The First Compersion

You’ve heard the expression. You wait an hour for a bus and then three come along at once. And by bus, I mean successful dates. But where we live there are very few buses. And they’re driven by someone who looks at you, standing out in the rain, holding out your rose in hope, and says

‘Meh, sorry you don’t look like the kind of person I’d like to pick up. You’ll have to wait for the next bus.’

Because you see, it’s terribly difficult in our part of the world to find compatible partners. For one, we’re in an open relationship but living in what appears to be a hierarchical couple configuration. We have kids, so not that much free time to date. And on an island, which is kinda difficult to get to. There’s one ferry every hour. And well that’s it.

Not many people want a first date at someone’s home on an island trapped in the middle of nowhere… and those who do might just run away when they encounter my fine stack of crime novels, biographies on serial killers and the entire CSI series on DVD. (It’s for the psychology aspect, honest). So in order to date you have to take a night away from the family home, get out into the city and then get home again with the last ferry at 12 – a round trip of around 3 hours.

But then it happens, the guy or girl who gets it, wants it, isn’t afraid of kids, commitment or funny stares in the street. Someone who says… it’s no better to be safe than sorry.

And so when she said she wanted to meet me after spending a magical evening with my boyfriend, I screamed with joy and threw my hat in the air. Well at least metaphorically (I am British after all). Then I bombed it back home to feast my eyes on a bus which was – so I’d heard – sleek, self-assured, beautiful and purred like a pussy cat. He’d said no more, but I could hear his smile down the phone and it warmed my heart.

She was smiling mischievously on the sofa sipping a cup of coffee when I walked in. She had rumpled hair, the kind you get after a good night. And as our eyes met, I fell the tiniest bit in love. During our first meet up we shared stories, philosophies and some interesting comparisons… We laughed, hugged and held hands. My boyfriend was refilling our coffee as we talked and grinning from ear to ear. When she finally left, he pressed his back against the closed door and said hopefully


‘I’m so fucking happy for you.’ I said.

Because she was a kindred spirit who dared. A woman who loved life fiercely and fearlessly. And as I hugged him I realised. I’d bloody done it. After 5 years of waiting and wondering, whether it was even possible… I felt compersion. That longed for high of happiness for your partner, that exhilarating dive down the rollercoaster, that exquisite moment of pure happiness, not for you but for your lover… who’s falling in love with someone else.

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