Love Lingers Here: Intimate Enduring Relationships–V. Exploring the Founding Story
Yeah, and Karen was like oh wow, I love the rain.”
I was reading in the rain and I thought he was a big pig basically. Later this other guy asked me if I wanted to go to a party and then half way there he said “Hey, remember that guy Ben? Well, it’s his party.” Half way there I flipped. I said “Turn this car around.” I did not want to go. I went though. . . it was at that moment . .
No, it wasn’t that moment . . .
It was at that moment we knew we could tolerate each other.
I think that we fell in love at that party across the street from where I used to live.
Oh yeah . . .
Karen and Ben’s founding story reflected many enduring characteristics of these two people. Karen’s serious, yet romantic nature is illustrated in her desire to read in the rain, whereas Ben’s fun-loving nature is evident in frisbee playing and partying. Even though Karen and Ben are only about ten years younger than Fred and Alice, they represent a very different era and set of values. By the time that Karen and Ben went to college, it was no longer cool to get too involved emotionally too soon with another person. It was alright to sleep with them, but one certainly wants to keep some distance, some autonomy. Sexual intimacy was no longer closely linked with emotional intimacy or mutual commitment like many of the young couples we interviewed, Karen and Ben were better off because they were not initially attracted to each other physically. They actually found each other disgusting! This enabled them to gradually become friends, before they became lovers. Because they had a friend in common they learned to “tolerate each other.”