Love Feels Like...
My partner and I recently celebrated 6 years together. This “milestone” brought up a lot of self reflection and musings on relationships for me. It’s not that I think we’ve reached some sort of goal - or that we’ve “made it”. It’s just that.. Because sex, pleasure, intimacy, and vulnerability are my areas of study - my long term relationship offers me so much material to work with! My relationship serves as such a profound container for me to explore all the ideas and revelations I have when it comes to understanding intimacy and love.
Jared really is a trooper when it comes to this. Not many people could be in a relationship with someone who constantly wants to study and analyze sex and love! He does great though :)
Our relationship is quite literally the inspirational source for all of my work. Navigating sex as teenagers, growing up together in relationship, has all inspired me to go deeper into these topics, try to understand more fully, and use these tools as personal self growth.
That being said, the following are insights, perspectives, “divine downloads” that I’ve gained about love and being in relationship...
The Space We Hold
I’ve learned the importance of a cultivated, consciously created, fluid space.
A space for each of us to grow.
It’s a beautiful dance of offering space and coming back together. Swinging each other effortlessly around a ballroom, taking turns leading and following. Allowing space and distance and then embracing passionately. This is actually a pretty accurate portrayal of what it looks like when we dance together. We dance mostly independently with the occasional moments of swaying together.
I’ve learned that because our lives don’t revolve around this relationship, there’s space for each of us to experience our feelings without it clashing into each other. We’re able to see each other as individual people with valid thoughts, feelings, desires, outside of how we exist within the partnership.
Love feels like Freedom.
Adversity Brings Us Deeper
Most of the difficult experiences I’ve had in my life, Jared has been present for. Each one cracked me open slightly more and each time he has gazed lovingly inward without judgement or attachment.
I remember one particularly, it could be considered the first one… I was amazed by his grace and consistent warm energy. I remember feeling the urge to shut down and close off and he softly encouraged me to allow and feel.
Love feels like being Seen.
To Play like a Child
We were in the grocery store the other day and the aisle we were in was empty. Jared was acting theatrically (as he seems to always do in the grocery store) by dancing and being silly. I was laughing when an elderly woman turned down the aisle and saw us. She looked at Jared and said
“I love seeing people really enjoying their life”.
This partnership has shown me how enriching this air of light, easy going, playfulness can be.
Love feels like Playing.
Leaving comfort zones, expanding, growing pains are all things I’ve experienced while being in relationship.
From starting college together, to travelling the world, to expanding our creative careers… We have always supported each other's growth. I think a healthy relationship supports and encourages life changes.
Love feels like Growing.
Why I Stay
Love doesn’t keep me here. Infatuation, adoration, devotion, affection… These are not the reasons I stay. I’m not here to have my ego validated. I’m not here for the fix of being desired.
I stay because...
I am held here
I am seen exactly as I am
My pain is honored
My joy is honored
I am potentiated here
I am supported in all my endeavors
I am heard
I am respected
My growth is encouraged and celebrated
I am free to shift and change and exist as an individual outside of this relationship
There is no demanding of me
There is no sacrifice
There is no raised voices or broken glass
There is no unspoken heartbreak
There is just security and freedom.
This is what keeps me in this partnership. And maybe these things describe love. Maybe love is the ability to see your partner for who they are, apart from what they offer you. Maybe it’s an infatuation or obsession. Maybe it's a slow burning persistent candle flame or maybe it's intermittent explosions between the darkness.
Maybe it’s both.. or maybe love between two individuals is just a reflection of each one’s love for themselves.