Since December, TB and I have gone from being friends to dating to boyfriends. We get along very well together because we hold a lot of the same values and have similar ideas about what we want to do. Besides that, we share common interests and have gotten along very well. Folks who have seen us together have remarked about how happy we are together and they can see relations between the two of us going somewhere.
One of the reasons things have gone this way is because we both agreed that we would take things slow. The both of us have been there, done that when it comes to relations, and I know I have certainly learned my lesson about moving too fast. Also, I had only been about 3 months out of a relationship when we started dating, so I had wanted to keep things casual anyway so that we could still date other people as we were getting to know one another. We found that we enjoyed the company of one another, so it was natural that eventually we were exclusively dating.
In the last month, TB has had some big life changes come down the pike. He moved into his own space at a friends house, and recently moved to share a house with his cousin. He also got a new job in a completely different line of work from what he had been doing. He had been a mover with his parent's moving company since his teens and he was ready for a change. Now he works for a company doing forensic cleanup. Yes, he cleans up crime scenes, along with cleaning up after floods and fires. It was something that sounded interesting to him, and he went and got this job. That is such an improvement over folks I have known who bitch that they hate their job and it is holding them back, but they make absolutely no effort to look for a new job or improve the environment they work in.
What this has also meant though is TB is kept busy, especially because the nature of his work means he doesn't always know when he's going to have to head out to a job. Too bad you can't schedule when someone is going to set their house on fire, have their sewer back up, or stab someone over an ex-girlfriend. As such, he does work during the day Monday through Friday, but he also will go on call every other week, meaning he can be called in at any time, day or night, including weekends. When he took his job, he knew there would be plenty of overtime, and he wants to get established in his career with this, so he takes it when he can get it. He's been there just over a month, and he is happy with what he is doing, and they like him very well to where they're looking to make him a crew leader by the end of this summer. So this looks like this is working very well for him.
What it has meant though is we haven't necessarily been able to plan to spend time together like we have in the past. Sometimes we have made plans and then other things such as a job for him or an event for me have meant that we had to break those plans. It hasn't been the easiest thing for both of us, so it became necessary that we talk about where things are going.
TB was feeling bad because of having to cancel planned time, and he felt that it wasn't fair to have me make plans to be with him and then he can't be there, and so I might have ended up missing out on something else. I felt that it isn't good for him to be in a situation where when he does have some free time, I'm expecting him to hang out with me. I don't want to put him in that position, especially when he is getting started with his career. He's enjoying it, and he should focus on his career right now, not on me.
So at this point, we have decided to step things back a bit, and go to casual dating rather than be exclusive right now. Let me stress this is not a break-up per se. We still are dating one another, but without the pressures that come with exclusively dating. He can focus on his work, I can focus on my upcoming conference presentation, plus we can still pursue our interests, together and separately, without getting into a whole thing of trying to plan time together. At some time in the future, when things are settled, we can re-evaluate things again and see where we want to go.
I'm actually not that bothered that things are going this way right now. I view it as a little detour in making things work in the long run for the both of us. If we tried to continue the way we were we'd probably end up stressed out and pissed off at one another, then we would break up and there would probably be no real chance of having a friendship after that. Besides, this was also why I wanted to take things slow, we could adjust to whatever life threw at us, and I think we will come out of this with a much stronger connection with one another and a good chance that we'd be in it for the long haul.
Like always, we shall see where things go, but I am actually feeling good about this.