We decided this last month, my lover and I. Only, he isn't married. I am his mistress and he is cheating on his 'solo life,' as he calls it. After four years together, three long distance and this past year actually in the same country, we may have figured something out about adult love.
When two fiercely independent people living expansive lives fall in love and come together, the only choice is to make room. Make room for each other, make room for the love affair, make room for oneself. Converging then diverging, we are learning a new language around love. The old, conventional nuances don't translate well into our love affair.
There was a life before me, this life was vital and fulfilling. This life continues, now that I am in his world. I have met most of the people he loves, his dearest friends and family. There is a world he belongs to which I can visit, but am not a part of. I don't have to be, just like he doesn't have to be part of the life I had before I met him. He has met my friends and family, but he will never get the inside jokes, the nuances of culture, language and dialect. He is welcome in this world, he enjoys it even. But he will never know it like I do. He will never love it like I do. It's in my cells, not his.
It's a fascinating thing, this. To dare have it all. To challenge love, life and myself this way. To affirm that I am not that kind of woman, the one whose life is so entwined with her partner's. To enjoy being that kind of lover - gentle, brazen and accessible.
My American romance is in fact more European in texture than it is American. There is no English word to describe each other. Boyfriend/Girlfriend feels too juvenile, Fiance/e suggests marriage. There are French words I will not attempt to spell, they feel more appropriate. For now, I am mistress, lover, partner, woman. He is my beau, my lover, the beloved.
I am woman first, mistress next.
He is man first, beau next.
Our love affair seeps into each one's life, energizing but never weighing it down.
I am his mistress, we are having a love affair. We are in love.