Infidelity is a big word. And I don’t claim that the time I spent with the Beautiful Boy that night is not contained in that big word.
I spent the next two days in a haze of emotional confusion. I went to work, saw Boyfriend, spoke to friends as usual but my mind would not stop going over everything we’d said and shared that night.
Suddenly, the ‘truths’ I’d always held about relationships seemed senseless.
I’d always been the one to urge compromise, hard work, allowances and understanding when friends had relationship issues. I was famous for my 8 day rule: believing that if you’re happy enough in your relationship 8 days out of 10 then you should count your blessings. I thought 8/10 was being generous. Now, it appeared to me that there might be someone who could just possibly, theoretically, make me feel fulfilled in our relationship 9.9 days out of 10?
The old cynic in me scoffed at this, and I won’t blame you if you do too. I knew that almost anyone could appear ideal after just one night and that my judgement would be clouded by physical attraction. I also knew that the Boy was leaving for the States in another month, that he was a few years younger than me and didn’t have much long-term relationship experience. I knew that even if I could bring myself to leave Boyfriend after a decade together, it wouldn’t be a good idea to jump straight into another relationship at all.
All these reasons and a million more, but I could not deny what was happening in my heart. Where before I’d been resigned, accepting, placated to my fate, to a relationship that was stable but joyless, to a life of daily compromise and constant appeasement, I now saw a window into an alternate future. A love built on shared thoughts, mutual needs, combined energies. An easy fit.
Compatibility. An even bigger word.