Like most gay boys growing up in the 90’s, I dreamed of falling in love with The One. Someone who would help me battle the world with our common sexuality as a shield. Someone who would love me unconditionally. Someone who would be possessive about me and who would bring me flowers each time I got upset. Someone who would never cheat on me in word, feeling or action. Some guy walking straight out of a historical romance written by Johanna Lindsey.
Life had other plans. Love had a different complexion.
I fell in love at 19. Got dumped at 20.
I fell in love at 22. It was a long distance relationship, again. So, I ran away – scared.
I fell in love at 24. I am still with him. Through the decades that followed, I realised love is not just what I expected in the first paragraph.
It’s sticking to the relationship and making it work when each of those ideas diminish into real life. When people in love realise that both are human. Human beings make mistakes. We have insecurities and hopes. Some are manageable and some are possible. Some are neither. And that is okay.
But as I grew, I also realised one important thing. The love I had at 19 and 22 and 24 all existed at the same time. I had not stopped loving any of the three. Because for me, love is forever. It doesn’t fade away. It’s as lasting as the blood running through my veins.
We’re taught certain constructs. Social constructs. Of one man one woman, since we’re children. The straight world in their history have talked of soulmates. Two of them. Break a heart in two. Couplehood. But as I opened my heart I understood that I could never stop loving the people I have loved. If couplehood works for people, they should go for it. If being in an open relationship works for some, they should go for that. If singlehood is what some want, then that is what they should get. It should be simple.
I lost people to death. I never stopped loving them. I love my mother, my aunts, my grand parents, my sister and all six of my fur kids. I don’t love one more than the other. I just love them differently. I love them according to who they are. Loving one doesn’t make loving the other less. Loving one doesn’t mean I have spent the love I have.
Love is an endless stream. It comes from the heart. Not from thought. It comes from feeling. Not from logic. Its flowing is constant and many drink from it, at the same or at different times. And I realised that I could do the same with my partners.
It was incidental. The fourth time I fell in love. I never even thought it was possible. It happened. And I was honest about it. I spoke to my current partner and he accepted the new love into our relationship. I understood polyamory.
Polyamory is defined as “the practice of engaging in multiple romantic (and typically sexual) relationships, with the consent of all the people involved.” The most important point here is consent that speaks of honesty. I am nothing if not honest. And in that honesty, we three spent three years together. We formed our own rules and our own boundaries.
The new love did not last. But when he left, in the middle of a locked down world, I was devastated. It was like an April storm had picked me up and was casting me around in its eddies. I have written about it elsewhere on this blog. This lasted for two years. The tumult has not yet ended completely.
In the interim, I met people. Scores of them. Most became friends. Some became sexual partners. But I tried hard not to fall in love again. Love rips the shit out of you. It literally does. So, I allowed myself to get emotionally connected to people who were far away. Knowing they would not be around me. People who lived in my city I stopped myself getting emotionally connected.
But love is love.
But this time it came with fear. Fear of abandonment. Fear of loss. Fear of heartbreak. Because I certainly don’t want to get heartbroken again. He scares me. With his quiet, his anger and his ambition. I am in love with his simplicity and gentle nature. His beliefs and his hope. But they all scare me too. There’s this constant state of anxiety I am in. Because I know my love for him will last forever now but I am never certain if his will.
Love is all well and fine – but trust is paramount. Love came slow. Trust is yet to come in fully. The more I fall deeper in love, the trust is taking a slower time to appear. He keeps getting annoyed because of this. It is tough. But I have been through a lot. I have been to hell and back and I have met with the Devil of depression. The more I love, the more afraid I become. But that is fodder for another blog post.
Polyamory may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Many wouldn’t even want to understand it. But this post is not for them. Why would I care for some one who doesn’t understand love? My relationships are not meant as examples. They are just relationships, growing on mutual love and honesty. So this post is for those who want to understand why they love who they do. To them, I say, love, but love honestly and completely. And when you say forever, mean it.