I met RI more than two and a half years ago — more than two years before we even considered dating each other. We have been teammates and close, important friends for essentially that whole time, have supported each other through all kinds of things, have laughed together, loud and often.
And we are fond of saying that the whole romantic connection could not have happened any sooner than it did — we weren't ready, we were with other people or getting over other people or in too complicated a place in our lives.
And all that's true, but, I think, more to the point: We each needed the exact friendship we'd found in each other, as it was, without the pressure of figuring out a life together. For then. When we were ready, we were ready — but we were not ready sooner.
And now that we are? Amazing.
Related: I have an ex, now a good friend. I wish I could say we're still friends, but this is definitely an again-friends situation.
We weren't exactly friends before we started dating; we had mutual friends, and were friendly, and had a quick and real connection, but the dating for sure started as dating.
That relationship was OK — occasionally wonderful — but complicated and sometimes confusing. It wasn't, it turned out, the right thing for either of us. Still, there's a real bond there, that we're lucky still to have. The ex has found someone else who sounds wonderful, and the ex knows RI and has been among our biggest and best cheerleaders, as a couple. I am incredibly blessed to have a friend who knows me this well, and even in this capacity, who was prepared to salvage the best parts of that connection.
And I have dozens of stories like that, including some of you who read this.
Day 6 of our month of gratitude: I am thankful for the people who stuck around long enough to figure out how we best fit together. I am thankful for friends who became partners, exes who became friends, friends' exes and exes' friends and dates and bosses and service providers and coworkers and crushes and directors and classmates and neighbors and professors and campers who became some of the most important people in my life, in the exact way they were supposed to, and let me figure out how to fit into their lives, too.