Sometimes it feels like it’s too much to ask to just be loved.
I never intended or wanted to gamble with love so that it became nothing more than another form of currency, but it seems that the one thing my soul desires most is the one thing that remains elusive.
Everywhere I look, I see love.
It’s in the eyes of the couples I pass on the street, or in the way a woman sits behind her man giving him a back rub while leaning against an old pine on a lazy Sunday by the lake. It seems that everywhere I look love abounds, yet I remain perhaps not unloved but not truly loved either.
Maybe it’s my own fault, but as I listen to the songs on the radio, I wonder, is it really too much to ask to have someone feel like that about me?
Is it too inconceivable for a man to not want to spend a day without me?
In my heart I know that it’s not, but it also seems that whenever I’ve experienced love, it’s always come with stipulations or tendencies rather than freely given. I’ve been loved when it’s convenient, and loved when it’s not; I’ve been loved because they’ve known me so long, and loved in seconds of meeting someone for the first time.
But maybe I’ve never been truly loved, because when we feel that way about someone, we don’t ever want to leave them—and for me and my empty bed this evening, there’s no doubt that men never have a problem doing just that.
At times, it seems like maybe I just expect too much, that I write poetry too often, or speak of the moon when I should be asking about more commonplace things, but I never do simply because I’ve come too far to be anything other than who I am.
And so I wonder, as I sit underneath the sky full of stars, when will I simply be loved for me?
I’m not sure I’d even know what that looks like—to not have someone leave. Perhaps I wouldn’t even recognize what staying would feel like, because the truth is that no one ever has. There might be some sadness mixed in, but for the most part there’s a general curiosity about how love continually slips through my fingers like the fine grains of sand on a summer beach.
Or like a shell along the shoreline; it’s there one minute and gone the next.
The love that I seek is not infatuated or even enamored, it’s rooted in truth and in the ability to know that it will show up for me regardless of how crazy I paint the sky or how much chaos my heart spins with the new tangerine sunrise.
But I’m tired of it.
I’m exhausted from love that dispenses as easily as the hard pink candies from a Pez dispenser and disappears just as quickly into a hungry mouth. Maybe the problem is that I know too much about love and the needs of my heart. I know what I want, what I need, what love looks like for me, and I can sense in a man’s energy if he is capable of growing into that garden of possibility with me.
And if he’s not, I don’t date him for kicks, or keep him on the back burner in case something else doesn’t work out—I simply say goodbye without hesitation and certainly without regret.
All I really need is someone who loves me for me—and who can choose me just as passionately as I would him.
Sometimes, the issue of finding love is just a matter of the self-work we need to do in order to ready ourselves for it, and at other times, it’s about knowing what we want and making space for it in our lives.
But, once we’ve done all that, then what?
We can leave it to the universe and trust that everything is operating on a plan that is grander than our own, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are too many of us going to bed alone—or worse with someone who we truly don’t love.
The reality is that there is always a reason why we don’t have the love that we are seeking.
If it’s not about self-love, then it might be about whether we are truly available or not. What’s ironic is that not all who are single are truly available. Sometimes we place our hearts on reserve, or protect them in an attempt to avoid hurt, yet all we do in the process is starve ourselves of the one thing we desire.
I’m not asking for much, just a simple love—the kind to watch the stars with and curl up in front of a winter’s fire, a love that stays consistent through whatever the winds of change bring. A love that grows roots that not even the strongest storm could ever topple.
I’m not looking for a body to fill in the space next to me; I need connection, understanding, and the eroticism of sorting through my midnight thoughts and knowing a man would never be intimidated by what he finds there.
I want to be loved, but first, I want to be accepted for all that I am and all that I will be. I’m not always the easiest and I don’t always make the most sense, but my love makes up for the anarchy that I sometimes inadvertently cause.
And, just once, it would be nice to feel what love is like when it chooses to stay.
Author: Kate Rose
Image: YouTube screenshot
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Danielle Beutell
Social Editor: Catherine Monkman