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thoughts on love

March 7, 2013

Sometimes, when I think about my largely failed attempts at what society considers “normal” relationships, I wonder if maybe I’m just wired differently? I mean, even before I discovered my bisexuality and before I’d ever heard of polyamory, my relationships, such as they were, didn’t seem to be what everyone else around me appeared to be having.

My first “serious” semi-grown up, relationship was in my senior year of high school. His name was Clifford, and he went to my church. It wasn’t exactly traditional on my end, though I think for him it maybe was. He was clearly enamored of me, in that way that teenage love is meant to look…you know, with the moony eyes and grand gestures. And, I loved him, for some value of love, but I wasn’t moony eyed, I wasn’t head over heels. He made me smile, I liked the way his hands were so big and warm, I was comfortable with him.

It ended when he had moved away, though we tried the long distance thing for a bit, but in the end, we were seventeen and eighteen and neither of us anywhere near ready for the work that involved.

When it ended, it ended and I was a little sad, but even before it was officially over I was telling my best friend at the time that if she was interested in him, as he clearly was interested in her, that she should go for it because he was a good guy and a great kisser and she deserved someone to love her.

See, I still loved him and I loved her and it seemed logical to me that if I loved someone I should wish them happiness. To this day, if he were to suddenly turn up in my life again, I would love him the same and hope that life has been kind, and be happy to be friends.

There’s a thought in the back of my brain as I edit this from what I posted on my more private journal. It’s saying that I don’t throw people away just because they are no longer an active part of my life. I see that as very true.

I realize that my approach to a lot of things is very different from others around me. I’m realizing more and more that that is more true than I ever knew.

I connect easily. I form friendships easily. I love easily, and deeply, and strongly. I love unconditionally…or I attempt to.

Which is, I think, a part of why with people, friendships, I tend to let go easier than others. I don’t have a need to be in every moment of someone’s life, to be the one providing them with happiness. I don’t need to be in communication every day to continue to care about you.

That said, I don’t tend to connect on an emotional level really. I’m not an emotional kind of person overall (though I have my moments, don’t get me wrong I can do a marathon crying jag like you’ve never seen). I tend to be far more concerned with the emotional status of the friend or partner I’m engaging with. I want to bring them joy, happiness. I want to be supportive, give them space to feel and do what they need to.

Of course, I have to recognize that this is also in part due to my own insecurity, my innate, never fully gone sense that I am essentially unlovable but for that which I provide, whether that be money or transportation or big gifts or what have you, and that I don’t want to push myself places where I am not wanted.

Add in my own need to occasionally withdraw from the world at large, thus assuming everyone else has the same need, and you arrive at my state of mind.

This is not conducive to romantic partnering. And, to be fair, not to all friendships either. So many people need someone who is more hands on, more able to “show up” in ways that are more active, more involved. They want friends/partners who reassure them of their affection with words and contact.

I can’t be that person. I’ve tried and I find it so exhausting, so incredibly overwhelming that I hermit for months on end in an attempt to recover.

Sometimes I wonder if maybe something inside of me is broken. Like that part that is supposed to feel attachment and the giddy, heady sense of love so incredible it overthrows everything. Maybe I didn’t get one of those when I was born or it broke somewhere along the way.

Or maybe there’s some emotional block inside me that is keeping me from it? Am I afraid of abandonment? Am I afraid of being hurt emotionally, of having my heart broken?

I don’t honestly think so. But sometimes it feels like I’m missing something, not having that in my life…not being able to abandon reason in a well of love, of melting who I am into a pairing or group. I am loved, I know that. I feel that. I love others. I know that. I feel that too.

But true love is unconditional love, in my book. And that is what I try to practice. Which includes letting someone go when that is what will make them happiest.

It explains why I fail at the whole dating thing. I just can’t wrap my brain around the concepts. I have never been “in-love” the way romantic books and movies make it seem. I could never conceive any one person being everything to me. I don’t get sappy and silly about someone I am in a relationship with, though that relationship may occasionally embrace the sappy and the silly.

I’m open to love, to partners even…friends with benefits…or even something a little more formalized than that. I doubt ever really finding it though because people need more, and I don’t really have more to give.

This is just me. How I am. How I always will be. And even though I may occasionally think I want what others seem to have, I’m pretty happy with that. With me.

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