It is undescribably true that our friends are the family we choose. Most of my closest friends, I have known for a minimum of five years. At this point, they know me far better than most of my blood family every will (with a couple of obvious exceptions). They ARE my family.
I have looked for most of my adolescent and adult life for the one person who will build a family with me, that one person with whom I will make a life. I have stood on the outskirts at many a party, watching as couples danced, as men flirted with women who weren't me. I've gone through patches of time when I was completely okay with than and others when the thought of an evening out as the lone unattached one broke my heart and encouraged me to stay home to watch Sex and the City or read a book. Generally, not wanting to be a crazy cat lady, I would go out and be the lone unattached one. I longed for the person I could call who would come to my rescue. For the person who would catch me when I fall and whom I could also save. I wanted a knight in slightly battle-worn armor, or at least someone brave enough and strong enough to come along on my crazy adventures.
And I've found him. And he's the family I will make. He's gradually melding into my blood family. The friend family takes more time, because we are built of memories and experiences that he doesn't share.
Before him, I was still here, still sitting with an aching heart as I watched my friends pair off, fall in and out of love. I have been here all along. I have had weekends spent going to Costco fourteen times with my parents (possibly a slight exaggeration), and no one called me then. No one fought for my attention when there was plenty to give.
I sometimes feel that my friends are waiting for me to fall back into the role of the unattached one. They were comfortable with that, comfortable hearing my wacky dating tales. I also believe that, at times, they think of him as another of my two-week long romances that crashes and burns before anyone even meets the guy.
It's not a year, it's not 10 years, it's not a shared adolescence or even one college formal attended as a couple. It's a simple sharing of life with none of the trappings of school.
It's "only" been six months, but, to me, and to him, that's a long time. And besides, a lifetime together, the building of a family together, has to start somewhere. Why not here?