How I learned to share the woman I love with another guy.
I met her at a five-day wedding celebration on a lake. She was a bridesmaid and I was the photographer. I remember watching her work feverishly, baking the wedding cake. I was so captivated that I hardly noticed her date shadowing her in the kitchen.
Over the course of the multi-day event I found a few moments when her date was being entertained elsewhere to chat with her. I can’t say sparks flew but I can say we shared a nice connection. We even found time for a picture in the photobooth and a dance at the reception. But that was it.
It would be more than a year before I would see her again, when our pull toward each other proved undeniable. We had kept in touch via social media and emails from time to time. Our care and curiosity grew, but there was still this other guy to consider.
Normally it would be a red flag for me when a woman had another love. I have always wanted all of my partner’s attention, but if I wanted to spend time with this woman, she made it clear that her attention would be divided. I would be sharing her with this other guy.
I was nervous and uncertain how to balance this new dynamic. I discarded the red flag and followed my heart into her world. I was cautiously excited.
I remember telling her other guy how I felt about her. When I told him that I loved her, he said, “Not as much as I do.” We postured up at times but were able to find our way into roles that worked for us. It was slow at first, but before I knew it we were playing board games and sharing meals. I started to see how much of a positive influence he had on her.
The dynamic of divided attention began to take on a new meaning. Many of the characteristics I loved about this woman were attributed to her relationship with this guy. I was deeply attracted to her balance, power, grace, and kindness. I started to think of divided attention as fuel for growth.
That guy is one of my best friends now. We hang out all the time and teach each other so much about life. He was even the witness at our wedding!
Last year I bought him a mountain bike for his birthday so we could spend more time together. This year I am not sure how to top that. What would you get your wife’s son for his seventh birthday?
Guru Khalsa is a photographer living in San Francisco.