Today is the Facebook Official 1 year anniversary of The Mister and I. We met at work in early 2021 and have been near inseparable every since. After I left that job in mid-2021, The Mister asked if I would be interested in dating but at the time I wasn't in a position to pursue anything serious or committed. He accepted and respected that but over the next year we spent more and more time together and talked on the phone nearly every day.
We joke that we were dating all along, just in denial, and I sometimes wonder how close to the truth that really is. Then in September of 2022, as everyone was leaving my place after a D&D game, he gave me a big strong hug that was somehow different than all the other hugs before. It made my heart melt and that's when I realized I wanted more of those hugs. And I wanted more of him in my life. I spent the weekend (over)analyzing how I felt and where to go from there and when Monday came around and I called him on my way home from work as I did nearly every day by that point, I asked him if that offer from a year before was still on the table. I was relieved to hear that it was. I said I wasn't sure how things would go or how much of myself I could put into another serious relationship after the implosion of my last (9+ years) one and he was understanding. I had told him all about the Ballad of the Grannywife a long time ago so he knew the sort of baggage he was taking on.
I didn't realize how little The Ex had put into our relationship of over 9 years until I was in a relationship with someone who actually cared to put forth the effort and show me how much they loved, cared for, and respected me (and The Child). It took a healthy relationship for me to recognize that the past relationship I thought had been good until it suddenly wasn't hadn't really been more than the bare minimum on The Ex's part. I don't feel the need the mask around The Mister, something I have only recently come to realize I had been doing for years.
The Mister found me at a time when I was just starting to get my life back and he's been with me ever since, seen me at my best and helped me through my worst. I have a lot of baggage and leftover trauma from The Ex and when The Mister and I first started dating he was so caring and understanding when The Ex would come up at times when I was feeling unsure or skittish or closed off because something had reminded me of the bad parts in my past relationship and my brain would fixate. Even after a year there are still times when my brain will compare the present with the past and bring up unnecessary anxieties based on past experiences but those are few and far between these days. I know I'm in a better place with a much better person now and I don't know what I'd do without him.
He is my rock, my family, my everything. One year down, many more to go.