In Australia, I noticed that the relationship strategy of some men is to make you one of the lads. For these men, there are no romantic dinners, no talking into the night, no hand holding on a beach. From the moment you are officially an item, you become part of the team. The football team, the friend team, the drinking team, the Saturday night team.
They don’t think any less of you; in fact being one of the team means they hold you in the highest regard. You’re just hardly ever alone with this man. As a result, unless you are attuned to this larrikin love mode, your relationship flounders. I can only describe it as being strapped into a very fast, very fun plane but never actually taking off the ground.
If you don’t spend any time with someone, it’s hard to form a strong connection or any kind of bond. I was reminded of this the other day as I mused on early motherhood, and the time when you are rarely alone and almost never alone with your thoughts.
Preoccupied day and night with the wants and needs of small people, you don’t get much time to laugh at your own jokes, remember your strong points, be reminded of your appeal, learn anything new about yourself. You can very easily lose your sense of worth, your powers, your passions. You can start to feel dull because you have nothing to say to yourself and no time to say it. You can start nit picking at your faults.
You fall out of love.
Which is why dropping BUB.1 off at school this week for the first time was such a great experience. There was no sense of letting go, no sense of an ending, just a sense of elation that he would be getting more out of this life and so would I. School has filled a space that I could no longer fill for him and he has been full of life and excitement.
From next week BUB.2 will be at preschool for just three mornings a week, and BUB.3 is due to arrive in January, so by no means will I be jetting off to Rio with myself or booking a dirty weekend.
But I have at least cleared a little space at my table for one, and I might even get to sit down at it.