I love Carolina Man. I do. Maybe that seems a bit on the fast side, but there's no denying that's what I feel. I've never felt this way about anyone, not even my long-term boyfriends. With everything happening so quickly, it's easy for me to begin to question if I'm just being swept up into the intensity of it all and losing all sense of reality about him. So, to help reassure myself (and maybe some of my readers) I thought I'd set aside the giddiness and explore some of the logic behind why Carolina Man is my perfect match.
We have honest, open communication about our past, present, and future. Carolina Man is an open book. Never once have I asked him a question that he refused to answer, even if the topic made him upset or angry. We still have a lot to learn about each other, but with the openness we already have, there's no bullshit. There's no hiding pain or mistakes. There's no glossing over the difficulty of living in different places, and what it means when we decide we want to change that. And there's no hesitation in discussing the future and what we want as a couple (yes, we've discussed babies). Each time we work through something, I feel more and more confident that we'll be able to address any issue that comes up and work on it. Last night I was feeling really angry about the idea of having to pick up my life and move, and he just listened compassionately until the anger defused. I got off the phone feeling a hundred times better than before we talked.
We were set up by two people who love us deeply. I'm so grateful that Carolina Man and I didn't have the typical beginning--an awkward dinner date and subsequent wondering if he was ever going to call. We had the absolutely perfect occasion to get to know one another, orchestrated by his dad and my boss. Before we even met each other, we had the confidence of two very important people that we were well-suited for each other, and it's just served as further affirmation of the chemistry and click we feel.
We both want to live in North Carolina. Even before I met him, I was talking about moving to the Research Triangle area (Durham/Chapel Hill/Raleigh) because I have family there and it has potential work opportunities for me in the future. It's a 6 hour drive from home and it's a 2 hour drive from my college where I still have lots of friends. I told him last night, if he lived in Michigan or something, I might not be so inclined to pick up my life and move there, but seeing as how he already lives in the place I've wanted to move back to for a year, it's a no brainer. That doesn't mean leaving DC will be easy. I have a life and friends here, and I will have to do the hard work of rebuilding a network when I decide to move. But, I feel like when I do move, it'll be permanent and it'll be worth investing time and energy into creating the life that I want.
We've been disappointed in similar ways in the past and know what we want from our partners. Our past relationships had similar dynamics--our partners not living up the potential we saw in them, no honest communication, no willingness to work on issues. We share similar hurts, and having that common experience makes us all the more grateful for the contrast in our interactions. We don't want to spend too much time making comparisons, but it is helpful to say, "I've had dysfunction, and I'm grateful that this is healthy."
So, despite the emotional giddiness of it all, we have a core there that won't fade over time. And I'm confident it's going to carry us through a lifelong partnership.