Tuesday, August 22

A long one


This comes from my paper journal, edited for privacy reasons, but the essential thoughts are ones I'd like to share

....Yeah, I want a girlfriend, I want a partner. I want to be chosen. Not under duress, not because there's no one else. But because we honestly like one another. ButI have no idea how to get that to happen, beyond a friendship.

There is so much to learn I know, about how to to...sustain? Enjoy? Fuck. I don't even know that I have the language, in a romantic sense. I know how to make friendships work, so romances frighten me. Not because the risks seem greater. If one of my friends and I got into a fight, or for some reason couldn't be my friend anymore, that would break my heart as hard as anything. But because I don't know how to do the romance thing, I'm afraid of doing it badly.

Here's where I recall what my therapist said to me once: Love is about asking the other for the thing they are most afraid to give. We don't mean that, it's just part of what we're attracted to, somehow. But it's also got to be scary to ask for. Conversely, this means that love is also about giving that thing you are frightened of. How the fuck do you do that?

In friendships, there's a kind of vetting process-as well as an undersatnding of where the line is-so you dont' establish an intimacy you can't trust. But because a romantic relationship almost always means sex, and usually the sex happens pretty quickly, because we like sex, we usually have a sudden intimacy, because nothing pushes your buttons like sex does, nor as quickly. At the same tiem, there are still all of these emotional paths and barriers, some of which are normal and protective, others weight that we carry because we don't know how to put down, that now have to be dealt with. And we have to ask for maps to figure out all of those spaces-yet we already feel like we should have them, or the other person should, because we do have a connection to them.

Asking for directions isn't easy. The odds of being told no are fair, considering. When you have a friendship, those paths are followed at a mroe deliberate pace, and tehre are fewer shortcuts, so there's less fear. It's more controlled. Of course, at some point we still have to hang our ass out there, or the friendship either plateaus or withers. With romance, there's now a tension, the fight between the wonders of sex and the need to not reveal everything, because having everything revealed is scary. And usually unnecessary. We need private lives too.

So I hold the friendships up, because I know how to do them, but also because the romance takes time, I think. And if you aren't willing to give someone time to flourish on it's own, then can you ever really expect to get romance?

And we should get it. We deserved to be loved in friendly and sexual ways.

Addendum:
I think that there's something to be said for being open to the love that comes to you, and feeling like you can ask for it to manifest itself in ways that are positive. How we negotiate, I think, plays a large part in the kind of love we get-or if we get love at all.

And I know I have a ways to go, in understanding how and where it's OK for me to be romantic. That I won't be laughed at or mocked for doing something sweet for someone who loves me by the person who cares. Or that it doesn't matter: I can be brave and do this and anyone unwilling to see how good I'm trying to be probably isn't for me.

3 comments:

blueorchid25 said...

I don't know that its up to you to "get it to happen" referring to the girlfriend thing. It will happen if the circumstances are correct (the stars align and all that jazz) Another thought is that, sometimes the best relationships begin as solid friendships. That (cliche) being said, I believe this post shows the undue pressure that a person puts on themselves because of whatever outside forces are at stake to want to be in a relationship. Even if we think we don't - we usually always do - you state that thought in the opening line of this post. The bottom line is that many times we are ready and open to a relationship but do not have the person who is open to receiving the love that you are ready to give. Its not a matter of romantic love versus friend love because love - is all the same word - slightly different definitions - same underlying premise. And, someone who is ready to accept and receive the love that you freely give, will think your style romantic no matter what. There should be no alterations - I understand the thought that there should be some difference but the bottom line is that when the "honeymoon" period is over, if you've altered yourself (or your perception as is may be) you will go back to what feels comfortable - because its what you know and who you are. Its human nature to alter yourself slightly (in most circumstances) for someone who makes your heart beat faster and blood pressure rise slightly. Which brings me back to the best relationsihps are started as friendships - if you do this, then the person already knows the "comfortable" you and in that intance are prepared to loveyou for who you are right off the bat. Another thought you raise is that you are afraid of doing it badly - My advice is....Don't be scared.

DM said...

OK, I do agree, at least in my case, that when I say I love someone, I love them. There really isn't a huge difference...I'm just sexually compatible with the women. [and I'm glad of that. Oh yes.]

But even when one is in love, there are changes. Things that you/I need to say or ask for, sometimes often, so that we get a need met that we need met. Saying 'no, you're perfect the way you are' really means 'No, don't ever change, because this is all I can handle'.

Then there's the study, which I cannot find right now-hooray, beer!-that said that sex decreased in importance for women as the relationship goes on, but remains steady for men; whereas tenderness increases in importance for women, but isn't emphasized for men.

I mean-I feel that both of those things are important: if I'm in a situation where I don't want to talk and she doesn't want to fuck, then...I hate everything.

But how can you manage that, without, basically, talking a fuckton.

blueorchid25 said...

I know which study you are speaking of (thanks to my Human Sexual Behavior class not so long ago) (getting longer ago by the day!) but anyway, the study is true in most instances...but what happens when its the other way around - or the fact that the female may have more of a libido than the male? This almost always causes issues...because I would imagine that the man feels like he is less of a man since he's not meeting her desires? Or maybe he just doesn't care? Or maybe he's cheating on her...and is expending his sexual energy elsewhere?
Saying that you enjoy someone the way they are doesn't imply you can't handle more - as long as when they give you more - you still love them for who they are and who they have become...I think you actually said that.