Where’s the line between what we want or need and accepting someone as they are?
My boyfriend isn’t super verbal about the way he feels.
He doesn’t tell me he loves me constantly or misses me or wax on that we’re going to be together forever. And it bugs me — but should it?
Where’s the line between what I want or think I need and accepting how somebody is?
As a divorcee, I know that “forever” can mean a short three and a half years followed by selling your kidney to pay for a decent family law attorney. I know that “forever” can end up referring sadly only to that tattoo of their name on your ring finger.
I’ve been called “soul mate” and “love of my life” and all that other sentimental shit.
Guys have written poems about me and even songs. And where are those guys now?
Yeah, so I know words are fucking cheap. I’m a writer for God’s sake.
Despite my guy’s lack of verbiage, I’ve never felt more loved: holding my hand while we watch TV in bed, stroking the back of my hair spontaneously while we’re in public, spooning me all night every night even though I wear a disgusting bite plate and an eye mask to protect my ridiculous lash extensions.
When I press him to tell me how he feels or make future plans, he gets shy like a little boy.
“You know I love you. And I’m here,” he says. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m committed. You’re spending the holidays with me and my parents. I’m in.”
He complains that all that romantic stuff makes him feel uncomfortable; that it seems corny. Really? Because when I made you a huge card that was collaged with all our pet names and inside jokes, you didn’t seem to think it was corny. At all.
What’s interesting is that the things that make me feel “secure” make him feel “frightened.”
I want the “forevers.” He wants to feel like he “chooses” to be with me everyday. He’s like a dog that needs the door open, but doesn’t ever go outside.
It’s challenging I won’t lie. It’s hard to keep my heart open, to say the mushy stuff because, fuck you, I feel it.
“Do you wanna grow old with me?,” he asked one night. “You know I do, fucker.”
And he looked at me with these big green eyes, getting a little glossy. It looked like happiness and love, but who knows? Maybe it was sheer terror.
What I am realizing is that nothing he could do or say would ever be enough to make me safe and secure.
Because I have a hole in me, a chasm.
I’ve been through a number of “If he’d just ______, I’d feel okay.” But when he does whatever it is, I up the ante in my head. Maybe it’s because I’m a recovering addict so my nature is to always want MORE MORE MORE. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been abandoned. (Who hasn’t right? Get in line.)
Does it really matter? I can choose to enjoy the moment and trust that what I FEEL from him is enough. Or I can choose to live in fear and demand that he express his love in MY way, follow MY script.
I’m tired and wanna run just writing that. Ugh.
“You’re happy with me, right?” I heard myself ask him, tears rolling down my face. My own neediness sickened me a bit. “I mean it’s easy most of the time, right?….Well, except when I’m a psycho.”
“It’s easy all the time,” he smiled. “Come. Let’s take a walk and hold hands.”
That doesn’t say much but it says everything. Yeah, I think I’m starting to get it.
Photo credit: Flickr/dA5hB1