Friday, June 15, 2012

10 Years Together!

For my partner Bruce and me, June and July are celebratory times. Our anniversary is today (yea! we have made it to ten years--a whole decade-- and I see many more ahead of us) and both of our birthdays fall in July (mine on the first, along with our Boston Terrier Lily) and Bruce on the 12th.

Bruce and I were having dinner at a little French bistro in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle on my birthday last year and, as the wine flowed, we talked. He told me how content he was with his life and that, really, there was nothing else he could wish for. I felt the same way. It's nice when you're on the same page. He said we had something special and that one word summed up what we had. I'll get to that word later.

But it wasn't easy getting to this page in the book of our lives. And thinking about Bruce and me has made me think about my other special love, and that's writing. If any of you out there have followed my career at all, you'll know that, lately, my stories have plotted out the course of love just as much as they have the build-up of suspense or horrifying revelations. I can proudly say I am now just as much a romance writer as I am a horror or dark suspense writer.

You may wonder why my writing has slipped off in this new direction. I certainly have. And I think it has a lot to do with Bruce. See, we're happy. We're content. We're settled and in a love that only continues to grow with the passage of time.

I don't know if this is a leap of logic that makes sense but I think that I am more drawn to writing stories that map out the connections made by the human heart these days because I am not expending as much energy seeking out that connection in my own personal life. Now that I have found my one true love, my soul mate, I can open up and write more freely about what draws people together and what keeps them apart. I find those connections fascinating and I don't believe I could write about them objectively until after I had found, after much searching, a relationship that would work for me, one that would nurture and sustain.

Before Bruce, there was a marriage to a woman and a child. Both of those were--and still are--wonderful in their own ways. But trying to live a life that was not my own was not only emotionally exhausting, it was dangerous in many ways. With a lot of heartache, I had to let that dream, which really was never for me, go. I came out in my early thirties, in a world where gay marriage was not really even being discussed yet and the specter of AIDS loomed large. It was not necessarily a good time for a gay man to be experiencing the world and finding himself. But then, when is it ever a good time? But my point is I went through a lot of searching, a lot of experimenting, a lot of bad choices, always in search of love, and always coming up empty-handed.

A lot of those disappointments occurred because the real love I needed--the love of myself--I had yet to discover. I look at my thirties as my true adolescence, with its attendant growing pains.

It wasn't until I was 43 that I met Bruce. Gone were the hopes that I'd meet a special man in some bar or even a gay social group. The era of the Internet was on us in a big way and I placed an ad with the headline, "What's Your Story?" Bruce was one of several who responded, and the only one with whom I connected. He sent me some pictures of himself. He said things in his very first response to my ad that resonated.

I wrote back. He wrote back and we started a daily correspondence that would last two weeks, two weeks before we even laid eyes on one another, even though we lived less than two miles away from the other. We began to get to know each other and we both liked what we saw, what we read in our lines to each other, and what was between them. We had both reached a stage where we were ready for the other. Timing is everything.

We met in person and it was magic.

I won't say we didn't have some bumps in the road, though, getting to where we are today. Nothing really good ever comes easily. But Bruce and I were always willing to talk--whether it was face to face or through e-mails (and now texts and Facebook updates!). The line of communication has always been open and I think that's what's made the difference with us.

It's also made it possible for me to be able to sit back and be more objective about writing romance because finally, at age 53, I finally, finally, have a handle on what works and what doesn't. Until I had that key, I honestly believe I couldn't have written convincingly or effectively about romantic love.

So you can expect two things from me--one, that I will always be in love with Bruce and two, that you will enjoy many more stories of love and romance between two men--because of Bruce and what he gave to me.

Oh, and that one word I alluded to above? The one Bruce used when he said it summed up what we had?

That word was family.
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40 comments:

  1. Congratulations Rick and Bruce. It will be 30 years for hubby and I in August. :) and yes, Family describes it perfectly.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story, Rick, and congratulations to you both. :) What you said about your transition to a romance writer makes a lot of sense as well.

    Have a lovely anniversary. :)

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  3. Congratulations on the anniversary! Those are always special times, especially since it seems most relationships don't outlast a gallon of milk.

    This year was 17 years for us. My hubby says we've stayed together so long because I learned to obey. Can you tell he's Asian? I believe we've stayed together for so long because I've learned how to make it look like I'm obeying, but really not. It keeps things fresh.

    I do love the word you shared at the end; family. It fits and it's right. Wishing you both a very romantic evening. =)

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  4. Congratulations, Rick and Bruce! That is a great story and I am very happy for both of you. :-)

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  5. Congratulations and Happy Anniversary. Thanks for sharing your family :)

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  6. Rick,
    Thank you for this. You and your Bruce, and the contentment you radiate in that picture above--you've conspired to send me into my day with a big happy smile on my face.

    Congrats to you both, and may you enjoy many more anniversaries together.

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  7. Congrats to both of you! May you have many more happy years ahead. :)

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  8. Rick, I'm so very proud of you becomming yourself, even if it did take awhile.
    Happy anniversary yo you and Bruce. Yen years, a definate milestone, one that Randy and I crossed nearly 18 years ago, tht's right, we will have been together 28 years in October, actually we will be sharing an inportant date with everyone at GRL, not exactly a wedding anniversary, but something a little more intimate, lol.
    Anyway, like you, we have had many bumps along the way and had so many tell us when we first got together, it will never last, yet here we are, 28 years later, proving them all wrong. Like you, we are soul mates, there is no one else for either of us, we have grown old together. I was an 18 year old kid when we met, I'm now 46 and I don't regret one minute of our time together. Enjoy life as it comes to you and celebrate everyday with Bruce as if it's an anniversary, because, in a way it is.

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  9. Congratulations and may there be forever in your futures.

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  10. Congratulations Rick & Bruce!!!! & Happy Anniversary & a early Happy Birthday to all three of you!!!

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  11. Beautiful, Rick! As are you and Bruce...your joy with each other and with life shines brightly for all to see. Thank you for sharing and may your joy continue shining for many years to come!
    Hugs,
    Amy

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  12. Ten years is an accomplishment. I wish you both the best for the next ten, and the ten after that...and after that...

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  13. Hello, Rick. Makes my heart glad to read your post. Thanks for sharing - and happy anniversary!

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  14. congrats Rick on the milestone! I hope we hear the same at 20yrs!

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  15. Congratulations, Rick and Bruce! (And by the look of the radar you actually get sunshine today - cause for even more celebration!)

    Bob and I mark ten years in September. So I raise my coffee cup to you and Bruce, to love, and to family!

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  16. What a beautiful love story, Rick. My very very best to you and Bruce. Long live your beautiful family.

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  17. That's awesome. Congratulations to both of you, and best wishes for many more years and decades together. {{}}

    Angie

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  18. What an awesome story. Beautiful in it's honesty and emotion. Congrats to you and Bruce :-)

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  19. It pleases me when I see true love. It definitely comes through in your post, Rick. Congratulations and Happy Birthday to you and Bruce.

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  20. Congratulations to you both! My husband and I celebrated our 24th anniversary a few days ago. And while falling in love is heady and exciting and fun to read about, being in a settled love is so much more soul-satisfying.

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  21. Rick, Bruce,
    Congratulations!
    Your story is beautiful and full of hope. Every one of Rick's words speaks of the love between you and you give all of us the hope that for us too it's possible. And isn't that what love is all about?
    Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  22. Congratulations to you both!
    May your days together always be a blessing and a reminder of what real love looks like.

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  23. Congratulations, my neighbors to the north! Enjoy your beautiful and celebratory summer months and may you always feel as special and happy as you do today!

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  24. Mazel Tov to you both! And a very happy early birthday to you, too. Here's to many more years together!
    Jeanne

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  25. Beautiful blog! Congratulations on your ten years together!

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  26. Congratulations to both of you and Happy Anniversary.

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  27. Bloody hell, Rick, that was amazing they say the best things in life arrive after a few well placed hurdles. Family is a word that means a lot of things to us all, whether they be family by blood or family by choice. I offer a big virtual hug to each and everyone of you. And again, congratulations to you both and may you have many, many more wonderful and love filled years ahead.

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  28. That is awesome, Rick. Congrats to you and Bruce. There is nothing like finding your soulmate and working at that special relationship through all it's ups and downs. My husband and I have been together 20 years this summer. There have been some definite hard times, but we've stuck together. It's good to see other stories of relationships working.

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  29. May you and Bruce celebrate many, many more. I'm raising my glass in your direction tonight. Hugs and Love

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  30. Loud cheers and barrels of good wishes! Congratulations, gentlemen! xoxo

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  31. You would think a milestone day like today couldn't possibly get any more special, but you'd be wrong. Thanks to all of your for your kind words and well wishes. Bruce and I both are very touched.

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  32. Congratulations Rick and Bruce & Thank you so much for sharing your Very Special Day with Us & your Wonderful Story. May you Both have many years Love, Happiness & Good Health Together....Ohhhh& Wishing you both & Lily an upcoming Happy Birthday. :) I have 3 Lil' Mini Pins that are my Babies & I know when their B-Days are too. :)

    Take care & Big Cyber Hugs to You Both....& belly scratches for Lily LOL
    PaParanormalFan (Renee’ S.)
    paranormalromancefan at yahoo dot com

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  33. Rick and Bruce
    I'm raising a glass in your honour. Congratulations on your 10 year milestone which is much deserved because it wasn't easy. Best wishes on your upcoming anniversaries.

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  34. Congratulations, Rick and Bruce. Your story is heat-warming and life-affirming, and your picture is delightful. You are a lovely couple, long may you continue to be so. Big hugs Bruin x

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  35. Happy Anniversary, Rick and Bruce! I wish you many more. *clink!* A special "thank you" goes to Bruce, apparently, for guiding Rick to this lovely point in his writing career. I know I'm happy for the increased romance with all that scary stuff! *wink*

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  36. Many more happy and healthy anniversaries to you both.

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  37. Congratulations to you both!

    Joe DeMarco

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  38. Sorry this is late, but Happy Anniversary (& Father's day ) Beautiful Story! May you have many, many more blessed years together.

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  39. Thanks for sharing that, Rick :) You and Bruce look great together and it's nice to hear that "men talking" in a relationship isn't only a thing of fiction, as many claim ^.^

    Congrats to the both of you *hugs*.

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