The “B” Word—by Jamie Levine
It’s nice to have a boyfriend during the holidays. There. I said it: “Boyfriend.” It’s a label I haven’t used in reference to a man whom I’m dating in a very long time…and even now, after months of a committed relationship with Library Guy, this word doesn’t easily slip off of my tongue. It’s not just my blog readers who know of the man I’m dating as “Library Guy;” it’s my Facebook friends, too—and even a few close pals. Library Guy’s nickname from the first day I met him has continued to stick months later—and it’s likely because it’s less scary for me to say. Not because I don’t want Library Guy to be my boyfriend—that’s exactly what I want—but because of my dating history. In the past, I never wanted to jump to conclusions with the commitment-phobes I dated—I knew they could disappear at any moment, and I didn’t ever want them to worry that I was getting too serious about them—and I guess that insecurity still follows me today. It’s pretty pathetic.
From the very start, Library Guy has been different from any guy I’ve ever dated; beginning with our first phone call, things with him were honest, intense, and real. When, on our first date, I grudgingly expressed my fear about being his “rebound girl,” he reassured me, and implored that we “just need to make sure we always communicate” and that if we do that, everything will be fine. What man says something like that? A sincere, committed guy with the best of intentions: My (ok, take a deep breath…I can say it…) boyfriend.
As someone who always tried desperately to be a “Rules Girl” (and always failed miserably), I’ve broken every rule with Library Guy. I tell him I miss him (even if it’s just moments after he’s driven away), I tell him I need him (no matter how vulnerable it makes me feel), and, with his help, I’m slowly chipping away at the wall I’ve put around my heart. I text or call him whenever I feel the urge—without waiting for him to contact me first. I see him as often as I can—even it it’s several days in a row—and I don’t ever seem to get tired of being with him. I’ve told him many of my deepest secrets and never pretend to be someone whom I’m not. I’ve let him into my life—and have even introduced him to much of my family—all in a matter of a few months. I don’t doubt his growing feelings for me, and I trust him. Truly and deeply. And sometimes it truly and deeply scares me.
But if anyone ever deserved to be called my boyfriend, it’s Library Guy (who, for the sake of his privacy, will always be Library Guy here). And it’s great to have him by my side this holiday season. He’s the first guy I’ve invited to my family’s Christmas brunch, and, on New Year’s Eve, he’ll be sharing my first night ever spent away from Jayda. And in between, we have oodles of holiday fun planned at a time when we both desperately need to escape from some stress. It’s all good. And it’s all real. And, scary or not, as I get ready to bid 2010 goodbye, I’m glad I finally have the right guy to start the new year off right with.