Full of newness, and discovery, questions and sometimes “terrible” decisions.
We remember sitting on LA freeways for hours. Both ways. At completely, utterly unreasonable hours. Very scheduled phone calls post-9 pm to take advantage of those unlimited night minutes and lasted hours about nothing. Flowers every month, just because. Overly fancy restaurants (for us, at the time) the better to bat our eyes at each other. Cramming in one social obligation after another, stacked with work and school obligations, because sometimes, that’s the only way we could see each other without abandoning our friends or family. I’m sure there were more foolish decisions, and a lot less eye batting than I assume, but I can’t remember now.
A mutual friend laughed at our rueful reminiscing: the first six months don’t count! You do stupid things in your first six months together.
This is true, we did do stupid things to be together. We spent stupid money sometimes. Things that my normally pragmatic self would laugh at now, or even raise an eyebrow over wondering if this was setting ourselves up for a lifetime of impulse buys and trips. [I did (politely) ask PiC to stop bringing flowers every month around month 6 or so. I loved the thought but hated the idea he was spending so much.] And the first six months theory is a handy “it’s ok!” dismissal of it all. But you know what?
The first six months did count.
We spent time frivolously and had a great lot of fun. We enjoyed each other’s company without undue worry, which was a huge thing for me in my early 20s otherwise weighed down with worry and pain, and learned how to communicate. Even before we became a long distance relationship, we learned how to disagree and even fight efficiently and effectively, if you can believe it, and as much as talking about fighting wouldn’t seem like the most positive thing about an early relationship – it was how we learned to communicate better and waste little to no time on dramatic flounces.
We enjoyed each other as people, and made stupidly grand gestures to show it. We also chose to share the utterly mundane to share, like the Costco hot dog dinner. There was, as it turned out, plenty of time to be 90% sensible later. We are sensible now. But those short six months were full of laughter and learning how to care for and about each other. Rather priceless.
And the silliness of the first six months didn’t just end there. We still consciously make “stupid” decisions for each other, to make each other happy or laugh, despite being a boring old married couple. But it’s ok – we’re not wearing blinders when we do it. We have a budget.
What do you think of the six months theory? What were your first six months of a solid relationship like?
Did you travel unnaturally long distances to see each other? Spend hours on the phone? Sit in traffic forever just to see each other?