The Art Of Being Lonely In A Relationship

February 2, 2018

I miss everything about you. Even though you’re right here.

I’m starting to forget you.

Even though you’re lying right beside me now; sleeping that deep, dreamless sleep you do.

I’m starting to forget who we are.

Even though I’m already planning out our morning as I watch your chest rise and fall; the weight of the world upon it.

Those few delicious moments when your alarm slices through the first rays of sunlight and your eyes momentarily flicker and catch mine.

You, asking me to stay in bed “just a few more moments” as I fly into action to begin preparing for the day ahead.

The quiet, rhythmic ironing of your business shirt into crisp, ordered creases as you roll over and steal a few more moments of sleep.

The measured packing of your lunch into a careful puzzle of Saran-wrapped carbohydrates, neatly nestled inside the weathered blue tupperware you take to work.

The sound of my felt-tip pen carefully composing cursive love letters onto a Post-it note to tuck inside for you to discover later on.

The smell of your coffee drifting into the air as I hand it to you in bed, flinging your freshly-pressed uniform onto the hook behind our bedroom door and diving with abandon, deep into the ocean of sheets still entangling you.

I’m starting to forget what it was like, before our conversations consisted of schedules, and work stresses, and shopping lists.

Before we were unable to lie in the same bed without feeling that warm rush of excitement that made it impossible to think of anything else but undressing one another, and laughing endlessly as we fell into messy, sweaty contortions.

I wonder where you are.

When you glance up at me between frenetically typing emails and taking phone calls.

When you curl your body up against mine at night as you doze, and feel so far away.

When my phone no longer lights up with messages that tease embarrassingly large smiles across my face.

I wonder what got us here.

What I did to let things get this way. To have us live our lives side-by-side, and yet, so perfectly alone.

I wonder what it’s all worth; what we’re even doing here.

I let my mind toss the idea of a life without you up into the air a few times, like it’s a string bobbing up and down in front of a cat.

I paw at it, then let it go.

And then you surprise me by catching my arm and pulling me in tightly for an unexpectedly long kiss as you’re about to drop me off to work.

Or leaving a box full of dyed bright blue blooms for me on the bedside table, with a note that simply reads, ‘Just because’.

Or showing up when I’m sure you’re coming home late from work tonight.

And then I taste it.

The sticky sweet memory of you on my tongue. The delicious tickle that prickles my skin when we’re us. When nothing else matters but right now. When you see me, and I see you, in all your beautiful, wounded imperfection, as your walls crack open.

When your eyes turn glassy for a moment, and you whisper “I don’t want to do this without you.”

And when we don’t have to talk anymore, because we communicate things with our touch that can’t be spoken. Things that are reserved just for us. Just for this euphoric, unforgettable moment I’ll wrap in bubble-wrap and catalog in the back of my brain to furtively tear open when I’m lonely once more.

Because I love you.

Even when you’re a thousand miles away from across the other side of the bed.

Even when you’re a train hurtling ahead at full speed, with no time to stop, breathe, and take in the surroundings.

When you’re moving so fast, my grip is loosening, and it’s getting harder and harder to hold on.

And I love you, even when I don’t know where you are – when your mind goes to far flung places for hours, days, or even weeks; and I’m left silently waiting for you to return.

Because even if it’s just for a minute, I live for the moments your body and brain have stopped racing, and you find a temporary home inside me. When I can’t remember which limb is yours, and which is mine. When your skin sinks into my flesh and I forget everything.

Everything, that is, but you.

Image via shutterstock.com.

Comment: Have you ever experienced the feeling of being lonely in a relationship, when your partner was being distant?

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