In my head I can hear the clicking of a film reel on an old projector. It happens every time I picture myself enacting a conversation I WANT to have but don’t have the courage to have. It was inevitable that the words “I Love You” were going to come out eventually. I had played the same scene and heard the same film reel clicking with the words coming out of my mouth over and over again. Those times when we embraced I often wondered if he (Ironman) could intuitively hear me say it. Could he tell at those moments when looked into my eyes just studying and wondering what was going on in my head? Depending upon my mood I often wondered if he could see the movie that played out in my head. A few days ago he called me “A Dreamer!” Yes! and I am a wonderful dreamer with wonderful dreams and visions. The stuff of which most people wish they could hang their hat on to and by which some of those dreams have become fulfilled while the others just hang around like unused hammocks.
On this particular morning alarm clocks hammer our brains and we awaken. We try so hard to squeeze life into ten minutes. Had we been apart in our own homes, it would have been ten minutes of snooze button bliss. On days like this day, it’s just ten minutes of savoring each other’s presence as we lay side by side talking about nothing and everything. Ironman just turned over with feet on the floor and knelt on my side of the bed. With his elbows stabbing the mattress and propping up his sleepy head he went on about his thoughts. Half listening, the only thing I could think of in my head was Wow I really do love this man. I knew inevitably I was going to say it that day because it just felt like it needed to be said. Like a balloon that wanted to burst but with joy this time instead of anxiety.
On all of the other times I had WANTED to say those words my courage was interrupted. This time something told me that Ironman needed to hear it. Even a superhero needs a little encouragement every now and again. While he rattled on about his to do list that day, kids, and the ex I sort of just said, “You do know that I love you right?” Without any hesitation the words dropped silently like as if I had just jumped off a diving board into the cool blue ocean below. Silence! Like that silence when you drop into the water and you see nothing but dark blue and only sunlight above you. I emerged from the aftermath of what was said and I could see nervousness in his face. I didn’t panic at what I said or even expected him to say anything back. This was a gift that I needed to give and nothing more. I could tell he may have been slightly uncomfortable so I assured him. Most definitely as a friend and a human being there was love, the romantic side is what it is and we approach with caution. To only love someone because of the romance and intimacy involved means to love from the ego or ME first position before the heart. At this point all logic as it pertained to the head was dismantled. Fear was no longer an obstacle to me and in the aftermath he was noticeably much more comfortable.
A few hours later a text popped up into my phone from Ironman that said, “That took some serious guts this morning.” I played it off and giving off the impression that I was oblivious to what he was talking about. He wanted to reassure me that he wasn’t brushing the statement off. In my opinion it isn’t a requirement that he be on the same page as me in the feelings department. With over 7 billion (give or take a billion) people on the planet, it would be crazy to think we are all feeling and thinking the same thing at the same time. We can only OWN what we feel, not what the other person is feeling.
I would have been disappointed had he responded back with an I Love You! I’m all too familiar with the pressure of reciprocating the same feelings. Saying I love you when you really don’t mean it. I’ve said it many times under those circumstances and my experience has shown that most men that say it too soon, use I Love You as a weapon to control. This doesn’t apply to everyone but just what I observed. He didn’t say it back to be nice, Ironman didn’t say anything at all – – he didn’t have to.
Why is expressing love so hard?
The purpose of telling this story is that things that should be simple such as expressing love for one another gets very difficult as you get older. We no longer have the innocence of youth safeguarding us. We are saddled with the grief of past trials and tribulations that make saying I love you not just harder but something we have convinced ourselves is unattainable. We are at an age where we are discriminate with our love and bound by duty moreso than choice. When did loving someone become a monument that we feel we no longer can attain? In other words, when did it become so hard? Being a single mom dating is difficult. Saying I love you shouldn’t be. Time and evidence is all you need to bring love to a slow simmer and justify expressing it. In other words, know thyself and know the person you are with so that it becomes easy to know if you love them when the feeling strikes. When it does, say it.
Ironman told me the other day while we were discussing my future plans that caring about me was EASY for him. He had told me this on multiple occasions and it is a simply understood and mutual feeling. He also makes it easy for me express myself. We are excited to see each other, be around each other and share our adventures. There is absolutely no doubt that we both have the Fuck Yeah feeling for each other. It was quite refreshing to see that my actions and acts of service for him were being noticed. Even words of affirmation, his love language, comes easy for me. It’s not just about what I’m willing to put up with but what I’m willing to do for him. It’s easy to love someone when you have time and evidence on your side. This also works for forgiveness, it’s easy to forgive when time and evidence is on your side. Both love and forgiveness go hand in hand and when one party does wrong, it’s easy to forgive and to forgive because you don’t want to be mad at the other person. There’s no time to be mad at yourself or anyone else when you are enjoying so much of your time being happy. I’ve seen many couples that find it hard to love someone, because the ego and being right are more important than preserving the union. Being in control becomes more important than the other person’s feelings. Because something is missing and they think a person can fill in the gaping hole that they themselves are unable to fill. How many times have you enjoyed being around someone you just beaten (figuratively) to the ground in your quest to be right? I’ve often wondered about whether I have made dating and relationships so hard in the past because I was secretly afraid of what I was seeing in the mirror?
What if my true self came to light and the other person saw that? Would they no longer want to be with me? Or would their feelings change for me? It could be now or later but feelings change since we are people and we constantly evolve. The truth shows up everywhere and we are not in a position to waste anyone’s time or to try to control things beyond our control. Life doesn’t stand still. Once, Ironman caught me checking up on his ex on Facebook. I was a little embarrassed but everyone checks up on their sweetheart’s ex. Rather than making it a competition, you are assessing your current man with what his past might have been like. He told me he was rather flattered that I would do that and that I CARED enough to want to be informed about what was going on in his life. I thought that was a nice way of letting me know he was watching me and providing a big mirror to my insecurities. So I stopped. Obviously the snooping and the insecurities are unnecessary. We have known each other for just a few months but it feels like years.
How often have you been unable to forgive or let go? How has that made you feel? When in your life has loving been easy for you?