I have a language exchange partner.
He’s asked me to marry him.
Neither of us is looking to date (or anything of the sort with) the other – we genuinely just want friendship through language sharing, as we each improve our own abilities in the other’s native tongue.
In a way, we hardly know one another.
Yet, we chat (via messages that are mostly text and sometimes voice) and send one another photos and videos and updates basically every day… yeah, every day, I think…, so it feels like we are closer than we are.
We are honest and open with one another… in a way, it is an extremely low-risk situation for us both, you could say… I wouldn’t say yet that we are friends, but I no longer describe him as ‘my conversation exchange partner’, but as ‘my buddy’…, because he really is a buddy to me, and I hope I am to him.
We know about highs and lows in love and heartbreak for one another; we talk about finances and healthcare systems and death – so much death right now in his part of the world, but we never seem to dwell longer than is respectful; we get nerdy about grammar and explanations of turns of phrase; we share about work (we have very different jobs yet similar setups); I sent him my song before I shared it with almost anyone else (Since he isn’t great with English, he said, he could be a good testing ground for sharing it…, which he said after encouraging me through my nerves of wanting to make the instrument side of things go well, but being worried at my skill level…)…, and he knew what and whom it was about, without a doubt (It was not about him, of course, but someone in my life here.).
(“Comunque si. Sei cotta!😂,” he said after reading the lyrics. Anyway, yes. You are cooked. (A phrase which here means, “Out of your wits in a crush on this guy”) 😛
And, what’s extra fun is that our time difference and lifestyles actually line up perfectly that when I’m getting up and going to bed happen to be perfect times for him to be messing around, messaging me… so we have two good chunks of time every day to be in communication with one another.
And it really is fun… honest and fun.
I think meeting this buddy of mine has been one of the most valuable parts of this year so far.
And I am extremely grateful.