I think love is only one thing: a gorgeous healing energy that connects us and motivates us. It helps us know what’s important and decide what to do. But love can take on so many forms, and I’ve been thinking about what I really want with you.
Some people who I love, I might be perfectly content to penpal with. It’s fine with me if we never meet in person. The inner life is just the right amount.
Some people I want a sweet friendship with that’s detached and easy. We have values and interest in common, and it’s not intense.
Then I might like someone a lot and my body is more involved. I want to inter-depend, might want to cuddle them or have sex with them. My hormones are activated! Yes, the love is more intense then.
I might feel an intense whole-body desire to be close and want to share my life with someone. Part of my well-being might begin to hinge on them. When I was young, this is what I considered “falling in love.” I was filled with desperate need. It was not a good scene, and I’d like less of this.
Tenderness, affection, desire, and closeness are great. Riding a roller coaster with an unskilled, selfish, or sociopathic person is not my idea of fun. But I’m good at it–I have a lot of practice with limerence. It’s horrible for my health.
I know there’s something collaborative about that unhealthy situation. A person who sees my resources and readiness to show up and love is looking for someone to use. They sing their charming song, and I swim up to the surface of the water slowly, a curious fish.
Wow, what a beautiful song. Could this be real? Ah, heavenly! I could listen to this song all day!
I really want the song to be real. The love is so gorgeous and silver, shimmering, thrilling, comforting. Tending this love is something meaningful and amazing to do.
But it was illusory, an act. I took the bait, and I’m hooked. My failure was ignoring red flags because the song was so beautiful–my failure was wanting it so bad, then continuing to show up for harm. Poor fish Nest, in love with someone who’s violent. Tricking people is violent right there–no need to explain all the harm that happens later.
There’s a vulnerable part of me that would like to sink into you, to deeply rest. I’d like to feel safe in a beautiful surrender.
But I know that’s not really safe. You have a rich life now, with your wife, dogs, home, full-time work. I respect you and what you’re doing. Stability can be so healing, and you’ve spent much of your life in unstable places. You deserve your good life.
In reality, I would never want to pull you out of what you have, into something more erratic and confusing with me. Love is part of the respect I feel for you–love means I want you to be as well as possible. So I smile as a friend, warm and distant.
Maybe one day, you’ll tell me truths you need to share. Or I can hold you in a nature place, sea cave, forest, the bank of a river. For now, I hold you in my heart. I try to heal the part of me that wants to lose myself.