I win I win I win. That’s right, after seven long years with Princess Beardface, I am finally bequeathed the title of person who has had the longest relationship with the man who is now my husband.
When we first got together, we had those chats people have. You know, how long a relationship have you had before, that kind of thing. Me? At best, a year and a half. But on average, a few months. Nothing for him to get insecure about, I’d had little previous stamina.
Him? SEVEN YEARS. I mean, we met when we were 26, how the hell had he squeezed in a seven year relationship? It made me feel terribly vulnerable, for he had clearly invested time and therefore love in this seven year dalliance and how could I compete?
Lest we forget, competing is what I do best. Some readers will be reading this thinking I am ridiculous, to equate time to feelings, or to even care what he got up to before we met. But I was 26, and fair to middlingly insecure. I like to call myself a LOW MAINTENANCE GIRLFRIEND, like that, in capital letters.
So there I was, the new girlfriend, slowly falling in love and getting excited about such pivotal dates as ONE MONTH together, SIX MONTHS together, and so on. Telling people who asked, that we’d been together ‘one AND A HALF years,’ because back then the halves, the thirds, the quarters, really mattered. I was clock watching, while also getting on with the small matter of living our life.
The months turned into years and while I was fully aware that the first Seven Year Relationship in his life had happened when he was young, and that while he loved her, he now loved me, and had chosen to be with me and all that crap, there was still a little part of me really looking forward to being the person he’d been with the longest, because there is a certain triumph in holding that record, or at least there is for someone like me, for whom even ‘who can walk to the car the quickest’ and ‘who can eat dinner the quickest’ are genuine competitions with genuine prizes.
His previous girlfriend had slogged it out for SEVEN years, so it was going to take me AGES to be the new torch bearer. (Thanks, love. Couldn’t you have dumped him sooner, for the sake of his future, impatient, querulous girlfriend?)
We got married and all that jazz, bought a house with a mortgage in both our names. Obvs him and his previous girlfriend did neither of those things, for they were young. But married, schmarried, I wanted the Seven Year Medallion!
And then it drew near. It’s the 17th January 2015, by the way, this momentous date for which I’ve been waiting to run through the ribbon. So back in December I started to go oooh! Gazza! We’re nearly there! One of us better not die in the next few weeks, or the last six years and eleven months would have been for NOTHING!
I kept a close eye on him and ensured he did not pop his clogs, while I prepared my acceptance speech.
And then, lo, it was the 18th January and we’d bloody forgotten our anniversary. THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE YET.
But do not despair. We have now been together seven years and counting. Hurray! I can break up with him now. The next girl has got to put up with him asking her what time your friends are coming around for dinner approximately three times throughout the day, each time with the surprised reaction of someone who doesn’t already know the answer, and then getting in the shower five minutes before said time. And she’ll have to put up with that for seven years PLUS My Extra Time, before she beats my record.
So, happy anniversary to us. His childhood sweetheart is by all accounts a lovely woman, one he’s still friends with, who is now happily married with children. I doubt her husband played the same game, but if he did, then high five, my husband’s ex-girlfriend’s new husband, we’ve only gone and bloody done it.