on dogs, and babes, and boyfriends

Though I would like to keep this to myself, I need to write about this weekend because it was…emotional. The catalyst was the home check with the greyhound adoption group. As much as I want to separate the dog from the family from the partner from the question of ever having a child of my own from the art, I just can’t. The visit set off a paroxysm of emotions, revelation, and reevaluation.

There are lots of reasons why I want a dog (reasons that don’t have to do with family/relationship stuff) and a few really good reasons not to get a dog (not least of which is the fact that I am mildly allergic).

Emotionally, this has all been unexpectedly risky territory. Z was supposed to come straight from work to catch the last half of the greyhound interview, but instead, he decided to stop at a store. He ended up being really late, and would’ve missed the interview entirely if I hadn’t called to remind him about it mid-interview. It seemed that he had either forgotten about the interview, which is worrisome because, while the dog would be “mine,” there’s no getting around the fact that it involves him too. It was that, or he thought he didn’t need to be there, which communicated to me that, well, he doesn’t really need to be here, in this relationship.

We worked through the misunderstanding/forgetting. However, it left me feeling, once again, that I’m a little too alone in this relationship. Not entirely. But, when it comes to change, change that involves me, and change that involves the relationship, he’s not always a participant. I’m very independent, and it’s hard for me to suss out how much I need my partner to care and what he needs to care about. I can’t tell if what happened is, like, totally acceptable, or, like, totally unacceptable. I know that something doesn’t feel quite right about it, and that’s all I’ve got so far.

On one hand, he is a great match for me. He lets me be me. He’s encouraging, supportive, loving. We both value not getting caught up in our identities as a couple. We’re able to have separate interests and time apart. On the other hand, I worry that it’s all a bit of a guise we use to push each other safely away to avoid real intimacy and real risk.

As it turns out, a simple conversation about whether or not to get a dog brings all of that up.

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