gaggedWhile laying in bed tonight I had a thousand and two thoughts running through my head, preventing me from entering the much desired (and merited) REM sleep that my body has demanded for the last few weeks.  I cannot remember the last time I had a dream … well actually I can, it was a last week and involved a certain person.  Not the point, and the point is essentially that I have a lot on my  mind these days, and being stressed with real-life priorities is not helping me deal with the non-essential ones I seem to be dwelling upon.

The most recent thought to pop into my mind is the one I feel compelled to look into tonight.  As I laid there staring at my ceiling in the dark, I came to a startling realization — I have only loved two men in my life.  And here’s the issue for me, being that I think my definition of love varies greatly from that of the general population.  To me, the sociologically imposed view of love is a pipedream, where love is the answer to everything and as long as you care for one another there is no obstacle too large.  From my personal experience love does no such thing, and to spend your life with someone that you don’t feel connected to just because you still feel that you love them?  I skeptically buy into that concept, and with severe skepticism.

I guess I feel the need to differentiate between romantic love and companion love.  To me, romantic love is what a relationship begins with — when there are butterflies in your stomach and each time you see or hear the voice of your partner you break into a huge smile that cannot seem to be erased.  Everything is fresh and new, and you feel on top of the world.  Romantic love turns you into a sponge, where you cannot get enough of your significant other and constantly want more.  Whether it’s time together, touch, or even just conversation where you are learning more about their past and their views, whatever the case may be it’s what you crave.  Their quirks are cute and lovable, and every little thing they say or do is something you relish and would not give up for anything else in the world.

On the other hand companion love is more of a fondness for the other person.  I believe that romantic love turns into companion love, which does not make one more valuable than the other since they are essentially derivatives of one another.  In the companion form you appreciate the person for who they are, but their little quirks have long ago ceased to be cute and instead are simply quirks.  You ran out of things to talk about, but still enjoy the conversations that you share.  You no longer feel the compulsive need to share every thing and every experience with them.  You still love them, absolutely, but it’s not as closely related to  lust as it is to friendship.  Sex still exists in this stage, though likely in a decreased state.  You love them just as much as you did in the romantic state, or maybe even more.

Going back to my personal history, I believe I have loved two men and only two men.  The first would have been M1, whom I was involved with for about a year and a half.   While I had dated a few men before him, I truly do believe that he was my ideal match in all that I have met so far.  We were young and thoroughly immersed in the romantic love stage of things.  Then the summer came around, and with school being out we decided to cohabitate for a few months until the fall semester started back up.  I wish I could say it was a big mistake, but it really wasn’t.  The apartment was a little too small for two adults and a dog, but we made due.  I ended up working for six weeks, and each day (if weather permitted) he would come and visit me during my lunch break.  Sometimes he would bring my dog with him, other times it’d just be him and a lunch that he prepared for us.  It was never anything fancy,  but it was the effort and thought that mattered to me.   The only argument I can ever remember having with M. was over the fact that he ate all the cheese in the house .. again.  It was an ongoing issue.  That summer he got me interested in fantasy books (much to my dismay) and online gaming (which I actually got better at than him).  I tried to turn him into a vegetarian and failed.  We had absolutely amazing sex, and though I loathe the saying ‘making love’ I think he’s the first person that I might have done that with, since in a moment of coitus that was so emotionally charged I found myself almost crying at the thought of losing him.  When I did lose him the following summer, well I don’t really remember much of that summer since it was spent in a constant state of alcoholism.  I was much better for wear by September.

Dated more people, and then I came about to D2 at a point in my life where I wasn’t actually looking for a relationship.  I had been going on a few dates with a few different people, rather enjoying my freedom and in no rush to settle down.  Our meeting was completely coincidental, but we clicked immediately.  We spent a half hour at the bar in conversation with one another, and when I got home that night he messaged me immediately.  By that weekend we were lovers, and shortly after we were exclusively dating (though it took me three months to actually admit it out loud).   Our relationship spanned almost four years before going down in a mess of flames.   Sometimes I still wonder if I made the right choice walking away from that one.  Like with M. we had an amazing connection, and he was the first guy I dated that I didn’t compare to M. because they seemed almost on par.   But being a longer relationship I guess we moved out of romantic into companion.  There were periods of emotional disconnect, a few more fights than I’d had with M., definitely more tears shed.  Also there was the occurrence of the ‘love making’ (I shudder even as I type it), and the fact that our breakup absolutely wrecked me.  I’ve been through relationships ending before, and even the breakup for M. and I was pretty emotionally taxing.  But the breakup with D. just killed a part of me; I think it might have been that it felt like my last hope was gone.  I was pretty sure he was the guy I would end up marrying, and yet … c’est la vie.   The fact that it hurt so bad and that it left me so raw, to me is an indicator that even to the last day and the last minute I loved him.  When I left his house for the last time he kissed me, and it made my heart ache and then .. just feel empty.   It was like death, and in a sense I guess it was.

A few other people I dated said they loved me, and in the moment I said I loved them back even though I didn’t.  Yes, I’ve been that person.  Judge me, whatever.  But I think that in some situations you can convince yourself of anything, and that you genuinely feel like you love that person.  Maybe it’s lust, maybe it’s the beginnings of romantic love that never really blossoms out into the full thing.  Whatever is the case you -think- you love them in that moment, and that’s all that matters.  In hindsight you realize you probably didn’t, but in that moment you damn well were.

i made an apperance today, which was rather ironic to me since I had just been speaking to a friend about his lengthy disappearance yesterday.  Men are strange creatures .. digress.  While  i and I were talking he said that he missed me, and then asked if I missed him.  I replied with a simple ‘maybe’.  This in turn made him inquire: ‘you don’t like feeling vulnerable do you?’, to which I answered ‘absolutely not’.  It made him laugh, but at the same time I think he understood because after that he started toning down on the emotional touchy-feely dialogue that I abhor.   But it got me to thinking of exactly why am I so afraid of being vulnerable?  I know in the case of i that I have my feelings on a strict lockdown; the guy wanders in and out of my life without a care in the world, why would I emotionally invest myself into a situation where I know I’m just going to get hurt?  But it’s not just with i that I’m like this, I am with all men.  I detest the idea of someone knowing that I have a crush on them, or knowing exactly how much I may like or care for them.   So instead of having to actually be honest about my feelings and risk heartache I’d rather just play cool and detached, never really addressing the issue.  Thinking on this I realize I’m behaving like a lot of men that I know, and namely like S.  Or I assume that this is how S. acts, it is quite possible he isn’t interested in me at all and thus he’s not actually going out of his way to behave a certain way.

But here’s my problem, and it relates to S. — as I’ve mentioned before I get sucked into his orbit, and each time I manage to somehow wiggle back out.  But then it’s like he notices and then he does something and I get sucked back in, and every time it’s deeper.  This latest time the trigger that sucked me in was the conversations that we have shared, in which he seemed to actually show a part of himself and maybe even some vulnerability of his own.  This has made him endearing to me, and has probably sucked me in further than is cautionary.  And while I am breaking myself free again (though the weekend’s events might indicate otherwise …), I have this illogical fear that next time if I get sucked in it’s going to be too much.  If it increases proportionally each time, how much longer until I outright fall in love?  I know that would be a hundred types of wrong and no good would come of that, especially in an unrequited manner.  So it’s something I worry about, in this moment.

While writing out my thoughts usually purges them from my brain and helps to calm me before bed, no such luck this time it seems.   I guess I could list love as being a phobia of mine because of the dependance and vulnerability that come with it.  And by extension the word love is vulgar and profane.  It’s certainly rare in my vocabulary, and it does send shivers up my spine whenever I see it.  If I can’t even say that I ‘like’ how am I ever going to say that I ‘love’?  Mind boggling.

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.’ — Sam Keen


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