I’ve known Sarah now for almost two years. In that span of time, we met, at Camp Widow, began dating, she moved to Ohio, and has since moved in, officially, with Shelby and I. She’s been here in Ohio for one year, as of yesterday.
That means that we’re getting into that phase where we are saying “last year, we did this” or “do you remember when?”. Make no mistake, there are still so many new things we are experiencing, especially on her part, but we also have “history” now.
As of Monday, we can look back to last year. We can remember what the fall colors looked like and compare to this year. We can make plans for Halloween 2016 based on what we know of Halloween 2015. We can stop comparing as many things to Drew or Megan, and start comparing to each other.
I had twelve years with Megan. Sarah got three with Drew. Although the time periods are significantly different, both relationships were long enough to build a history among two people. That past history is what, naturally, we use as a comparison tool when beginning a new relationship.
Of course I would compare Sarah to Megan, just as she compared me to Drew. It is what, and who, we knew and loved. They were the people that we built our lives around, for whatever period of time, and if the new person couldn’t meet or exceed those “standards” we had set, then it likely wouldn’t be worth pursuing.
And that’s the thing. In this “second chapter”, or whatever you want to call it, I’m more clear headed and decisive. I know what works, and what doesn’t, for me. I knew what I liked, and what I didn’t like in Megan, and OF COURSE I compared Sarah to that. I didn’t put Megan on some lofty pedestal, and say that if Sarah wasn’t “just like her” then she was wrong for me. That would be insane.
Case in point: if Sarah was :just like” Megan, she would have a genetic disorder that would cause her severe lung trauma throughout her life, and result in extended hospital stays and surgeries, leading to a short lifespan. That’s the most extreme example, of course, but also, if she was “just like” Megan, she would become quiet when stressed, leaving me to draw my own conclusions about what was wrong at the time...one of my biggest “gripes” over the twelve years Megan and I were together.
Neither of those things meant that I was looking for “Outspoken, healthy Megan”. In fact, I wasn’t looking in the first place when Sarah sat down at that table at Camp Widow. It meant that I had an open mind and an open heart. It meant that I loved Megan unconditionally, regardless of whatever I perceived as a fault, and that I knew I had the ability to do it again. My personality did not die with Megan. It may have evolved, but it wasn’t all new.
Just as Sarah and I’s relationship is now doing. We’ve been together long enough that it is evolving, over time, just as any relationship does. There are still new things...new experiences, goals, and living situations, and there are things that stay the same. There is less comparison now, however, to how these occurrences differ from Megan or Drew, and more focus on where we were a year ago. I can take a “body of work” of twelve years, with Megan, and not only apply it directly to how I feel about Sarah, but also to how I feel about our past year together in Ohio.
So yeah, I still compare Sarah and I to Megan and I. Of course I’m going to...a third of my life was spent with Megan. But I do it still with an open heart and mind, knowing that really, there is no comparison between the two of them. What I’m really comparing is myself. I’m comparing myself with Megan to myself with Sarah.
And I like who I am with both of them.