When I love…I love hard. I jump in with both feet. I don’t spare anything. I fall hard and fast. On the other side of the coin, is I crash hard too. When a love ends, I am broken. I’ll save the broken part for another blog.
Love…Yikes… what a topic. To make it even more confusing: Can I love more than one person at a time? Yes.
When hubby and I first opened our marriage, we weren’t exactly sure what that would look like… I knew that I had different kinds of love in my heart – the love I feel for family is different than the love I feel for my husband which is different that the love I feel for my friends. But the idea behind polyamory made sense to me… being able to love multiple people and define how I wanted that love to look? Yes! Finally! Something that clicked with me and made sense!
A couple of months ago, I ended things with a partner because although we had shared a love for each other, there was some miscommunication between us and then between me and his wife. Our expectations of what ‘love’ meant were different. Neither one was wrong, they just weren’t the same. Needless to say, it made for some hurt feelings and some unsure steps as we tried to move forward.
One night while out with my best friend, I saw one of her tattoos on her wrist. Agape. Duh! Why hadn’t I thought of it earlier? The Greeks had multiple terms for love. It makes sense that I would feel different kinds of love for different people. And even though I may classify them as the “same” kind of love, chances are they are different based on the person.
I love both of my children. I do not love one more than the other, but I do love them differently. One is a boy. He loves all things animals. He loves to have Nerf wars and LEGO competitions. His willingness to be a friend to everyone, is amazing. Girl child is a young lady with a fierce personality and an old soul. She wants to paint her nails and dress up. She loves doing crafts and reading. She is wise above her years. I love them both. They make me smile. They make me cry. They make me laugh. They make me crazy. I love them. I might love them differently, but that is because they are different. They each need something different from me to feel loved. They each provide me with a different kind of love. Boy child loves physical touch. He loves hugs and snuggles and giving back rubs. Girl child, although she appreciates hugs, she would much rather have quality time and give little gifts of crafts that she made.
Right there, I already see that it is completely possible to form multiple love relationships with people.
Think about your best friend. Not your spouse. Your best friend. The person that I call best friend in my life is relatively “new” to that “position”. (Funny how a single situation can catapult a friendship into a best friend zone or a no-friend zone). Regardless of how long she and I have been best friends, I know that I love her. We have a respect towards each other. She is on my team, every day. I am on hers. When she needs to be lifted up, I’m there. When I need someone to check in on me, she’s there. The types of crazy activities that we might get into (tattoos, calamari pizza, staring at a wall for hours, laughing until we pee, crying until we can’t anymore…). She’s the first person to make a funny comment involving my pierced nipples, but the last one to judge me for the choices I make. She loves my husband and respects my marriage. She takes my kids for ice cream treats and makes special plans with them because she loves them. She provides me with a sense of friendship, respect, loyalty, honesty, and truth that I long for in a friend. I love her.
Where people tend to get freaked out (in my opinion), is when you start throwing the Eros-type love into the mix with multiple people. In our society, once you are married, that Eros love should be saved only for your spouse. But I’m going to mix that up a little bit.
Matthew* was someone that I dated just last year… actually, I dated him and his wife in a quad relationship with my hubby (more to come on that in the future). We had a very strong connection right from the start. We were together for approximately six months before I broke things off. But, I know that in my heart, I loved him. The Eros love between us was undeniable. We fit well together when it came to sex. The passion that we shared was strong. The romance of candle-lit bubble baths and sexual experimentation gave us a bond that we enjoyed. He was courteous and thoughtful and kind while we were together. I loved him.
Remember the partner that I mentioned earlier that we had a mutual love for each other? Yes, there was a sexual aspect to that love. The sex was fun and comfortable to me. I felt safe when I was with him. In a way, I loved him.
Despite the fact that I have loved both of those guys, they do not compare to the love I feel for my husband. Our love has parts of all of the loves listed above. He is my lover. He is my friend and my family, by choice. He can still make me laugh and make things exciting and playful. Our love has endured a lot…bad roommates, ‘friends’ betting against us, an affair, changes in friends, children, house remodeling…and so much more including every-day life. But despite the enduring a lot…our love tops it all. I know that at the end of the day, he is going to climb into bed with me and I’ll be able to curl up next to him. We are a team in our love story…where one of us is weak, the other is strong…we work together. We strive to love each other unconditionally. He understands that I need to love myself and does what he can to help me make sure that I take the time to do that. Simply put, I love him.
Even when I have had connections and love with others, my love for my husband is stronger. He is the one that I want to be with for the long-term. To me, it doesn’t make my connections with others less, it’s just different.
As much as I want to be 100% of what someone needs from me, that is an unfair job for me to hold myself accountable to. I know that not everyone agrees with me…that’s okay. I am going to continue to love hard, because it’s what I do…it’s how I feel connected to those who are close to me…and I’m not going to say sorry for loving.