Despite appearances, Figment and I are not actually dating each other. Not actually. It's a subtle distinction, of course, because as far as the casual onlooker in our group of shared friends would be able to tell, we're usually touching each other, we hug, we drop casual kisses on hair, face, hands, and any public part of each other that our lips can reach at any given moment ... but the "us" is still the "us" of bondmates and evil twins, not the "us" of lovers.
There are still barriers. There may well always be barriers. Our faiths are mostly complementary, though there are a few points of discord. Those few are loud enough to ensure that we'll always remember them. We're each tied elsewhere, and must keep faith with that which we've committed to. There are parts of him that I'll never understand; I know there must be parts of me that nearly send him running and screaming. Today, he pointed out another barrier, one he's always been painfully aware of. He's my senior by more than a decade. He knows he'll predecease me. He's been widowed, and he would never want to put me through that same pain.
Meanwhile, plots and plans of courtship continue apace, though they do get interesting in the context of comparison and contrast between the two men closest to me in my life. I continue my efforts to gently point out that if my best friend is looking for someone who could be close to him and care for him, he does have a Lunatic who would do that, should he choose to accept her. Like the forgiveness through Jesus Christ, he has only to ask for it and accept it, and it is his ... Of course, it's entirely possible for him to have a life that doesn't include my love for him as an integral part, just as people can make decisions about religion. (Somewhat. Though I happen to think in my very biased way that making difficult religious decisions might be easier for many people than the emotional impact of living without me would be for my best friend.)
The full impact of just how closely Darkside and I are bonded and keep the friendship just keeps hitting me and hitting me. If I were to compare the closeness between Figment and me to the closeness between Darkside and me, there would be weirdness. Figment and I share almost everything, and I sometimes feel as if I have to fight for every scrap of information about Darkside's life that I learn from him. On the surface, it looks like Figment and I are a lot closer than Darkside and I have ever been.
But life keeps throwing me curveballs. Sis pointed out to me that Darkside keeps to himself extremely well, and doesn't share, and often appears to be a very bad listener. She dated him for about three months. Darkside has always opened up to me at least on some levels, and has always listened to me from the very first. When I compare my best friend to the ex-boyfriend she mentions, it's like we're talking about two different men, and I've gotten the better one. Limit conversation with him to video games and anime? Not a chance!
Our mutual friend Dawn keeps pointing out the way Darkside does open up to me and around me. Close friends can see the chemistry at work. Strangers can see the chemistry at work. Just as people in high school assumed that Shawn and I were together when they saw how we touched and acted, people assume that Darkside and I are a couple. People assume that Figment and I are a couple too, now. I must admit that I'd be very, very curious to see what people would think if they could see Darkside and Figment and me all together, and which person a perfect stranger would assume I was with.
Religion footnotes: a lot more Christian imagery's been bouncing about in the bond, entirely possibly because out of the local bond system of myself and my bondmates #1-3, a good 50% of the bond participants are Christian.