I’m a big proponent of telling my friends how much they mean to me. In this spirit, I’m very quick to give compliments. And to tell my friends I care about them. How. And why.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. And for the most part, the people I have in my life understand platonic affection. They know there are many, many kinds of love (despite there being just the one word in English due to a striking linguistic paucity).
And they know that non-romantic love can be just as deep, valuable, and enduring as the romantic kind. Take that, amatonormativity!
But sometimes, even with all of that, a funny thing happens when you’re busy living your life — and loving your friends in a platonic way.
Sometimes they begin to love you in a non-platonic way. They fall for you.
And perhaps some readers would think that because I’m polyamorous that this is a non-issue. “Well, you are non-monogamous, if your friends fall for you, then why don’t you just date your friend?”
They assume I have infinite capacity. Or that I would always reciprocate. That one form of love easily winds to another, when monogamy isn’t required.
But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it really, really doesn’t.
And I wish I could explain it. Why sometimes you love a friend so deeply that you can’t imagine ever living without them — but you don’t want to date them. Yes, even if you’re polyamorous. Yes, even if they like you that way. And yes, even if you find them attractive.
I wish I could explain what chemistry even is. And why you can have certain kinds of chemistry with one person but not another. And I wish I could explain how interpersonal chemistry can be so one-sided sometimes — and so limited to certain channels.
But I can’t.
I heard someone say that we’re attracted not to the strength in others — but to their wounds and weaknesses. To the way we can be of service to them, make them whole.
That’s pretty. Poetic, even. But I’m not sure it’s quite right either. It’s part of it sometimes but not the whole picture.
Anyway, I suppose I’ll keep telling people I care about them, even if it sometimes results in a broken heart on one side or the other.