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Before I became part of “a couple”, I was a very solitary person. I lived alone (for 99% of my adult life). I read a lot (still do when I’m not studying). I kept a diary pretty religiously. In summary, I spent the majority of my time alone, with my thoughts. Now, I’m not sure what this says about me but, soon after I found myself in a serious relationship, I stopped writing in my diary. I can’t quite recall how soon after but it would’ve been within the realm of months. My bookshelf still holds many beautiful yet blank diaries waiting to be filled.

No one could blame you for thinking I traded my diary in for some deep, soul-baring conversations with my partner but – even so – that wouldn’t make you right. Despite being in a relationship for nearly 8.5 years, I think I still keep a lot to myself. I suppose I’m one of those people who’s quite private in many ways. ‘And yet, you now have a blog’, you say. And to that I respond, ‘Well, yes, but this is mostly anonymous so somehow it feels like I’m back snuggled up in bed with my diary’.

Anyways, I digress. Relationships, especially long term relationships, are an interesting beast (not that I am an expert as this is my first committed relationship). I don’t want to say something as bland as it’s easy to lose yourself when you’ve been with one person for so long… but it can be. You spend so much time together. You share (some of) your thoughts and feelings, your experiences. You have the same friends. In my case, we live together with our dogs and I work in his bar on weekends. It can be very hard to find the border, that slim precipice, of where you end and they begin.

I know sometimes – even now – I feel as if I don’t know myself anymore. Of course, I’ve changed. I was 23 when we started seeing each other. I’m 31 now. I’m a different person and so’s he. Over that period of time, we’ve changed each other and changed ourselves. And that’s how it should be, right? We don’t stay the same forever and ever. Or, at least, we shouldn’t.

But even so, even after all this time, I still take my guilty pleasures in those moments alone. That time when he is working (usually at night) and I can do as I please. Not that I feel like I can’t when we’re together. But, when you’re totally and utterly alone and have a usually shared house all to yourself, the freedom is different. You can be you. You have total control of your environment, your thoughts, yourself without having to consider anyone else’s whims and fancies. It’s the type of freedom you wallow in when you find yourself in its depths. To be fair, I’m not a total monster. I do miss him, especially on Mondays when we’ve had the weekend together and then have to spend the day apart.

But tonight I’m just glad (lucky) that we don’t have any sweets in the house. Sadly, what I find is I’ll eat all the ice cream or the custard or whatever other tasty desserts we have squirreled away because no one is here to see it so – in my mind – it never happened. And the dogs staring at me don’t count.