I Love You, But I Can’t Tell You: A Hyperromantic Lament

A red ceramic heart-shaped mug tipped on its side on the ground. It appears to have spilled out some mossy substance next to it.
Image by Hoffnungsschimmer / CC BY

Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.

-Leo Tolsoy

*

Love. It shows up before I want it to. Before I’m ready for it.

And certainly before they are.

Love hangs there, heavy as a stone.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve realized, with the same frenzied shock I’d experience jumping into a cold lake, Damn it, I’m in love. 

Inappropriately early. When no one in their right mind would even be feeling it. Certainly before the other person could possibly.

I’m hyperromantic. And love doesn’t always understand the customs of the places I travel. It can spark in the most inappropriate places. Over camaraderie by the copier. A glint in someone’s eyes as they help me resolve a paper jam.

Or the man who helped me dab up coffee with paper towels when everything exploded, my first time visiting the dungeon. “Let me help you,” he said. “You’re a guest of Rob and Michelle’s, aren’t you?”

And it was as quick as all that. Rescuing me from my embarrassment. An easy smile.

I still love Rook. I’m not sure he even knows. Perhaps it has slipped out when I’m drunk. Fearless. Exhausted.

A Hyperromantic Lament

I love a lot of folks. But it’s not something I always even tell them. It isn’t helpful. They nearly always take it the wrong way. Think I want to control them. Or that I have some grand expectation of them.

But it’s never really worked that way for me:

“I love you, so you must drop everything to be with me when I command it.” No.

“I love you, so I’m going to control every aspect of your life.” No.

“I love you, so you must love me back.” No.

It doesn’t mean any of that. It just means that I love you. And there are so many kinds of love, really.

But I can’t say it. So I hold it inside. And just hope it doesn’t burst out and ruin everything.

*

My book is out!

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory

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5 Comments

  1. This is so spot on. I’ve even gone so far as to tell partners (new AND established) that I don’t WANT them to always reply with “I love you too.” I only want them to say it if/when they feel it, but that ~I’M~ going to say it when I feel it too.

  2. “I’ve even gone so far as to tell partners (new AND established) that I don’t WANT them to always reply with “I love you too.” I only want them to say it if/when they feel it, but that ~I’M~ going to say it when I feel it too.”

    Ohhh… that’s not a bad idea, that disclaimer.

  3. I’m always fascinated by love, whether I’m loving someone or they are loving me. My perception of love depends on who I’m loving or loving me. I’m often trapped by unconditional and conditional aspescts of love. I often wonder do I personally need to be constantly loved by this particular person or just be loved by everyone.
    I’m in love with love. It’s my life.
    Ok I’m rambling

    I guess you can tell I really enjoyed your post it placed some thoughts in my head.

  4. Yes. This is it. Wow, there is a word for it!

    And did you find out yet whether there are more of us outside? 🙂 I’m not sure I ever met someone, even not among the poly people I met in the last years.

    And did you find out what to do with it? Sometimes I just wish to be normal. It is so complicated every time. Mainly I struggle with the fact of always missing someone (and more than one). To be in love with them and not meeting them the next half of the year. Often I think, it brings more pain than joy – but I am not able to change it.

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