I was never one for intimacy issues. I was the codependent, the needy, the infatuated. But 6 long years of solitude takes it toll — even if you don’t know it. Whilst currently in the throws of something, I am discovering a side to myself that’s impossible to know when solo. I wouldn’t call it ‘love’ for that would be folly. But it’s a sensation I’ve not felt in years. It’s not infatuation, I know that much. And it’s not obsession, for I know that beast well.
Endless conversation, yearning to be near him, day-dreaming of him inside me: Reciprocated. Is that ‘love’? Even if fleeting, it seems reciprocation is the vital ingredient for love to exist and thrive. Anything else is just an unfortunate outpouring of your most tender emotions into an ungrateful, leaking vessel. Yes - something changes when emotions are reciprocated.
Yet with this unequivocal yearning and desire, I find myself in uncomfortable situations. The loving gaze: look away. The compliments: deflect them. The feeling of warmth from another human: anxiety.
There is no question in my mind that I want this; that I want him. I know this to be true. And I don’t feel fear. Which leads me to realise that I’m just uncomfortable with someone wanting me.
After years of dating “emotionally unavailable men” (the phrase du jour of scorned women, including myself), to experience availability is alien. To be desired; foreign. It’s a sorry state when a person cannot accept the gift of love or affection without sceptisim.
Do I fear being discovered? To be known? He already knows everything about me. Am I intimidated by him? A little. Perhaps I am afraid after all. Afraid of being unearthed, uprooted, displaced.
It’s easy to sit inside a lonesome misery, but to dance in love seems naïve. Who are these people comfortable with affection? People who know they’re worth it? I’m not sure I am either of those.
So, I shall take these moments and try to remember what it was like before this feeling. Do I wish for its return? To be solo? To be rooted on my own? Do I really wish to return to a time when I longed for everything that I have in front of me right now? Now, that really would be naïve and folly.
Thanks to Benjamin Combs for photos.