“People may share a drink, a house, a bed; but only doing silly things together indicates true intimacy.”

love in reverse

A couple weeks ago, I wanted to write something about a new development in my life; a friendship growing into something else, and about taking a chance on the unknown. But something held me back… perhaps it wasn’t yet time to write those words. Now that I am writing them down, they’ve taken on a brand new meaning.

People may share a drink, a house, a bed; but only doing silly things together indicates true intimacy.

From an outside perspective, I’ve had a pretty rough life this year. It began with a pretty bad breakup. Though my life seemed to improve for most of the spring and the summer, that relationship ended with me spending a day in jail and my plans to move back to the northeast in September derailed.

It was due to an offhand tweet venting about some complication in my relationship with A that DG first reached out to me. Despite her offer, we didn’t speak on the phone for a while longer.

When we first did, I vividly remember telling her that – because A was living with me over the summer and that brought so many unknowns and complications – I wouldn’t touch myself with a 10-ft pole while A was still around. And that’s … well, unusual for me to warn someone off like that, without even knowing if they like me or I like them.

Maybe I sensed something. I know that A saw it, even though I’d only spoken to DG a few times on the phone, and never with any consciousness of attraction. A would ask me, rather pointedly – when I said I planned to visit friends in Denver – if I was going to visit “Denver Girl.” – or when I accidentally left my laptop at a friend’s house, if I’d left it with DG.

And that’s how we started off – commiserating over relationships that didn’t make us as happy as they should. And then when A left for home and I decided to take some time off from love and relationships to focus on myself and my own life, we bonded because we both wanted to be monks, staying away from the many Bad Ideas that tempted us.

Somewhere along the line – sharing our thoughts, our love for writing and photography, our trials and temptations in our delicate dances of love-avoidance… somehow as we kept backing away from the people who threatened to lead us astray, we backed into each other.

And we both felt the bump.

She gets scared sometimes. But not of me, not of my tendency to say exactly how I feel and ask for exactly what I want. She’s been my friend, and she’s always been absolutely honest and open with me (except maybe that time she told me she turned off the TV and then chided the Food Network chef for yet another faux pas.)

She teases me expertly, yet when I feel sick I hear warm concern in her voice. She alternates between sweet and sharp, and that’s what I do – she can give as well as she takes.

And when she tells me about her dreams and goals for her future, it’s as if someone looked deep inside my mind and wrote someone into being who inspires me, challenges me. We laugh. We play, we play like kids in love with the world.

So this morning, she suggested we out ourselves to the world. We counted to 3 and simultaneously changed our Facebook relationship status. A small action, but recognizing the shift between us… we backed into each other away from love, turned around at one point amid our own denials, distractions and deferments, and we saw each other, we saw what had grown so organically between us, simple, easy, without trying.

We never had to try.

We just found ourselves standing there – happy together.

Mila (Jacob Stetser)

Mila is a writer, photographer, poet & technologist.

He shares here his thoughts on Buddhism, living compassionately, social media, building community,
& anything else that interests him.

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  1. I couldn’t be happier for you. I guess what they say is true – the best things happen when you aren’t looking. 3 cheers for unexpected love!