You’re out on a drinks date with a guy you met in college. He picked you up and you’re sitting across from each other with vodka meant to liberate the conversation. You’re asking questions, all of the first date questions, and you’re answering. It gets easier, you find a little common ground and it’s like metaphorical gates open so neither of you can stop talking or laughing.
He drops you off at your door. You kiss. It’s a great kiss. The kind where you let yourself go and forget you’re in public until your neighbor clears his throat because you’ve been blocking the keypad to the building in your newly found world where your right hand is on his impossibly muscular chest and left is thrown over his shoulder. You just spent three hours getting to know each other, except please remember, you do not know him.
You get upstairs, close the door and press your back against it just like in a movie and you’re hoping he asks you out again. Your phone dings and you already know who it is.
Three weeks in when you’re laying in his arms naked after five dates and he’s making you laugh and you’re smiling and you can’t imagine ever wanting to leave this perfect moment, please just take one second to remember that you do not know him yet. You like what you do know, that limited amount that you’ve already learned, but it is limited and people are complex. After all, have you completely let him in? You can’t write off complexities with hormones and happiness.
You do not know each others’ depths yet.
You will fall asleep and he will fall asleep and you will both get dressed and go get coffee across the street from your apartment. While you’re standing in line with his hand on your back, you’ll gaze up at him and wonder how many more mornings you’ll have together. How many more mornings you’ll smile at this stranger.
It turned out you had many mornings and he got less strange over all of them. You had mornings, and lunches, and dinners where you would cook and he would drink or he would cook and you would drink. Or maybe you’d throw in a frozen pizza and fall asleep on the couch together. You don’t want a stranger in your future.
Ten months later you’ll be sitting on the cold floor of your apartment, the one with all the happy warm memories, and you’ll ask yourself what happened. You remember the beginning, and the middle and now you’re living what might be the end. Then you realize, you still do not know him. You know your routines together, you know things he’s gone through, you know the secret parts you get to see when you’re in love with someone, but it doesn’t mean you know each other. It doesn’t mean he knows what you think about when you’re really alone. Please be fair here. He has those moments too. Everyone does.
You might not even know you. There are parts of yourself you haven’t discovered and you have plenty of time for that. You think back on the moments and reflect on the complexities of the us because you’ve always been good at overthinking. You are remarkable, and so is he, and you’ll change because growth is everything. You’ll know new people, some will stay strangers and others will not. A reason, a season, or lifetime: everyone is here for one of them.