I was joking around with Sharon in the comments a while back about the silver linings of being rendered temporarily husbandless. A lot less shaving and cooking, a lot more crappy Hallmark Channel movies. Bed, remote, and pint of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked all to myself. Nobody to notice that I haven't worn pants that couldn't be accurately modified with yoga or pajama in maybe an inordinate amount of time. And yes, all of these represent upsides of deployment.
But there's a bigger thing, a real relationship thing too.
I can admit that, happy as I was to be leaving the dating scene, deciding that Raj was my forever guy did come with a twinge of sadness. If all goes according to plan (i.e., after a long and happy marriage, I die suddenly and painlessly in my sleep, freeing Raj to pursue an elderly Anne Hathaway) I'll never experience the thrill of new love again. All of the butterflies and fireworks, the nervous energy and hopeful checking of my phone.
Except I hadn't considered that the lucky thing for us military couples is that we get to have the butterflies over and over, just always for the same person. Raj and I managed to sustain the butterfly stage of our early relationship for a whole year, thanks to only seeing each other once a month. Then we started living in the same place and the butterflies quieted down.
Don't get me wrong, the long-term safe and cozy autumn kind of love suits me fine. Fireworks every day would be more pyrotechnics than I care for or require. But there's something to be said for the delicious anticipation of being together again after time apart. Feeling a downright teenage giddiness over hearing his voice on the phone or seeing his words on a screen or page, for me. Daydreaming about the next time I see him. It's all the fun of a crush with none of the suspense regarding whether he'll ever like me back.
Does all of this make it not suck to go to bed alone for months at a time? It does not. But getting to fall in love again with my favorite guy, well that's not bad at all, as silver linings go.