I feel like I just asked someone to please be my boyfriend. My academic boyfriend, I mean. And the person is female. But she said yes!
Let me back up a sec. The first thing you need to know is that I didn't have close academic friends in grad school. I also never had a reading group or a writing group, and my advisor and I only met once or twice a semester. So for six years--or almost my entire academic career--the person who read and re-read everything I wrote, and who heard my every idea and talked me through every problem, was my ex.
After we broke up last summer, I was virtually unable to write. I felt I didn't know how to write without hashing through the day's progress with him, and he was also too intimately associated with everything I was working on. I got over my paralysis, in part because I had deadlines to meet and in part because the awesome Evey immediately offered her time and her feedback to help me meet the first one. I knew, though--and I'd known even when my ex and I were still together--that I needed to develop stronger intellectual relationships with more people in my field.
I now have quite a lot of academic friends, and I've vaguely talked about exchanging work with some of them. But yesterday I had dinner with one--a relatively new friend, in my field--and I asked her out. Uh, I mean: I asked her if she'd be willing to be a regular reader of my stuff. And she said yes. . . as long as I'd do the same for her.
I can't tell you how happy this makes me.