Pete’s 20s were mostly taken up with a serious relationship Rebecca, a girl he met at a yoga class.
He always joked that they never actually went on a date. He just asked her to join him for a drink after class. The talked for hours and what was supposed to be a quick coffee turned into a quick glass of wine at the pub which turned into a few more drinks at the pub. That’s where they kissed for the first time a few hours after they met.
Pete invited her to his place for a nightcap but cheekily told her not to get any ideas. Of course they had sex that night
Colin’s 20s were mostly taken up with a serious relationship too. He met Val at a gig via a friend. She was shy like him and was not used to get attention from boys due to her weight problem so things moved slowly at first but he lost his virginity with Val after a dating for a couple of months.
They fell in love and everything was great for the first few months. He treated her like a princess, constantly buying her gifts, holding open doors, paying for all their dates and phoning her at night before bed just to check that she was ok and to say goodnight.
Colin would smile and be happy when love songs would come on the radio instead of feeling envious.
One of the things that that Rebecca found quirky about Colin is that he would never hold hands with her when walking down the street. Of course this just made her want him more.
She kind of liked how he set “the rules”; his strength, his dominance.
She absolutely loved his little surprises when he took her out. Sometimes he would not even ask her where she wanted to go or even tell her where he was taking her. He would just say something like “I have a surprise for you. Wear sexy shoes. I will pick you up at 8:30”, with a mischievous smile.
Colin and Val moved in together. Sometimes he would leave Val cute little notes around the house telling her that she was his “everything” and that he could not live without her.
They used to go out quite a lot but as things progressed, nights out were replaced by cozy nights in with a pizza and the TV.
Val would have liked to go out more but when she raised the subject, Colin would say things like “Well what do you want to do? Where do you want to go?” and when she replied that she did not know and asked him where he wanted to go he would just say that he did not know and ask her where she wanted to go again. This often went around in a pointless circle which she found annoying.
Another thing Rebecca noticed about Pete is that he was always comfortable around women and found them easy to talk to. They seemed to like him too.
Often when they went out and she went to the bathroom, she would come back to find him talking to another woman. At first, she tried being mad with him but this did not work. He would just smile and say he was being social.
Anyway, many of the women would approach him and although he was polite and she knew he was a flirt, he was never overly-flirtatious or disrespectful to her. He would never ask or take their phone number for example. She just accepted it in the end as part and parcel of being with a desirable guy.
After a while of living with Colin, Val started to find the little things that he did irritated her more and more. She would get annoyed at him over little things like the fridge door being slightly ajar or the dishwasher being loaded with dishes but not switched on.
She would start rows with him even though it took far less energy to just push the fridge door or press the on button on the dishwasher.
Not only did it puzzle Colin as to why she would start arguments about silly little things, but as the rows became more and more frequent, he did not really know what to do about it. He felt like he was constantly being nagged at for nothing.
Rebecca totally loved Pete but, like most couples, not everything was perfect. Sometimes she would get annoyed but it quickly became clear that there was a line of behaviour that she did not cross. Pete would calmly explain that her behaviour was not acceptable in a way that made her feel like a little girl again. Sometimes he did not even need to say anything; it was just a look.
Sometimes she would see couples in the supermarket where the man was being relentlessly nagged by his wife or girlfriend and she did not get it. She would never talk to Pete like that. She would not dare.
Pete would never hit and never even raised her voice at her but she would not dare.