Loving Without Worrying About Whether You’re Loved in Return

a pair of sun conures. One of them has its eyes closed and looks like it's enjoying being close to the other bird
Image by Toukou Sousui / CC BY

It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a great while, I fall so deeply in love with someone or something that I don’t care if it loves me back.

It happened with you, you know. I was convinced that you were too good for me. That I didn’t deserve someone like you. That with time and introspection you’d figure it out, too, and realize that we were mismatched.

But instead of running away or letting it consume my thoughts, I found it easy to let myself go. To surrender to those feelings. To fall in love with you without protecting myself.

I was able to enjoy you, suspecting that it wouldn’t last forever — or even very long.

Because I knew that for however long it lasted, it would be worth it.

And so I didn’t find myself wondering how you felt about me. It didn’t matter to me. I loved you enough for both of us. Whatever the future held for us, I could feel your love in the moment. Undeniable.

I am not good at this. At any of this. It’s only happened a few times in my life. And it’s very rare for me to fall in love with human beings this way.

Normally, I might fall in love with a career that way. A craft. A calling. Like falling in love with clay and knowing the clay doesn’t love you back — because you’re not naturally talented, not at the start — but not caring. Sculpting and sculpting out of joy until one day you’re good just as a side effect.

It was the same with music. The same with telling stories.

It was loving something so deeply and not caring if anything came back to you in the end. It was loving for the sake of loving, not for being loved (by the craft or by people who think you’re good at it).

You made a liar out of me, you know. I said you’d get tired of me within a few years and that I’d accepted it.

A decade later, you’re still here. Still loving me.

You made a liar out of me. But I’m glad… both that you’re still here. And also that you’ve proven that guarding something fearfully, worrying incessantly about what it all means and whether the love you feel is reciprocated, is not required to keep good things and good people around.

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Books by Page Turner:

Dealing with Difficult Metamours

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory 

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