What I mean by “love”

So, I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time, even before I wrote the last one, but I’ve been refining it – pulling it out of its box, mulling it over, shoving it back in the box, over and over – and finally I think I may be ready to write it.  So here we go…

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Trydaen

Every morning I wake up at my own house I tell Trydaen that I love him.  Usually before I leave for work in the morning.  Yes, it’s a routine, a very well worn one, but it’s a routine that has meaning for me.  I want him to know that, no matter what else happens, that I do love him.  And I know it’s reciprocated.  I know he won’t say it if he’s not feeling loving towards me and vice versa.

In those cases I usually mean something along the lines of: I’m glad for your continued presence in my life, for you being you, and I want you to know this in case anything goes wrong today.  In other moments it can mean: I desire you, I appreciate your willingness to cuddle with me even when you’re too warm, I am thankful that you are a steady presence in my life, I am thankful for your honesty, I am happy with the food you made…and so on, etc.

I’ve asked him a handful of times over the years why he loves and what it is about me that he loves and it seems, from what he says, that there is no solid answer, that it varies and is not always vocalizable.  And that’s fine.

Diplomat

Background: I always get really nervous for awhile when I’m desiring to tell someone I love them for the first time, even if we’ve been open about our emotions, doesn’t seem to matter.  My brain just goes into stress-out mode.

So, somehow in that mess, I figured it would probably be best to tell Diplomat in the moment that felt right, and stop trying to plan it.  I also resolved to be clear about my terms.

So I did – I said “I love you” (in one breath) and then followed it up with “…and by that I mean…” and out came a messy jumble of words that summed up what I was feeling for him at the moment.  And he reciprocated, without any hesitation.  This warmed my heart practically to the point of boiling.  So this is how we do it.  Saying “I love you” is just the first step in the journey – there’s so much more to go!

I’ve only said it a few times since – not because I’ve stopped having those feelings whatsoever, nor because I am less committed to that idea.  It’s simply that I realized that what we have takes on a different form than what I have with Trydaen.  I don’t need to say or hear it as often because I feel it in what we do and say with each other – saying/hearing it feels like an extra scoop of ice cream on top of an already delicious cone.

Right now, if I were to say it, I’d mean that: I really enjoyed yesterday, really loved cuddling with you this morning, am very thankful for your openness with me, I am looking forward to doing the fancy date thing with you next weekend, I am glad of all the things you do for your partners/my metas, and I hope you have fun this weekend.  Other times it might mean: I desire you, I am happy to be involved with you, I am brimming with joy to see all the lovely people in your life, I am thankful for your support, I really love talking with you, I am looking forward to where we go with our relationship…etc.

Butterfly

Yes, we did date for awhile, but that’s not what this is about.  This is not about romantic love.  If that was ever a thing, it passed away a long time ago.

Right now, if I were to tell Butterfly that I love her, it would mean: I am glad for your presence in my life, I am thankful you chose to invite me to your house almost 7 years ago to meet your family and friends, I think you’re lovely inside and out, I wish you only the best and brightest.  At other times it might mean: I am thankful that you wanted to play that game with me, I appreciate your curiosity, I appreciate you sharing your tea collection with me, I am thankful that you still occasionally want to do things with me, I am thankful for your honesty, I love your work stories…etc.

Others

And so many others, some with just simple reasons, simple meanings like: I enjoy your company, I look fondly on the past we had together, I am glad to see you happy with the person/people you’re with, I’m glad you’ve found peace, I am grateful for their honesty, I appreciate their support in my journey, that I am looking forward to sharing future journeys, that I am looking forward to getting closer to them, and I am glad that I have known them so long and that that hasn’t faded.

Polyamory taught me that all kinds of love are possible and how to open my heart to whatever kinds are out there.

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