1. I enjoy spending time with him.
I enjoy the quality, the pace and the texture of the way time passes when I’m with him.
Regardless of what we’re doing—where we are, or with whom we share company—I appreciate his presence.
I appreciate our friendship.
If sex were not an option, I would still choose to be around him.
Everything is enriched when I have him by my side. I feel like myself…and a bit more.
I enjoy both action and stillness, conversation and silence with him.
2. I feel good in the spaces between.
The overall impact that he has on my life is a positive one.
That extends to the quality of my alone time—the spaces in our togetherness, as Kahlil Gibran said.
I experience myself as congruous through this relationship.
I am essentially the same person when I’m by myself as I am with him, and I find myself utilizing my free time in creative ways. I feel fondly towards him when we’re apart, just as I do when we’re together.
My thoughts and feelings toward him are consistently warm, across a variety of circumstances.
In the spaces, I trust him to return to me.
My nose likes his nose. My eyes like his eyes. My skin likes his skin.
The sound of his voice resonates with the pulse of my veins.
I like to look at his face, and I could do that for a long, long time.
4. I like who I am when I’m with him.
I feel secure with him, so naturally my love pours forth spontaneously.
My silliness, playfulness and humor catch me off guard when I feel as safe and loving as I naturally do with him. I find myself being affectionate, kind and generous.
I am good to this him.
My self-respect grows as I notice the way I treat him, and the way I treat others when he is in my life.
Through contact with him, I discover parts of myself I didn’t know existed. Some may be emerging for the first time, raw, asking for refinement, prompting me to grow.
When I am with him, I feel intelligent and wisdom flows through me with ease.
I express my ideas eloquently.
I notice myself being a good listener, flexible in how I think, willing to take in new views and perspectives.
I am intellectually stimulated and challenged. I find my mind developing in nuanced ways.
5. I am comfortable being in discord with him.
When conflict arises—as it inevitably will—it feels safe to disagree.
We both stay present in the heat. We trust that our respect and commitment to each other will serve as a foundation from where we can explore our differences.
From time to time, anger, disappointment and sadness may arise. These feelings will be met with an attitude of acceptance and curiosity.
Our arguments feel fruitful, and in the end, I am grateful for them.
I appreciate his No’s as much as his Yes’s—they help me learn what it means to love another being.
I am continuously discovering where his edges are, as well as my own. My respect for and understanding of him grow each time I bump up against one of his edges.
I appreciate the way he develops through the process of discovering my limitations.
I am pleasantly surprised by the ways he demonstrates his growth.
Our intimacy deepens as we recognize the contrasting parts of our beings.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Emma Ruffin / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum