I remember it like yesterday. That eventful day when Ben finally told me how he felt. At first I did not believe him, but then it started to click. After all, he had been following me around like a puppy for the past couple of years. He had never tried to make a move on me, which was wise of him, because I had been with Simon. Ben accepted that. I learnt later that it was very hard for him while I was going out with Simon, but he respected that I was in a relationship.
That told me a lot about Ben. He was interested in commitment, in a relationship, in something permanent. He would not try to interfere with my relationship with Simon, because he believes in commitment. It was only after he knew that my relationship was effectively over because Simon had moved and told me very clearly that he was going to be merrily shagging his way through the female population of the city he moved to (he did not use those words) that Ben saw it as appropriate to tell me that he had feelings for me.
By that time, Ben had become one of my closest friends. We had been hanging out together, usually with other friends for a long time. We had drunk, eaten, walked, chilled, swam, danced, shopped, camped and talked together over the past two years. We had spent many many hours getting to know each other already, just without any expectations. We were friends – just friends…
..until that day!
As we walked around together, like a couple of tourists – in and out of public buildings we had visited before, stopping for drinks and food, walking along the river. Ben was not going to rush this, he gave me time to soak in what he had told me. Over the course of the day, we tried out things we had never tried out before, holding hands, kissing – oh my – how odd and yet delicious it felt at first to be kissing one of my best mates. Butterflies going crazy in my tummy. Inwardly a voice asking what on earth is going on here?
I just knew by the end of the day that this was right, that Ben was the man I thought the most of, felt closest to, trusted and yes, maybe I had always had a bit of a crush on him. Not the kind of crush that I would act on, but I had noticed how gorgeous Ben was, and I was flattered that he would like me.
It felt surreal, a little like I was dreaming. Ben has a strong sense of humour, and I kept on expecting him to crack up laughing and shout, “I was only kidding Jenna – get over yourself!” Maybe that was why I wanted things to happen, I wanted to keep the kissing going, I wanted to make sure he was not playing around with me.
Ben was fun to be with. I knew there was a serious side to him, but when he was with me, he was usually very upbeat and made me laugh. When we started to fool around, he was making jokes and teasing, and he kept up this running comedy commentary about what was going on. I quickly knew that could become very annoying.
This was not time for a stand up comedy stint, this was the time explore whether we would enjoy intimacy. But Ben held back, he kept on checking I understood that everything he had told me that day was not about having a one night stand with me. I had not thought about how it would feel once Ben and I had slept together. I just needed to know it was going to be good. It was, it was very good, very very good. Three years later – it is still very very good. Ben does not like me oversharing about intimate details between he and I so that’s all I am saying.
What an incredible journey the past three years have been. Ben has turned out to be one of the best men on the planet. We have had challenges to deal with, but Ben is the man that I am happy to voyage through life with. I am deeply grateful for three wonderful years with him.