With my dating life in my twenties on the rocks, I opted to get my romantic fulfillment from somewhere else. I chose to watch others happy or willing to work towards their happy couples. So let's talk about my couples.

I met my friend Shah through a successful CL post. We met up to be friends first and that has lasted for the past decade or so. I love her relationship with her partner K. They are amazingly comfortable together. My favorite time with them was the evening we spent playing Rock Band and I made a white sangria that still makes me curse not writing down my recipe. It was an uncommonly magical evening of friendship and comradery. I enjoyed it when Shah called me one day and expounded on how much and how deeply in love she is with K.

I told her about it when I spent Christmas with her one year and she was embarrassed by how much she gushed. I understand the feeling she was going through as I went through them in December 2019 as I realized I had fallen deeply in love with tsunami. But I also loved that Christmas. Shah and K had invited some college friends to their home to spend the holiday with Shah’s family members and we did some Secret Santa things. I made jam for my secret contribution. I loved Shah for reaching out when she and K had gatherings. I played CAH with her friends for the first time. Shah and K’s relationship made me happy. It offered me pick me ups and when I was in a slump. I loved cooking with them. There was a period that we were having dinner as a trio monthly. I was glad to be thought of.

I knew Mark from D and D. He was essential to me when I first moved into my house. It was Mark’s relationship with S that made me think about kissing for a bit. They seemed really affectionate. I enjoyed spending time with them. We went to a Mexican restaurant one evening that had this amazing ice cream treat that still haunts my dreams. It was that shared meal that I expounded on kissing again. It had been a long time that I had enjoyed kissing or had a relationship. At the time, it was summer and their relationship chemistry was infectious. We invited S to play D and D with us and shared some hilarious times with our dungeon master that included him dressing up in some of my belly dancing materials and lightly live-action role-playing a nonplayer character. We taped this experience.

I valued them being in the house after watching some jumpscare movie that made me not want to be home alone for the evening.

Sadly, S, despite being lovely, had an insanely jealous streak. She would accuse Mark of looking at anyone and wanting them more than her. She even accused him of wanting me. We went to karaoke, in a gay karaoke bar I might add, once and he looked at a woman. Just looked. And she asked him if he wanted her. It was curious. At first, I thought they may be looking for a third. But no, she was highly insecure about her hold on him. Eventually, he let her go. I was sad because I lost an okay friend but she was jealous of our relationship as well. She was not healthy but she was nice to me. When I was looking for a new job, she went to bat for me at her company. But she also told me that he was misogynistic.

It was his job heating up that ended third-wheeling with him and eventually our closeness. He was my self-proclaimed male slut but he was also the one to openly bring another woman he was dating to an evening where another woman he was dating was already invited. Since this was my friend, I hated that he was inviting drama by not being discreet. I spent time with another of his partners and it turned my stomach that he knew she had a kid and was not willing to be patient with her or accept that she may need impromptu kid watching. She was convenient to him in a sense that she was a kinkster but he was not interested in caring for a kid. That soured him for me. His actions painted him as self serving and while he never did it to me, we no longer need to hang out.

I want to say that is the end of third-wheeling for me to a degree. When I went to Malta, I lived with a couple and they took me around parts of the country in the first few weeks. I spent time with their families on the weekend. They are incredibly cute together. I took photos for them when they went on a date. Like Shah and K, they are happy and their relationship made me feel comfortable. I enjoyed the time I could witness their companionship.

It was experiences like these that made me hopeful about someday.

And then I met tsunami.

Taking my words out to ‘lunch’.