It’s been a little over a month since “Brad” and I started dating. Things started out slowly with 2.5 weeks between our first and second date. Almost-nightly conversations through the magic of the Internet filled the gaps of time. We learned more about each other from the nightly talks than we did while on our dates. And, true to my personality, I had less fear and nervousness when we talked at night than when we spoke in person.
My excitement about dating again, and about dating Brad, was visible to anyone and everyone I encountered. I confessed to girlfriends that I was feeling as giddy as I did in jr. high. Whenever I would get a word of “hello” or a response to a question I asked of him, my heart leapt. How in the world can I possibly be so lucky? How can it be that I finally found someone who makes me weak in the knees when he smiles at me? Someone who knows all that I am going through with my surrogacy and is still willing to hold my hand through the good, bad and confusion of it all?
It’s not been all sunshine and rainbows. We have had some stresses, mostly caused by a combination of my fears, insecurities and crazy see-saw hormones. I’ve felt compelled to apologize for my reactions to my own questions and responses. We’ve discovered each other’s personal beliefs and convictions that grate against our own and we’re each working on where we stand on the issues. I’m learning the art of patience and trying not to see the worst-possible scenario when something doesn’t happen the way I wanted it to.
I am trying my hardest to let myself experience this relationship as something new, without comparisons to former relationships or wondering when the other shoe will drop like it has before. I am learning to experience my time with Brad as “new” and trying not to predict what he will say or think; my predictions are always wrong and I get myself worked up over nothing. I am (slowly) learning that Brad is always honest with me, even when being honest is scary or stressful. I am learning that when he tells me I’m beautiful, he really means it. I am trying to see in myself what he sees. I am still trying to figure out why he is with me.
It’s been almost a week since we made our relationship “Facebook Official.” And now I’m in the throes of hesitation. NOT with Brad! If anything, I think I’m coming across a bit too eager/laid back/relaxed/anxious when we are together. No, my hesitation comes from how much to share publicly. In the days that followed our “relationship status change,” I have been “friended” and “followed” by just about every member of Brad’s immediate family and many of his friends across the country. My blog is being read all over the United States, with most of the visitors focusing on my posts about my surrogacy and Brad. All of a sudden I have people I’ve never met, yet very important to Brad, reading all of my thoughts, fears, insecurities, faults and mistakes. My Facebook status updates and my tweets are now not-so-anonymous.
Brad has met my family. He’s already friends with people who are important to my life and meeting many others. I feel like the scale is tipped off-balance: here we are learning about each other and what is important to each other and I am not meeting anyone (in person) that I should. Facebook comments and personal messages don’t feel the same. I’m not learning about his family and friends the way he is mine, but they are learning all about me through my very raw blog posts and 140-character rants.
I feel like I need to be careful about what I say here and on Facebook and Twitter. Brad has told me that I shouldn’t worry about it but I can’t help it. This is going to be their first impression of me for a long time. There’s no telling when I’ll be able to travel with him to his home state to meet them all in person: between work-crazy and the pregnancy, travel in the next seven or eight months is pretty much impossible. Of course, following the lack of logic that I seem to embrace, I feel guilty about that.
But my hesitation extends beyond that. Out of respect for Brad’s privacy, I hadn’t been writing posts about our dates, at least nothing specific. Post about my feelings and my impressions, yes. But that was before we “went public” and both of our worlds knew exactly who we were each seeing. I’m afraid that if I write my only-vague-in-my-head posts, our respective friends and families will see them and the relationship we are trying to grow will be under even more of a microscope than what happens with a “normal” relationship that is not on public display.
While I want to share my feelings of excitement and nervousness and “new,” I’m not sure how I feel about doing that here. Not while Brad, his loved ones and mine are watching.
I’m not really sure where I stand on it all, on sharing myself here when it comes to Brad. What I do know is that right now this relationship is really between Brad and me. Where we go and what we do on our dates is our business. And in trying to be open and honest with him, in trying to break down the walls I have built up around myself, I’m trying to tell Brad what I’m feeling before I tell anyone else. Because he’s the only one that really needs to know. When it comes to the steps we take in this relationship, Brad is the only one who matters. Not my family, my friends, his family, his friends. If and when Brad and I decide to share it all, we will.