* Not his real name. (In a continuing effort to remain anonymous and protect our privacy, my boyfriend’s name has been changed. I will mark any details that I change in a similar fashion.)
I mentioned in my first entry that one of the things that has brought me here to wordpress is the desire to blog about my boyfriend Graham. There is an almost ten year difference in our ages and I’m the older one. Honestly this doesn’t make much of a difference to either of us. After two years I’m pretty sure that if it were going to cause us major problems there would have been an indication. It works for us quite well. He’s mature for his age, which makes it much easier for him to encourage me to not work and accept full financial responsibility for us. Initially I had intended to seek work again after I was laid off, even if only part time work, but he told me I didn’t need to and he didn’t particularly want me to. It was easy to see just how much healthier and happier I was without a job. I still may eventually pursue something part time, but right now I am in the process of booking my first paid wedding photography gig (fingers crossed).
Another thing Graham has going for him is that he doesn’t view money the way many people do. It’s a means to an end and a tool, but he doesn’t value it as a symbol of power or status. His mother has even told me that he’s the one that taught her when he was a teenager that money wasn’t everything. His mother was very career oriented and both his parents were working hard to pay for 12 years of private school and all of college for three kids. They were very focused on money, which is understandable. His mother tried to convince him that it was very important for him to improve his grades so he could get into a good college and make lots of money in some illustrious career. Growing up around very wealthy people had given him a different view. He told her that he didn’t care, that money didn’t matter and he just wanted to do what he loved, which was be a software developer and make video games. And that’s what he is. He’s working on a game at home while working for a company that makes a different type of video game.
We live very comfortably with just his salary and that is good enough for us both. He enjoys home cooked meals, a clean home, a happy and healthy girlfriend for the most part (we’ll talk about this in detail another entry), and a life that suits us. We have two wonderful cats and live in a very nice apartment. We’re homebodies and we go out when we want. His parents bring us out to Florida often to visit them and see the beach. Life is good and we’re happy.
Sometimes there are little things that make it evident we aren’t the same age. He has a habit of talking to himself and the computer. The other day I could hear him really going off about something, so I went in the computer room and asked him what he was blessing out. He asked what I had said so I repeated the question. He didn’t get it at all. I guess that phrase “bless out” is a bit dated. He was in elementary school when 9/11 happened, so it doesn’t mean the same thing to him at all and he doesn’t remember it the same way or in such detail. But other than things like that, it just doesn’t matter or come up. I look extremely young for my age (to give you an idea I still get carded for cigarettes and alcohol and get accused of having a fake ID when people see my birth year) so people automatically assume he’s older than I am. That’s just hilarious to me, but I’m certainly not going to complain about it.
I’ve had Graham’s friends, which we either see when we visit them for events like weddings or they come out where we are for vacations, tell me that they never thought he’d be able to maintain a relationship. He spends a lot of time on the computer. When I say a lot, I mean that he’s on it all day at work and then all night at home. He will stop to eat, if we decide to go out, to watch TV together (we do this occasionally), and to sleep. Obviously this doesn’t make for a productive relationship with most people. But it works with me. I have two cats, a home to keep, food to make, hundreds of books, a photography habit (hobby), my mom close by, and two computers of my own. I don’t know how to live alone, but I don’t want to spend every waking moment together either. I understand why his friends, and his family, thought he’d probably never find someone that got that. He’d dated before and had girlfriends, but never lived with anyone. It just works with me. I’ve spent most of my life around developers and people in technologies, so it’s not at all unusual to me. And I’m not typical myself. I don’t fit in most boxes where you’d put the majority of women.
We both are far from our friends, too. Most of mine are very far away and the same is true for him. He took a job out in the west after college (an accelerated specialized college for game software development). I’m from the west, but moved to where we are after my divorce, following my mom after she relocated with her job. My friends are all over the country and the world. I wish I had friends closer, but I have Graham and my mom so I am all right most of the time. Had Graham and I not met at work a few years ago, we wouldn’t have crossed paths.
I know I am very lucky. Very few women get to stay home, have a younger boyfriend that makes very good money and is generous with it, do what they want with their free time, and have zero pressure to do the typical housewife things. I keep a clean home because that’s what I prefer and cook because I choose to, but he’d be just as happy with takeout every night (trust me on that, that’s what he used to eat before me). Neither of us want kids and are extremely satisfied with the cats. He’d never had pets until we started to live together, but has fallen in love with the cats. It’s mellowed him a bit and he seems to be even happier because of them. Half the time he beats me to feeding them, playing with them, and giving them treats.
As for the generosity, it’s wonderful. Just the other day he up and decided to order all the parts to build me a powerful desktop computer that can handle the video games I like and all the photography processing I do. On Valentine’s a couple of years ago, just a few months after we got together and just before we moved in together, he bought me a really nice laptop. Sadly it was unable to handle the video game we thought it would and we discussed eventually building me a desktop machine for that purpose. He had seen something online that prompted him to come home and buy all the parts. They should be here Tuesday. I’m excited and I love that he decided to do this because he wanted to. He didn’t have to spend over a grand on that out of the blue.
That’s my life. That’s my boyfriend. He’s always been uncomfortable with the idea of marriage, but just last week he told me that he won’t make me wait forever. He knows that isn’t fair and said he just wants to get to an even better place in his career first. I understand that and I’m not going to push him. I’m amazed he’s made the decision to even go in that direction and has given it the thought he has. He’s made many decisions that say to me that he sees me in the near and far future. That makes me happy. What more could you ask for?