There are many milestones in a new relationship: the first date, the first kiss, the first sleepover – and then there are the true turning points, the great compatibility litmus tests. While many people talk dreamily of those initial narcotic months of love, wishing they could go on forever, for others it is a time of gaseous discipline, an uneasy truce as we silence our inner guns of Navarone. Holding fire down below, however, is just one small component of the waiting game we all play in a new relationship. As we negotiate our ship through the shoals of early love, most of us are on our best behaviour: we’re agreeable, laugh (or at least smile) at our opposite number’s silliest jokes and don’t belch or litter. However, once we’ve found safe harbour and drop anchor, our personal habits surface like toothless, scurvy-ridden convicts emerging from the darkness of a First Fleet prison transport.
“Lovers are not at their best when it matters. Mouths dry up, palms sweat, conversation flags and all the time the heart is threatening to fly from the body once and for all. Lovers have been known to have heart attacks. Lovers drink too much from nervousness and cannot perform. They eat too little and faint during their fervently wished consummation. They do not stroke the favoured cat and their face-paint comes loose. This is not all. Whatever you have set store by, your dress, your dinner, your poetry, will go wrong.”—Jeanette Winterson, The Passion (via fuckyeahjeanettewinterson) (via vacantlots)