i am someone not everyone knows how to love (and that’s j fine)

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this is not romantic by lora mathis

Bukowski said that, “there is a place in the heart that can never be filled and we will wait and wait in that space”. I feel as though my whole life has been spent waiting, hoping, wishing that maybe somehow someone would be able to partially fill the emptiness. I have loved ones who fulfill me and who support me but I can’t shake the idea of romantic love. I can’t shake the idea of spending the rest of my life with someone and never tiring of them and even if I did, we would still power through, and grow together.

My parents were each other’s soulmates. I know that for a fact. And after my dad passed away my mom seemed a bit smaller somehow (don’t get me wrong, she’s still a firecracker) and you could just sense that something was missing.

I don’t believe that people need others in order to feel complete but I understand the longing, the wanting, the desire for partnership. I understand the desire to have just one person every day that you can count on. To have just one person you can glance over at and they know everything without a single word being uttered.

I think people hold themselves back from experiencing this sort of connection because it is scary and people change and people can leave or die or whatever. But I want to take that chance.

I spent so much of the last decade being selfish and growing and trying to figure out what I wanted and needed in order to thrive as the individual I am becoming. And I can say with absolute certainty that I have it pretty good, even when things were bad, and I do want to share my life with one person. I want that so intensely.

I hate this loneliness. I hate this emptiness that persists even when I have filled my life with so much joy and magical humans.

I sit here in this room on a sunny midsummer day and I am sad and confused as to when I will stop feeling this way, or if I ever will stop feeling like this. Perhaps I am not meant to be with anyone and perhaps that is the final piece of the puzzle that I need to sort out in order to gain some peace of mind.

expiration dating

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Art by Namalas

I have had maybe three or four legitimately serious relationships in my adult life. And if I’m being completely honest with myself, only two of those could count as serious AND healthy relationships. But if you ask me how many casual flings I’ve had, then we would be getting into some seriously murky waters. I’ve met a lot of people in the seven years I’ve lived in Chicago and I’ve been on a lot of dates. Sue me.

It was only recently, however, that I started to notice a trend throughout my love life: I am addicted to expiration dating. That particular form of dating where you subconsciously always seek out people who are unavailable in some way. Are you about to move out of the state (even better, the country)? Are you in a transitional period in your life and just looking for a good time? Are you just plain emotionally unavailable?

Most people date with the intent of finding out where a relationship is going. I apparently like to know it’s not going anywhere from the very beginning. I meet you, I decide on a reason this won’t work, and either I or the universe pinpoint an expiration date.

But expiration dating, as with most things, is flawed. People aren’t whole milk from the grocery store. It’s not as simple as pouring the spoiled milk down the drain and recycling the jug. And as I get older it gets harder to pick up all the groceries and watch as they rot and disappear from my life.

I remember one time my sister told me I was notoriously fickle. I laughed because I was nineteen and I didn’t care. Maybe I shouldn’t even care now. But it sure does make me wonder, how long can I really keep expiration dating?