Usually they remind you you’re not enough and you spend all your time lamenting how inadequate you are. I have lots of experience with that kind of breakup, and with the kind of girlfriend who sits and tells me about how things would have worked out if she’d just had more sex with her boyfriend. If she’d been more, somehow.
Lately I’ve been noting a pattern in the demise of my relationships and my rather bouncily healthy self esteem is making itself quite known in the data I’m collecting.
They aren’t ending because I’m not enough. They’re ending because I’m too much.
This is interesting to note because in one, my partner was an abusive jerk with seemingly irresolvable misogyny and a dark messiah complex and in the other my partner was a nice, giving, open-hearted guy who just had trouble stretching his awesome to the limits of wonderment I wanted to explore. There’s no crime in that, at all, and the relationship brought much beauty, healing and fun to my life.
But in both situations, the ultimate death-note of the relationship rang when I wanted to step just a little further than was comfortable. My voraciousness for newness, for stimulation and ever-flexible boundaries apparently makes me an easy person to love, but slippery to grip.
I have lots of friends like me. It isn’t like I’m the only free bitch circulating. But I have very thirsty ambitions about ideal relations and they conjure a vision that is perhaps so impossible that I’ll never find a person or people to fit the bill.
See, my more-ness manifests as kinky, poly, feminist free-thinker who likes to keep a foot in many beds and options and refuses to give the right to dabble up. I don’t do strict limits. I find negotiating away an experience for the comfort of someone else, really hard. That means that I have just lost a boy that loves me dearly, because he does need some set horizons around the number of partners I have and how that influences time and space and jealousies, whereas I prefer to live inside the question mark. Full stops feel limiting.
Maybe some of this is emergent from my abuse history. Being forced to live in secret for so many years, to squash my queerness and poly inclinations and kinky imagination creates an unwillingness to give of myself that way again. I am still eager to taste all the world offers, to cram as much in my greedy mouth as I can, and I want my safewords to be self imposed. If I mercy, I want to own it. I want my limits to be mine, and anything requested feels imposed, though those truths are poles apart.
What I can perceive rationally as a fair deal to preserve a relationship still doesn’t trickle down through muscle and into my heart.
And perhaps I shouldn’t have to strike those deals, if I don’t want to, ever. In a moment of unconditional love, The Boy said to me don’t feel guilty for needing what you need. There’s nothing wrong with just being who you are. I loved him for that kindness…even in letting go, he was validating who I knew I needed to be.
Which is what leads us to the glittering positive of this whole experience – the learning of hope.
I hope that one day I meet a soul, or souls, who want to strike that perfect even balance of home and security and freedom and experimentation in the spirit of joy with me. I hope I find someone who sees me and admires and beholds rather than measures what they can handle…someone who wants to fuck and rage and fight the world beside me, to parent and nurture and build a nest, a radical nest. Who wants to be their own kind of free and champion my lovely, terrible freedom.
I want home, family, love + the great unknown. I’m told I can’t have both, by so many sources. I’m told that compromise is the path to happiness, that settling gets you what you want.
But here’s my foot, taking a leap of faith, and daring to believe that somewhere, out there is an equally free bitch who one day might be into changing nappies.
Fingers crossed, eh?