Which is as relevant a segue into romance as I can make. Obviously, my romantic life is doing well, as I am married and living with my husband and I'm not sure where we can move from that. I have mentioned before that I was in a relationship with a Japanese man a few years my senior, back in high school. He is a nice guy, but we haven't talked in a long while. He's been in a bit of a rut since his brother died, hasn't talked to many people but his boyfriend.
I've never really had any other relationship, and to say my first one was conventional is certainly a stretch. Age difference, long distance. I mean, I got my firsts from the guy (and I will leave it at that), so it counts in that regard, but... it was very casual. It was a friendship with some fun, I guess. That sounds crude, perhaps, but it was just what it was, not much else to say. We broke up when he decided he'd try to settle down with Masashi, but it was on pleasant terms. I basically didn't date again for about seven or eight months, which is when I met Al.
And Al, well, we were hardly normal. We met in August and were engaged by November. We met when we were both out of work and out of school (at least for the time - he got a job two weeks later and I started school up around the same time), so we hung out every day often for hours on end. We did the movie and dinner thing, but we also spent hours on the couch watching movies and playing video games. We were... upfront with each other. I think we discussed every topic you're not meant to talk about on that first date. Past relationships, abortion, children, marriage, politics, religion. Neither of us could date a theist, I don't think. It's one thing to know a few, even love a few in a strictly friendly way. But to discuss a life of hard choices and maybe, who knows, child-rearing with somebody who, ultimately, has beliefs we fundamentally cannot agree with is just not a possibility for either of us.
I think, coupled with the fact that I had a terrible landlord and a worse apartment at the time, we just... we compacted the year or two's worth of dates, discussions, and dreams into about two months. And over the nine months until our wedding, with Al injured and out of work, visiting my family in New York, struggling with finances, with school, with immigration... I think we just covered it all in a year and we're young (him less so, perhaps), neither of us has a long history of relationships, but I think we're both mature enough and honest enough to know what we were getting into and nothing in the past year since I agreed to marry him has changed my opinion on that matter.