Advice on Relationships From a 31 Year Old Bisexual Woman After 2 Years of Abstinence.
You will carry everyone you are intimate with for your entire life. The beauty and pain of all your encounters will live inside you until you die, conscious or not. Articulated or not. Be choosy with who you allow yourself to become close to, it will change the person you become.
But, also, no one gets out clean. No one comes out of life without mistakes, or encounters they regret, or people they let get away. Even the most terrible experiences can add to the beauty of the person that you are. Admit when you hurt, and permit yourself the space to learn what you need to learn.
Life, like art, is defined by the negative space. The time you spend not in relationships is just as important to intimacy as the time you spend with someone. Time alone is not a waste, time alone doesn’t mean you are broken. Time alone is how you form the strength to take risks, and to be bold. Time alone is where you clarify how to live the life that you want to live.
Do what you enjoy. Make this a priority. Have a say in the experiences that will define you. By telling you partners what you like, you are letting them see who you are. Also allow yourself to be open to others, to see what they like, and to see who they are. These things are not opposites, they are two sides of the same thing. Connection.
It is easier to recover from the pain of unreciprocated love than the pain of not allowing yourself to love. It huts more in the moment, but you recover more deeply. Err on the side of loving people.
However, someone who loves you back won’t ask you to hurt yourself for them. They won’t ask you to suffer so they can feel better about themselves. They won’t belittle how you feel. If you’re wondering if someone really loves you, ask do they care about how I feel? Are they happy when they see things make me happy? This is a good place to start.
Obsessing about someone is not the same as loving them. Really loving someone is committing to understanding their reality, obsession is becoming trapped in your own reality. If only I could have them, then I would feel this, or stop feeling this. Obsession usually implies a deeper unmet need that needs caring for before you can open yourself up to another person.
Every single time you fall in love, if will feel different.
There are always trade offs. You can learn things from having many partners. You can learn things from committing to one person your whole life. You can learn things from being single forever. But it is impossible to learn the lessons from all of these paths in one lifetime. It’s ok that there are trade offs. Sometimes, you will look at someone who made different trade offs and learned different things, and question the wisdom of your own trade offs. This is ok.
But, ultimately, you have to learn to find the meaning in your own trade offs. You have to learn to appreciate yourself for the things you’ve learned from the decisions you made. There is only one person who will ever be able to fully appreciate the deep beauty of your life, and that is you. Don’t waste it.