Heartbeat of hope

Broken heart shaped cookie on pink background. Photo.
Image licensed through Adobe.

This post didn’t exactly go where I thought it would, but I decided to be brave and share it anyway. When tweeting while drafting it earlier in the week, I advertised this post as about ‘feminism, relationships, and that god-awful heartbeat of hope that makes me writhe in shame’ but that’s no longer quite true.

Content note for a clusterfuck of a post. 

After conversations I’ve had in the last few weeks, it’s possible that I’ve been dancing around some of these ideas for a while and it feels good to finally put them down on paper. It’s also possible that I’m not in the slightest bit done with this line of thought, and I’ll be back to sex-blogging-as-therapy about it next week. I’ve blended two topics together here, a little, creating a stream of slightly shameful confessions.

The first of these is very simple: I am – as well as sure I’m quoting someone here – in love with the idea of being in love.

I fall in love with the idea of a person, sometimes. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s that I build them into everything. Not, I don’t think, a solution to my mental illness: as much as I’m aware it has undoubtedly come across that way sometimes. I don’t need someone to rescue me from my dragons – as much as I want them to – but I would like someone to hold my hand while I face the dragons, or poke me gently or whisper encouraging words beforehand, or just be there to hug me when I’ve defeated (or been defeated by) them.

I’m aware of that; I’m working on it.

I’m still a little bit in love with him, but we’ve reached the point in our friendship-with-fucking that we’re being honest about that. I’m also less in love with him than I was, which is important. He asks if he can call me, because he has something he needs to say. I say yes straight: we’ve spent two out of the last three weekends together in my bed, and his voice in my ear feels so natural and good. Something in his tone – more serious than our usual sessions of teasing and mutual masturbation with our hands down our pyjama pants – suggests that he’s going to say one of two things. I know, with every logical part of my brain, that it won’t be that he wants to date me. Everything between us is too fucked up for him to tell me that he wants to date me, but in that split second I am tormented by hope. He tells me he’s met someone. The hope evaporates into shame.

I’m doing my best to learn from my mistakes and trying to grow into someone who I know I’m going to get hurt again, because that is part of life and I can so rarely stop myself charging in with my heart on my sleeve. I don’t think that’s the worst quality to have: I like to think I have never made my play partners (or other friends who know I wish they were more than that) feel the pressure to give me what I’ve admitted to wanting. I like to work through everything by discussing it until we’ve explored every single angle and my mind has no more questions to ask. There’s a line between being open about my own feelings and wanting to talk and badgering the people I love with a lack of acceptance for how they feel.

I’m aware of that; I’m working on it.

I’m not in love with her, but I could be. I know that, and it scares me. The words that make my soul fly and then plummet are in the middle of a longer message – even as I read them I know she doesn’t mean them like that. She doesn’t, and shouldn’t have to, contemplate the way my silly, romantic heart would interpret what she said with unintended depth. Looking at it with a rational brain, I can read the throwaway sentence without it’s emotionally charged meaning, but I don’t want to. For a second, even as I know she is struggling and what I should be doing (what I¬†want to be doing) is trying to help her, I hope that when she says that, she means¬†me.

I do hope that one day I’ll have someone who loves me, who wants to date me, who will call me their girlfriend. I’m ashamed to admit that, actually, because part of me still can’t reconcile the idea of me being a strong, independent, queer woman – a feminist who wants to do solo poly and be her own primary partner – with being in love. I think it’s that knowledge – that part of me will judge myself if I ever do something as “normal” as a romantic relationship – that ignites the shame I feel when I experience a heart beat of hope that someone I am casually fucking wants more than just my body. Of course, most of them do – they also want my mind and my companionship – maybe what I’m really scared of is being too much for someone. Deep down I think I might be scared no one will love me in the way I dream they will, and I pretend that dream is unfeminist to disguise that self-doubt and fear.

I’m aware of that; I’m working on it.

I’m trying hard not to fall in love with him, and I think I’m doing pretty well at not being ridiculously un-chill and tumbling head-over-heels into him. I have all but persuaded myself that I don’t want anything more than dark, delicious kinky play with this sadist and then to walk home alone with his come still on my tongue and his piss in my hair. He starts to say something, and my heart starts beating faster. My breath catches in my throat as my mind races ahead and fills in the end of his sentence with something I’ve been pretending that I don’t want him to say. Of course, the words he says are different to the ones I allowed myself to contemplate for a second, and although what he says isn’t unkind I am crushed. It is at such a contrast to what I hoped for, just for a single, intense heartbeat.

I’m still learning that having the torturous heartbeat of hope, of entertaining that moment of possibility that some wants me, likes me, loves me, doesn’t make me weak. I’m going to get hurt – of course I am. It’s hard to want to get hurt again, but I’m certainly excited about the adventures that await me. But that agonising pinch of hope isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The more important – and much fucking harder – thing is to make sure my¬†reaction to that feeling is a mature, self-aware, good-person reaction. Because – and I suppose this summarises everything I’ve been trying to say here – I am trying to be a good person. I have love and friendship in my life today, and maybe I’m not ready for a relationship just yet.

It’s hard to hold in one’s mind that one is both fucking fabulous and also capable of being overwhelming with one’s emotions and hurting one’s friends as a result of that. I am both these things, and somehow I think this is connected to love and dating and hope. I’m just not sure how yet.

I’m aware of that; I’m working on it. And the fact I can admit that? That gives me hope.

Fight me, little bitch
Collective blogger positivity: eLust #115

1 Comment

  1. Damn, this is such a powerful read. As somebody who falls in love really intensely too, and who also worries about whether or not my values and life choices are always in-line, I hear you!

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