my romantic history being what it is, i've never had the privilege of transitioning between long-term serious relationships before. prior to the ex, i only had small, short flings. my longest-lived dating experience before him was three months long. before that, it was seven weeks. i wasn't a "dater" in high school, and then i launched headlong into the whole ex thing.
so it's a learning curve of, frankly, biblical proportions these days. this is something that most people figure out in their early 20s, i think, the renegotiation of expectations, of behavior, etc. enter the man, who is a very different kind of guy from the ex. that is a wonderful thing on a lot of levels, but it poses a new challenge for me. i have to learn to read, to understand, to know what's being shown to me by my new love. it's not always easy.
i am accustomed to hearing a lot from the man in my life. i got really damn used to hearing "i love you" as often as i wanted. more so, really. and no matter what happened at the end, it was always nice, ALWAYS, to hear that. i got to a point where i craved it. now i've moved forward, into a new place, but the old habits have died hard. i want to hear it now, even still. but as demonstrative as the man is, and he is distinctly that, he just doesn't speak those words. i find myself applying the rules of the old game to the rubric of the new one. that just doesn't work. it's not even close to the same situation, and it's not fair to hold him to the old expectations.
getting frustrated by that old expectation also gives short shrift to the amazing things the man does for me, too. leaving all fairness aside, it's stupid as hell to get so hung up on one little thing that's "lacking," when really, there's nothing missing at all. it's a difference in expression. the ex talked. the man does. that's all. he really does say it best when he says nothing at all; the words are unnecessary. the quicker i learn that, the better state of mind i'll be in, and the closer to really appreciating the amazing thing i have in him.