What is this?

Surely there’s a value in loving people outside the box. But love with no rules hurts.

How is it that you can be just the same as someone, and not be one? Where does the separation come from, if you’re exactly the same? Or better yet, what would define non-separation?

I find myself in an unprecedentedly ambiguous relationship with one of my flatmates in Spain. By this time, my fifth year here, I’ve been well introduced to the open nature of Spanish relationships and have long since lost any idea of real monogamy with any of the guys I’ve met (I still hold out hope for someone one day, but I don’t think it’ll be now and I don’t think it’ll be here). But I’m still confused.

I am a 26-year old American. The man in question is a 23-year old drummer wildly successful in his career but emotionally still figuring things out. We’ve slept together a few times, but it’s not unbridled passion by any stretch of the imagination. We get along well, but the language barrier keeps us from being the best of friends I feel we are/could be. And yet when we speak of things like love, relationships, and what we want out of life, we couldn’t be more on the same page than if we wrote that page together.

But then he goes off to do his thing, and I go and do mine, and I’m left with a lingering taste of… what was that? What is this? And like a good, questioning human, why? What is he to me? What is he supposed to be? Why is he in my life and what am I doing wrong that this relationship doesn’t fit what I’ve been taught it’s supposed to be? Is there something wrong with me? Him? Us?

It’s interesting, because if he was a different age or a different gender I would love him just the same, but because we’re roughly the same age and find each other at least mildly attractive, the question of sex is raised and then the question of relationship comes trailing dutifully behind.

But I don’t need to be in a relationship to love him. And I don’t need to have sex with him ten times to justify having slept with him once.

It’s a weird time in history where this is ok. And as we become more free to love the people we love, rules seem to lose their place in our narrative. But love with no rules hurts. And love with the wrong rules hurt.

But I need a box to put this in. Maybe it’ll be a box we build ourselves, but I need some boundaries. I need some limits. I need to know what I can push up against and meet resistance. Surely there’s a value in loving people outside the box, but I need something to live in.

Maybe we can build a rectangle to protect us. Or a rhombus. That might suit us better.

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