Three months after our fabulous beginning, as we sat with our cappuccinos on his porch, Wasabi held my knee, looked me in the eye and told me that he felt we needed some time apart. What we had shared was amazing. It was fiery and nurturing and loving and crazy and sweet. But we were both baby pre-divorcees. Papers had been filed, but there was much left to be done. And we hadn't really lived as single people yet. It had been very easy to fall into the comfort of an affectionate, caring relationship, but through his wisdom, we gently released our clutched hands and chose to maintain a beautiful friendship.
I won't lie. I was heartsick. He had been my first romance after the marriage dissolved...perhaps the first of my life. And it was a wondrous one. He gave me respect, attention, affection and taught me that I deserve all of those things and more. And I knew that he was right. We were too new at single to get wrapped up in something with such potential.
We continued to see each other every month or so, meeting for lunch or a drink or coffee and lots of great conversation. We shared dating disasters and updated the other on our children's lives. Each meeting ended with a sincere hug, a genuine smile and an "I love you." There were times throughout the year that I longed to be back in his arms, and others that I knew the space between us was merited. And when The Poet came into my life, Wasabi was genuinely happy that I had found "the love I truly deserved."
I always felt he and I would be lifelong friends. I thought we'd continue to meet for coffees long into the future. I thought we'd invite each other to our eventual weddings. I thought I'd send his kids graduation cards.
But The Poet came to me with a pre-existing condition. His ex- had cheated on him and his ability to trust was tenuous at best. To keep the peace, Wasabi and I halted any facebook chit chat, as well as our monthly meetings and occasional text messages.
And while I loved The Poet, I was saddened by the loss of an important friendship.
So when The Poet and I ended, I sought forgiveness from Wasabi for abandoning him. And he quickly granted it with the same hug, smile and I love you that we'd rehearsed so many times.
I don't think this will surprise you...we have now opened our more mature, post-divorce hearts to one another and are pursuing the rest of the relationship that we suspended that September. Thus far, I feel promise and joy. We first thrived as lovers and later as friends. Now we can combine those experiences into something greater than the sum of the two.
I'll be taking it easy here. You will likely witness many good times, some struggles and hopefully a lot of laughter with us. But I make no promises. I speak of no forevers. Not yet.
Our mantra for this journey is This is not a race. So grab a drink, settle in, and let's all watch where this goes.