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.
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.