On Love

Posted on May 18, 2010

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I’ve never been in love. Or rather, I’ve never been in love with anyone who’s been in love with me. Is there a difference between being in love when it’s unrequited and loving someone who loves you back? Does love that’s returned echo and multiply? Is the unrequited variety a weak shadow if its twin?

I’m speaking of romantic love, of course. I am lucky enough to have had plenty of other kinds of love, and my world is populated by people who love me fiercely for who I am. This is no trivial gift to have, and I don’t take it lightly. I work hard to show the people I love that I love them, to meet their needs and soothe their fears and cheer for their successes, as they do for me. I cherish these relationships.

And yet…if I am so unfortunate as to live my whole life without hearing a lover tell me they adore me, I can’t help but think my life will be lacking. I used to chase love, nurture the romantic feelings I held in secret for the objects of my affection. Then I gave it all up entirely for a while, subconsciously adopting a "watched pot never boils" approach to love.

That was a failure, to put it mildly. Well, both approaches failed, I guess; one more exciting but more damaging, and one less damaging day to day but maybe worse for me over all. Six years is a long time to go without a kiss.

Especially since once I tapped that part of myself again I realized how very, very much I want it. I love sex, I crave affection, and I am a damn good person to date. I’m loyal, I’m empathic, I’m a good cook, and there is simply nothing I won’t do for the people I love. Bring me your weird fetishes, your midnight crying jags, your utter inability to pick your wet towel up off the floor…I’m there. If I love you I love you in all your imperfections.

But of course, I need you to love me and mine too. At some point. At least a little. Pretend to? Something.

And that’s the nut I can’t crack. Here I am, a good person with a good life and great breasts, willing to offer it all to someone who is willing to accept it, and where is he? The idea that you can want it, and seek it, and never find it petrifies me and grips me with unexpected panic sometimes. It feels safer to never admit to wanting it, so I never run the risk of having to admit I reached and fell short.

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Posted in: Dating, On Love