thing was hard won and worked for over many years and the other is just the most instant and natural thing. They are two different men who I love to bits. And the older I get, being a ripe old 48 now, the more I am grateful for that.

I did say I'd be long winded! I just wanted to thank you and to let you know that I am rooting for you, whatever happens. Finally, I have a dear friend who has started living with a climber - and the climbing seems to come first. They do seem to be a different breed, but she is biting the bullet and loves him nonetheless...I don't think I'd have the patience, so kudos to you both! Sending hugs x

Puddock said...

Hi Gretel - thanks for your comments. I saw on your blog that it was 3 years since Andy died - thinking of you.

Life is very complicated, that's for sure. Thanks for the encouragement. Like you, it took ages before I stopped feeling guilty and now, even ten years on, I have difficulty suggesting that this relationship might be better than the previous one with the now dead Golfer.

I reckoned that at some point after a divorce, say, you might say - that was the best thing that ever happened to me - but it's damn near impossible to say it after someone has died. How can you possibly say that someone dying has been in any way good for you? But I am happier than I've ever been and if The Golfer hadn't died I would not be doing the things I'm doing. I'd be in a ageing, tired marriage.

So I'll never say - that was the best thing that ever happened to me - but I will say that there is life after the death of a partner and - if you are brave enough to take the risk - possibly even greater happiness.

I was with The Golfer since I was 18 so never really did the dating, exploring thing in my youth. It has been, and is, very exciting, maddening, confusing and exhilarating to be doing it now in my late 50s! I'm having a ball, even when I fall out with him. More than anything else, I'm LIVING!

So glad to see you happy again with your new love.


PS - Climbers are definitely a different breed - but they're fun :)