the question game

A while back, an anonymous reader expressed happiness for me that I'd met Terence, and said she hoped I'd blog about what was different for me, with this relationship.

First? Thank you very much for caring, anonymous, curious person. I'm grateful and as always slightly amazed that anyone is interested in my dumb life. I've thought a lot about your question since, and when, how, and if I would answer it. I figured I'd wait until we'd been together six months and then take a stab at it. Well, the first week of March will mark six months - and it's Valentine's Day. So now seems like as good a time as any.

The thing is, it's really difficult to answer that question without it sounding, even implicitly, like comparison - of previous relationships, and previous partners. I've tried to, in my head, dozens of times. But it always ends up sounding like comparison. And I try really hard not to go there, for many reasons. But I've thought of another way to explain, if not what makes this relationship different from others, something that does make it special, I guess?

Every night as we're going to sleep, Terence and I play a game. We call it the question game, but it's technically more of a fill-in-the-blank game. We take turns completing two statements: 1) My favorite part of today was… and 2) Today I love you because… 

We can give up to three answers for the first question (because awesome days happen, and when they do, RTFO), but for the second question, the answer should be specific and relatively simple.

If we've spent time together that day, we both tend to name some moment when we were with one another, though often we'll say different times that were favorites for us. For instance, if he made me laugh really hard at something, that'll usually be one of his. Here's mine from this past Saturday (which we spent goofing off downtown then taking the train to Hollywood and wandering around there): When we walked into the Ritz and Lumineers was playing, and you skipped and sang with me through the lobby. (I mean, how could that not be a favorite moment?)

Sometimes our favorite moments will have nothing to do with one another. If he nailed an audition, for example. Or if Chaucer got to play with another dog at the park, or someone said something nice about one of my posts - either of those will definitely end up on my list.

Often, one or both of us will name sex as our favorite part of the day. Sorry not even remotely sorry.

The second question can be as superficial or as meaningful as we want. Today I love you because you look so cute in that scarf, or Today I love you because you were so patient when I was cranky this morning, or Today I love you because were such an awesome listener about ___, or Today I love you because you're just fucking hot. It can be as loving and personal as we want, but we can't just go on and on with a laundry list of the other person's qualities. The point is to show we paid attention that day, that we were present, and that we're grateful. We're big on gratitude.

I doubt I have to explain why we love doing this, or why it's such an awesome and powerful way to connect with one another. But I'm telling you, try it for a week. It is fucking amazing.

I introduced the question game, and Terence loved it immediately. That right there - that he enjoys it - is unbelievable to me. But even more unbelievable was what he did one night when we were playing it. "Wait," he said. "I have a new question to add: When did you feel loved today?"

His idea. His question. His priority. His need to make sure I feel loved by him, every day. His desire to let me know when he feels loved. And from that point on, we've had three questions to answer every night.

That's Terence. That's our relationship. One slice of it, anyway.

And if you're not totally ready to vomit already, feel free to peek at some clips of him being basically the sweetest thing ever, singing me songs and being goofy to make me smile. I joined Viddy not as a social networking thing (it seems to be a dead app no one uses anymore), but because I wanted a place to compile all his cuteness for easy watching when I miss him. Cuz aint' nobody got the phone storage for that.

Anyway. That's what's going on, and what I have to share today.

Happy Valentine's Day or Singles Awareness Day or just happy Friday, if you prefer.