I have always been one of those people who form crushes very easily. And I hesitate to say crushes because it feels like something a lot deeper and significant than that. It hasn’t changed since I’ve been married. Whenever I tell people that, their usual response is shock. “So you’re married, but you imagine being with other people?” Well, no, not exactly…I imagine loving them, not necessarily making love to them. I imagine that the world can be a place where I can share all of me (emotionally, mentally, and to some extent physically) with a person beyond my spouse and it be okay.
Because, yes, I do think it is acceptable (and even expected…if not downright recommended) to make connections with people (and animals too), connections that get down to the core of who we are, connections that make you wake up in the morning and smile. To me, expecting our spouse to be that one and only connection is a depressing thought. Everyone has a special spark to them that makes them their unique self, something special only they can offer to the world. How is it fair that only their partner can experience that? Why must everyone else put up walls around them in order to prevent such a connection with them?
I’ve never been able to find the balance- of where to draw the line. I fall in love with everyone I see a special spark in, everyone I have a meaningful conversation with. There are definitely some things that are unique to spouses/partners. Everyone draws this line differently, of course, but mine is apparently drawn with a very light marker. I share my residence, my dog, my life, and my bed with my husband, but many many people share my heart. Don’t get me wrong; I love my husband and love spending time with him and creating a life together. However, I have thought (and spoken) “I love you” more than just in thoughts regarding my husband (who’s been my only serious relationship). I haven’t felt comfortable bringing this up with the majority of people in my life and really hope I won’t regret writing about it here. It wasn’t until I read this that I even considered it. To see that someone else “gets it” beyond a couple of friends who share my thoughts and was able to put it into words and share it with the world is inspiring.
I suppose if I had to put a label on what I’m talking about, it would be “intimacy.” A close friend of mine calls it cosmic intimacy: a connection that feels like it’s been present since the beginning of time, a connection that is more than a friendship and does not spring from sexual or physical thoughts. Sexual thoughts may come up, of course- they often do when you feel deep and true love for someone- but they aren’t the point. The point is remaining connected, as the connection itself is the reward. The connection drives you to hold their hand, hug them close, wipe away their tears…but there is always the “other” holding you back, the nameless words of society telling you that isn’t okay for friends to do.
It seems like this lack of acceptance for close connections is not as present in non-European/American cultures. Hugging, kissing, holding hands are not defined as “public displays of affection” and are not specifically identified as acts between people who are “involved” in many other cultures. I distinctly remember my friend’s mother (who is Chinese) taking my hand and prancing down a trail with me when I was in my young teens, and when she stopped, kissing me on the cheek. I remember feeling so many emotions in that moment- surprise (because no one, especially someone so much older than me, had ever done that before with me), appreciation (to know she felt connected to me), glee (to see someone expressing themselves without regret or hesitation in front of me) and love (to reciprocate feeling connected in the warmth of her hand and her heart). It made me yearn for creating and embracing those moments of pure connection and unadulterated love and innocence in my life. It was the beginning of my love-fest with the world.
How do you balance connections in your life? Do you have a love-fest with the world? How do you feel about its acceptance or lack thereof in your life?