I’ve felt a range of different ways about myself while being in a relationship with the same person. And so, being told and shown that I am loved has made me feel a range of different things.
I have been shown love and it has bounced right off me because I didn’t feel it. I have been shown love and it has comforted me in the same kind of addictive way ice cream does, and I’ve gobbled it down hungrily instead of facing what was actually bothering me. The first situation is a bit of a tragedy, because something is being offered that isn’t being received, and the second has the potential to get unhealthy by creating a giver-and-taker situation, because the taker doesn’t have the capacity to give anything in return.
It’s something of a cliché, but I think that the really wonderful thing about having a partner is not that you get to be loved, but that you have the opportunity to love. It’s in moments of loving, of simply imagining them and enjoying the sensations, that you realize you’re not thinking about yourself anymore, you’re thinking about them. And that feels so damn great, especially as someone with depressive and anxious tendencies.
If you’re able to get to a place where you feel whole, and genuinely happy with who you are, as infrequent as it may be, it expands your capacity for loving others. How you feel when you are being loved by someone is so dependent on how you already feel about yourself, but in the warm fuzzies of loving someone else, being loved back is just extra.
I’ve been in a place where my primary desire was to find a great romance, for myself. Which is fine, and there’s nothing wrong with human desire, but I just find it interesting now that the best thing about my relationship is being able to love my partner.
But like, if loving is the best part of a relationship, and loving is free and loving is legal and loving can be done from great distances, you could teeeeechnically do that without being in a relationship, right?
Mmm, too far.