What it feels like to be in love that the movies don’t tell you

Posted on March 10, 2013

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Today is the anniversary of the day that I first met you.

And six years on I still have a depth of feeling for you unlike any other I’ve ever felt for another human being, animal, object, place or experience in my life.

That night that we met, will forever – I suspect – be included in one of the top experiences of my life. At present, it’s up there romantically as the top experience of my life. Because that night that we met, changed everything. I had grown up thinking you meet, you fall in love, you get together, you marry, you buy a house, you have babies, you raise a family, you work hard to save up for your future, you see your kids grow up, you possibly divorce or you don’t divorce. I had no idea that the reality we all face today when it comes to love and relationships is entirely different to  that shown in the movies.

But one thing is clear – it is with no doubt that I am the person I am today because of meeting you.

You hear people say that in films and books, but it’s not until you experience what that intrinsically means that you can wholeheartedly appreciate its meaning.

But from the moment we talked, to the sensation – that current – that passed through me when we touched, there was something other worldly about the ‘you-and-me-in-the-same- room-at-the-same-time’ thing. And there’s always has been, even to this day.

Of course to begin with one just puts it all down to good ole lady lust. She has a habit of rearing her perdy head when you least expect it. And your head was pretty perdy too.

I fancied the fuck out of you basically. 

And I told you in no uncertain terms. I don’t do stuff like that though. You said it back.  I never ever let anyone know that I liked them before, I just wasn’t like that. My huge defensive walls started to fall down as I knew you meant it from the look in your eyes.

When you smelled my hair at the check out till in sainsbury’s that time we had a picnic on Clapham Common (pork pies and creme eggs) it reminded me of something my dad did when I was a kid. It reminded me of love.

The whole ‘not sleeping with each other’ thing I introduced back then because I was over-thinking everything as a reaction to you not coming home with me the night we met. I was scared by the intensity of how I felt, how much I liked you. I was scared this wasn’t the same for you as it was for me. Sex had been this huge issue for me over the years, i’d not necessarily enjoyed it – the vanilla aspect of it all, the cold, almost unloving nature of the experiences i’d been having throughout my twenties after the last guy i’d loved when I was 22 broke my heart cheating on me with almost as many girls as the nine months we were together.

Picking guys up in clubs high on pills or coke, then never seeing them again – always feeling empty and alone after. Sometimes I enjoyed it. Mostly it was drunken. Until I met you, I realised, my experience with men had been mostly lame. The only person who’d made me feel alive sexually had been a woman. So I figured if I could keep you there, in a box, almost pure and untainted by the negativity in my head around sex and just wait until it felt right, then I would be less likely to lose you. That there’d be less judgement from you. What if I didn’t please you? What if you were more experienced than me? What if I was shit in bed and I didn’t even know it? Maybe those guys didn’t call me again because I tried to do too many freaky things to them. Who knew! I just remember a chaotic concoction of insecurities cocktailing in my brain.

When you told me that you were into BDSM, I remember the hairs on my arms pricking up. BDSM? I googled it for a definition.

Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, Masochism.

You’d had a relationship with a dominatrix before you told me.

Unbeknownst to you, I’d recently been looking into going to a fetish club. I’d always been curious about my sexual preferences, them being more experimental and adventurous than most of my friends. I’d watched documentaries about Dominatrix houses in New York with excited fervor, and been drawn to movies with highly dark sex scenes or typically line crossing elements – such as rape scenes – which I had always found unusually hot. I would watch TV programmes about sex and kink late at night and feel heavy at the thought of more vanilla sex.

You were bi-sexual you said.

I was bi-sexual!

But when you asked me if we could be exclusive that time in my bed, I hesitated and said I wasn’t sure I was ready for that because suddenly there was this whole new world I needed to explore, which you already had deep experience of. That massively intimidated me and I felt like I had been waiting all my life for this new world and it was something I had to do first by myself. I never understood the consequences of me ‘rejecting’ you that time, or had any idea of the impact on my life that it would cause.

When we did sleep together, it was actually only the 5th or 6th time we’d met up, or not much more than that. We slept together, in what felt like a ‘finally’ moment.

When you didn’t contact me for nearly a week after, my world fell apart.

If you had any idea of how that impacted on me, how it justified the insecure voices in my head, made me feel worthless and used – there is no way you would keep doing it, how you’ve done it, repeatedly over the years.

You said you needed ‘space’ – and you only communicated with me from there on in via email, text or msn. I think maybe we spoke once. I was angry, upset. I cried. I couldn’t make sense of any of it. Why you were suddenly so un-interested in me. I was 27 years old, and I was acting like a child. My inner child was screaming at you and at the world, how unfair it was, I was confused and in absolute crisis mode, I knew you really liked me, I had thought you were falling for me – why had it changed? What had changed? I was feeling indescribable raw pain, and I started to self harm to try and distract myself from what I was feeling, I couldn’t find a space for the pain in my head only it engulfed me all the same.

It’s funny, but when someone leaves us – we tend to default to ‘what did I wrong?’ And i’d been doing that since I was a kid.

I still have the emails you sent to me at the time telling me how much you liked me, all the contrary to how I was interpreting it – that it was bigger than I knew about, how you were not in a great headspace and that I was merely being caught in the crossfire. I still have all the big conversations we’ve had on msn and skype – six years of evidence that this is real, that i’m not imagining things.

I still remember the feeling I had when you emailed late one night telling me how I’d filled a gaping whole in your life that you didn’t even know you’d had till I was gone. I remember how angry I felt, how disgusted I was with you that you hadn’t appreciated what we had the way I did, that you hadn’t done whatever you could to keep it when you had it.

I was so devastated when I ‘lost’ you – that first time – and readers you’ll be sad to hear there have been more times than this over the years – that I felt like I had to leave the country. I had to get as far away as I possibly could do that I wasn’t reminded of you wherever I went… the Ritzy in Brixton (my fingers being stroked and sucked by yours as we totally ignored the film), the platform on Clapham Common where we kissed on our first proper date and let a gazillion trains go past.

But despite all that, we’ve never moved on have we. We still love each other. Six years – and I left the country for a year, then came back – and we still never could sustain a relationship. You always ‘needing space’ as soon as we get close, even though you run toward me and are the one asking if we can give things another go.

And over the years I’ve always broken my own rules when it comes to relationships and dating because of your aspergers, and because you were adopted. I know deep down, that you just need time – we just need time.

Because, when you’re in my life – my world feels complete. When I make you laugh, I want to curl up in your arms and be held there forever. When we talk, we really talk on a level that’s rare to find. There’s something spookily similar to the way our brains work, yet we’re so different in the way we interact with others because of our own personal experiences.

How do I really know I love you?

Because you could get together with anyone else, and I’d know that you don’t feel the same way for them as you do me.

But…

We both hurt each other deeply.

We both know what it feels like to be intensely lonely, and we bring it out in each other.

We both have deep rooted abandonment issues that keep getting tapped into because of the intensity of how we feel about each other.

We both seek to do things to the extreme to block out our pain, yet we’re highly sensitive and intense human beings.

We’re just not equipped yet to be able to make it work.

Despite all the pain and inconsistent behaviour, and un-kept promises, and intense neuroses and reasons to probably give each other a permanent wide berth, we always come back to each other. We both see a future when we’re with each other and get carried away when we’re happy together writing each other into each other’s lives. The dream-like quality of our unions when we have them is giddy and on another level – although there are enough times when its not been like that, that i’m able to see that the hot place comes from our true souls meeting.

Nothing compares.

We can have other relationships, although they’re hard to find.

We can love others. Although its desire to be sustained is not as permanent.

We both hurt each other – on purpose or inadvertently.

But we’re not ordinary people. And finding a soul mate requires something extraordinary.

And being able to truly love another requires looking in the mirror and liking what you see. And then finding a way to love yourself. We’re loving each other’s potential right now, but have more work to do.

We have just have more work to do.

We’re not talking to each other at the moment, but we will again some day. And until then I can do the only thing I can to make myself a better person – as crazy as that might sound to most people, I want to make myself a better, more secure, calm and rational person so you can feel the safest you could feel when you’re with me.

You’re the closest thing I could possibly imagine I will ever have to a muse. You inspire my fantasies, my writing, my desire to love greatly and wholly. When I am able to put my own shit to one side, I am literally draped in only my love for you. Physical things like your mouth. The way you think. The look in your eyes. The way my hand feels in yours, as yours engulfs mine. But also the very fact that I know when I am thinking of you, you are thinking of me. My heart longs, it aches, it reaches out to you. And it is love because you can do whatever you want to me, use me as your battering ram if you like, push me away, be mean to me, hate on me for loving you too much and being too insecure with it. And i’ll still love you. I can see through it all. I know its complicated for you right now, that you have a career to build, family tensions, personal issues to tackle and head spaces to grow out of, move on from, or make peace with.

This story may not ever have a hollywood ending. I may never speak to you ever again. Or you might continue to just keep hurting me, rejecting me, letting me down. Or I may fall in love with someone else. I may settle for something less tempestuous and intense. I might choose vanilla.

But if the time comes I’ll be here. I’ll be here. The more and more than times goes by I am realising that sometimes we’re too entrenched in our own story that we can’t see the end game. Yet i’m learning. I’m growing. It’s because of you that i’ve been facing my deepest fears head on. With therapy i’m realising the consequences of being sent away from home when I was seven, how I had built defenses around my heart and created a belief system that said I was unlovable, a freak, unwanted.

And i’m getting my confidance back. I’m re-programming my hard wiring, it’s a bit like being reborn I suppose. I’m learning to love myself, possibly for the first time. And until I love myself, truly, I can’t expect anyone else to right?

But I know this – I love you so much I can’t imagine being with anyone else. Or maybe i’m a fool in love, maybe by keeping my heart with you i’m leaving little room for anyone else.

Maybe you keep letting me go because deep down you know you can’t give me what I want. Maybe you can’t ever make me happy.

And this is the love that they don’t show in the movies.

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Posted in: Journal, The Truth