We’re friends, but we’re certainly a bit different than average friends.
Sometimes it feels kind of like we’re dating, but we’re not. And in this world where everything is supposed to fit inside of a designated box, we don’t have straight lines and our corners are jagged—we don’t fit. We don’t make sense.
It is so often assumed that anywhere worth going is a certain destination, a checkmark to fulfill. But here we are with no particular place to go and no empty space to be checked.
Friends, the kind with and without benefits, have asked numerous times over the years, “But what about feelings?” As if without the traditional label of “couple” we are forced to stifle, ignore and repress them, until they inevitably explode leaving a huge mess for us to clean up.
Of course there are feelings involved. There are feelings involved in all significant relationships, friends (with or without benefits), family, partners. And this is no exception.
I have feelings for you.
And in those most vulnerable delicious moments when I become unhinged, when my insides liquefy into a pool of perfect resignation, those feelings can look and feel a lot like love.
I have fallen in and out of love with you a thousand times, friend.
Maybe you feel this too. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you feel it differently or simply not at all. I don’t know.
That is the uniqueness of being female—I know that I will feel it. That my body will release a certain chemical sending me the message that I need you to stay and that I need you to fill a certain void. That I need you like my lungs need air.
But this is the uniqueness of being human—the ability to recognize, interpret, to decipher information and perhaps most importantly, misinformation.
There is no void to fill. And if ever there is one, it is not for you or any other to fill.
And I will never need you or any other to breathe.
Some feelings are a message to heed, an insight, a call to action. And some are merely chemicals, spasms, reactions, messages to be heard and felt and simply set free.
My lungs will continue to take new breaths without you. And those chemicals and their well intended but antiquated message will run their course through my veins and evaporate in the light, like raindrops in the sun.
You and I will continue to decide whether this path with no destination is worth taking. And if this flame starts to burn me, if I yearn for more than we are, more than we can become, I will starve that fire until it fizzles out. I will move my feet and wait for my heart to follow. It always does.
For now, each journey together begins and ends in a single day, or night, as it were. And for my part, every dusk and its dawn, every high and its low, every in and out of love with you is the perfect trip for both my wise female body and a wiser human heart.
~ Your friend and fellow traveler, wherever we may choose to go
What to look for in a partner:
Author: Jenny Spitzer
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: See-Ming Lee/Flickr