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I can’t tell you how much time I have spent suffering believing that people didn’t love me because they didn’t love me the way that I loved them- their actions were not what my actions would have been, and they just didn’t show their love in the way I would have, so I just assumed I was rejected.

But this isn’t the case at all.

Most dramatically, this comes to mind for two men I have loved, for very different reasons yet there are certain common elements, namely-
They are not like me.

And they are so, so chill. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have so much blank space in my mind, to float along a lazy river, to go with the current instead of using all my considerable strength to seemingly paddle against it (and end up realizing it was just a current I couldn’t see sweeping me anyway).

And I love them for it.

No, they are not really proactive. They don’t really plan things, because they don’t really plan and they are just dudes. They spend an inordinate time thinking about sports. I don’t want to say that they ignore me, though there are times they don’t respond momentarily to my every need, and there is nothing that I want/need than to feel paid attention to. This is oneof my little foibles that make me the passionate woman they have loved.

I love them because they are not like me, and then I feel like they don’t love me because they don’t love me in exatly the way I love them.

They just have less fire, honestly. They don’t communicate like it’s their job- it actually is mine, I’m in marketing communications.

And it doesn’t mean they don’t love me, whatever the Rules say. Sometimes I overwhelm them, true, and sometimes their calm, steady, maddeningly right accepting things as they are while I am busy PUSHING against all there is.

And so I tell myself the story that something is wrong with me, that no one has ever truly loved me, that I’ll be forever alone, and I”m always the one that loves the most.

And then, when I in the belief that they dont’ care for me anymore, cut ties or move away, they take me back with open arms, they show me they missed me, not a word of blame is spoken, and the tie is stronger than ever. I still feel sort of off-kilter and afraid they loved me less, because they didn’t come panting after me as I boarded the plane. They barely even watched, or rather sat absorbed in something else, as I made a mountain out of a molehill. And I am a little dramatic and I do liek a crowd, to be honest.

But thank God I have found these guys that don’t let me get away with it! Thank God they don’t treat me like a princss and indulge my every whim. Thank God they don’t fake love me by letting me walk all over them or change them. Thank God they are the way they are, much as I’m so busy judging and finding reasons to feel like a victim or a freak, I can’t even let myself be the way I am.

Two dear people in my life, one I never expected to see again after the first night we spent together who has sticked around in some fashion or another in my life for over a year, mostly of separation, and another who loved me and knew it was impossible and set me free, and has come close and danced away to keep us both happy where we are and always listens when I really need it- maybe not always every second that I want it but certainly, he doesn’t leave me alone when it’s really necessary but he doesn’t treat me like the spoiled rotten child I wish for sometimes either.

I have found two guys who treat me not like a princess, but as a person. Although I still am a princess, and every now and then I wish they would show that more. But their actions tell me, in big and small ways, that they are just there. And that means that they care- even if they let an email go unanswered, even if they don’t listen patiently to each and every one of my temper tantrums and petty dramas.

Now I ‘m not trying to say I am a horrible person either. But I have a lot to learn.

And today, I’m happy I finally realized that these two people who I love and admire so much, these souls who I’m happy to have part of my journey, really do love me.

As did my mother whne she didn’t say the right thing when I was young.
As did my best friend from college who fell out of touch but was right there when she could be.
As does my best friend from grad school whose love I never doubt, but who never responds to my emails or facebook message because she is not addicted to technology, but I’ve never even questioned her love when she made the time to come and see me face to face on short notice before I left the country.

So today I am grateful for all the people who love me, even if at first they didn’t say it in words I understand, but rather actions I didn’t fully recognize.

Thank God.