Dater X: Moving Right Along

With things mostly calm here in my world, I thought this week might be a good one for a recap, and with it, some additional stories that haven’t always fit into my weekly columns since I started seeing The Bartender.

I noticed that there seem to be some misunderstandings about how much time we spend together. I can’t say I’m altogether surprised by that, given that my life has felt awfully fractured with travel lately even while I’m living it. But between trying to keep the story current and maneuvering between several different jobs in two different cities – not to mention being a little cagey about revealing which cities they are – I’ve been unclear.

Basically, every other week, I travel to The Bartender’s city for work. My job is a weekly one, but my travel is bi-weekly, and I work remotely from home in between trips. With my boss paying my way and my work day coinciding with the weekend, I have tended to visit for several days at a time, arriving a few days early to spend the weekend together, then departing the morning after my last work day. On the other weekends, The Bartender has hopped on a bus as soon as his shift ends and traveled to see me, spending as much time as his schedule allows before heading back to his city.

And speaking of his schedule: the owner of the bar offered him a promotion a few months back, and after discussing it, we agreed that he should take it. He runs the show now, including making the schedule, and while his hours have increased, he’s also been able to set aside at least one full day and night to come see me, which we have spent gleefully cavorting around my city. Even as we chat about plans to possibly relocate me, he’s been adamant about eventually moving together to my city, and that has helped me feel a bit calmer about the prospect of joining him in his to start. My bi-weekly job has also shown signs of becoming a full-time opportunity, so from a work standpoint, I’ll have a reason to move that’s separate from him (though, of course, he would be a major factor in my decision).

We continue to talk about real estate, including purchasing my current apartment and renting it out, then using the equity to buy a place in his city and live there. Often, as we walk around town, we chat about the buildings that we see and what we both like or dislike. Our tastes are similar, and while buying an apartment was always something that I vaguely wanted to do, his interest is more immediate and concrete. When we discuss it, we consider things like how to include what little debt we have between us (no student loans; a couple of credit card balances) in the financials, positioning ourselves comfortably. We also frankly talk about being sure that both our names are on the proper documents, so that if things go totally sideways, neither of us is left homeless or desperate.

Increasingly, we talk about the future, including what fun I had meeting his family and how excited we are for him to meet mine. Little Sis X introduced herself to him on her own during a trip into his city, sidling up to his bar and chatting with him before texting me her seal of approval. Mom and Dad X will be meeting him this weekend. His birthday dinner last month was a fun one, and full of easy conversation; his dad is staggeringly (though unsurprisingly) bright, and his grandmother is the kind of hilariously foul-mouthed octogenarian that Golden Girls fans dream of. She invited us into her home for brunch the following morning, prepped a pot of coffee, poured me a cup, and offhandedly announced that I should help myself to seconds whenever I pleased. We ate eggs and home-made cookies, and she played big band music while The Bartender led me around the house looking at family photos; when she caught me singing along, she wrapped me in a delighted hug.

All of which is to say: things are good. Smooth. Helping to lay to rest any doubts that I had about beginning to actively build a future with this man. He shows no hint of jealousy, and will be delighted to play golf while I play softball. His best friends are back in town in two weeks, and barring another car accident, we’re looking forward to spending the weekend together. We’re making plans to get away together for a few days next month, our first real vacation in a relationship marked by constant travel. And, more and more, I find myself feeling happy. Confident. Ready.

Until next week,
Dater X 3.0