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“I am someone who is looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, consuming, can’t live without each other love.”
~ Carrie Bradshaw
Sex is great—but love is even better.
It seems that I have become the woman who men want to take to bed, but not wake up to.
I am good enough to strip naked and to have them want to lick my body until I go soft in their hands, but I always fall short of them wanting to give me their hearts.
I have never just engaged in sex with random men and I have never had a one night stand.
But that fact makes this that much worse.
Because these are men who I shared a friendship and intimacy with.
These men know private details of my life and I know their deepest fears and hopes.
We didn’t just share sex—we shared our lives with each other.
But, I was never one who they wanted to share a meal with or the latest movie on a slow, Friday night.
No, I was the one who they would come to when they wanted to feel alive.
They came to me when they wanted their hearts to pound and their blood to pulse, reminding them of the amazing male fire that burns inside.
And while I have been talked dirty to every which way, I have never been told that I am loved.
But the thing is—I am love.
And whether these men would ever admit it to themselves or not—that is precisely why they kept returning.
Because while they would swear until they lost their final breath that it was just about sex—I know better.
Even if these men never loved me—they became drunk off the love I offered them.
They could feel the love in my fingertips on their faces, tracing their lips and the way I would sit back, almost nude, and gaze into their eyes—so open and willing for them to come and get me.
I made them feel loved when they forgot what love felt like.
I showed them writhing desire and the sensual touch of a woman.
But, the thing is, I can’t love when I am not being loved in return.
I can’t keep letting these men into my bed—who have no desire to let me into their hearts.
That’s not to say that I don’t love them—because I do.
Differently, and in ways that can’t be compared, but in the end love is always just love.
But, I can’t keep being an option left simmering on the back burner when I deserve to be the main course.
This time I have to choose myself and loving myself over these sexual encounters.
The saddest fact is, I know that emotions throbbed underneath their fingertips and while the feelings of these men differed, I know that in their own way, each cared deeply about me.
And while I thought I had found my soulmate in one of them—it has to be a choice that both make, not just one.
Though I have smiled and cried over these men, suddenly one day, it became clear what I had to do.
Even though I am going to miss them deeply, I can no longer accept less than the love I deserve.
While it may seem foolish or naïve to some—I want incredible love.
I want someone to wake me up in the middle of the night because they just have to have me—but I also want someone to share a bowl of soup with me on a rainy night.
I want someone to make my back arch, but also someone who will let me fall asleep against his chest.
And while it has pained me to start saying “no” to these men, it means that I am finally saying “yes” to myself.
As much as I love them and the time we have shared, I can’t keep being the reservoir they come to for a refill.
Because, in doing so, I have found myself almost empty.
So, I am making the choice to put love first and sex second.
Next time I let someone touch my body, it will be because they have already let me touch their heart.
And I won’t have to worry about what it all means, because I will already know.
I will be loved.
Next time my back arches and I go soft in the hands of a lover, it will be because they have first opened my heart.
Because as fulfilling as sex is, it’s nothing compared to love.
And while I know that loneliness is waiting just around the corner for me, I am going to try to be okay with that.
Because the love I have for these men has taken up every inch of my heart, I’ve realized that I am worth so much more than just the pleasure I can bring.
I had wished to find my future with one of these men, discovering a love that had grown quietly and silently until it bloomed radiantly.
But, sometimes no matter what we wish for, it doesn’t create reality.
And so this time, the only choice I have is to just simply choose love.
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: flickr/Lianne Vieu