Love. Wow. That is a pretty broad topic and I am a girl of many words. Let’s narrow this down a bit, shall we. I think I’ll stick to the idea of romantic love as I write today.
When I was a little girl, love looked like a fairy tale made up of Prince Charming and some sort of princess (usually in distress). Love was wonderful, rosy, easy, ya know… happily ever after and all that good stuff. At least it was on TV and in the story books and the movies and well… just about everywhere you looked.
But, in my life, it also looked like black and blue cheeks and broken bones and mean words and patches of hair ripped out in anger. It looked like tears shed and fear and regret and excuses when my dad would get drunk and beat the hell out of whichever woman was currently the focus of his love.
It looked desperate and terrifying when my aunt continued to go back to the man who beat the hell out of her and made her feel like shit for most all of my childhood.
It looked like jealousy and insecurity, suffocating neediness, insults and arguments, hurt feelings and tears and desperation to get away, and underlying hate and animosity during most of every minute of the six years of my first marriage.
It looked indecisive when my uncle got married 8 times, three of them to the same women (three divorces with that woman, yes).
It looked sweet and dedicated when my mother patiently waited years and years for my stepdad to marry her. It looked like fear of commitment that it took him so long to do so, but he proved that wrong when he did marry her and has kept her happy for over 30 years now.
It looked beautiful and amazing and tender when my grandfather came in every single day from work and he and my grandmother greeted each other with a kiss. He popped her on the bottom and she giggled… every day. They didn’t care how many of the grandkids were watching or how we giggled or grossed out.
It looked wonderful and sweet whenever I looked at any of my grandparents. All of them were fiercely dedicated to each other and the ones that are still alive are still together. For four couples, that’s pretty impressive.
It looks like wonder and adventure, romance and affection and lust and passion and desire and fun. Every moment of the last 14 years love has looked like communication and tenderness, giggles and silliness, forgiveness and dreaming, empowering and powerful. It looks like strength and unity and growth. It amazes me every day.
It looks like the kiss of leather across my back, the strength of his hand on my bottom, around my throat, over my mouth. It looks like cathartic tears and wiggles and squirms and straining against my restraints as he carefully, consenually and intentionally beats the stress out of me.
It looks like compersion and shared joy and talking talking talking talking and talking our poly out every day. It looks like compromise and consent and sharing our joys and affection with those we connect with.
And, yesterday, it looked like me suggesting that He and our pretty girl get a hotel room so they could have some privacy and spend some alone time together after a few days apart.
Love… it is what we make of it, what we make it into. We get to determine what our love will look like to those whose souls are observing and interacting with ours. What does your love look like?
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