And their toes touched…
It’s been a long day. The yawns are arriving more frequently as the clock ticks further towards the next day. Your lover has now laid her head down on your lap.
‘Ready for bed?’ You ask her as you look down at her, petting her hair.
‘Yes.’ She says.
Besides the occasional car or plane passing by, the night is mostly quiet as you both undress and enter the covers. Side by side, you grab a book and enter a world together.
Absorbed in the thoughts of ancient history or in the living room of an imaginary couple, you lay next to each other. Every so often there is a slight movement of a finger or a leg, nothing that requires a mention of notice. You are just one in the acceptance and comfort of another.
With the turning of a page, you may sneak in a caress along her side or a squeeze of her thigh. To which she unthinkingly responds with a kiss on your chest. And you continue the lecture.
You can hear her, feel her as she gently breathes against your body, and besides the occasional need to laugh or talk about the story, there is no need to say anything at all.
And so the night goes, for what may be an hour or more.
It is endearing and subtle to share this sort of experience with someone, and sadly, one that doesn’t seem to get much notice in our dramatic expectations of love and relationships.
As opposed to rough, hair-pulling sex against the back of a couch, a triumphant attempt to say sorry in the rain, or a violent argument over the flaws of a partner, the quiet moments get almost always overlooked in our idea of what a real relationship should be. (If you’d like to learn more about that part of the relationship, click here.)
Yet, if we take a moment to think about the far more real and pleasurable treasures of long-term love, we can see the:
Small smiles in the corners of our partner's lips when they understand our more elusive nature that they perhaps didn’t get before.
Seemingly meaningless bonding that happens from watching a mutually favorite TV show, episode after episode, giggling at and discussing the characters and plot.
Running around town and the house to do all the things that have been pushed off for too long, somehow working cohesively in a way that needs no overhead director or direct communication to accomplish them.
Inevitable chats about friends and/or family that occurs when driving away or cleaning up after a small get-together.
Building and painting a bookshelf for the empty wall or shopping for new plants to buy for the patio.
Both getting something so wrong with directions or instructions or thinking that all you can do is look at each other and chuckle.
These are the gems of joy that should be occasionally recognized as a worthy victory in a relationship. The quiet moments of psychological success that you may have only shared with a few, and truly ever shared with one, your entire life.
If we lived in a more subjective and mature world, we wouldn’t just look for people that fulfill our sexual desires and look good in a bar. We would look for someone that we can sit quietly with, at a park watching the dogs play or in the bedroom reading a book together.
When we are in these quiet moments, we aren’t there to impress anybody with tales of bravery or charm them with seductive smiles. We are simply ourselves, we are simply being, and the person that chooses to be there for that gives you something that the smooth-talking or sexy may only trick you into believing: acceptance.
These quiet moments are small symbols that you are your true self without shame. No need to impress or defend. There is no fear of embarrassment or worry you may be boring them. You are quite simply there, and recognized and appreciated for being so.
Given, to make it to these beautiful and quiet moments of deep love is a quest of itself. Choosing to commit to a long-term relationship is a huge and deeply complicated undertaking. Two self-reliant, determined, and original souls cannot expect to come together into one life without significant tension, friction, and pain to come along for the ride.
It’s in our modern-day human-conditioning to focus much more on the negativity in the world, and this is especially true when focusing on ourselves and those closest to us. We often take for granted the quiet moments when nobody is around and you are able to just be you with someone else - no games or drama.
It may be a little less exciting and you may not go around bragging about it to your friends, but we should at least grant ourselves this ingenious and understated achievement. Reading together in bed should be seen as a major milestone in the growth of any love and cherished as a profound sign of affection.