Paul and I met on a blind date and it was love at first sight.
I had just moved to New York and he was everything I could have hoped for; the ideal partner to explore a new city with. Those first few months were spent passionately learning all that we could about each other, both emotionally and physically. We were inseparable and rarely left the bedroom.
Due to typical NYC housing pressure, we moved in with each other right away, as many New Yorkers do, and our love for each other continued to grow.
Months--then years--passed and we grew more comfortable with each other, falling into our routine as a couple. Feeling like we had learned everything about the other person, our communication shifted from what it once was.
As we each evolved and grew individually, we kept our new discoveries hidden in an effort to keep the peace.
We each played the role of the person the other fell in love with. Instead of growing together, we grew apart. After being with each other for years we knew what made the other tick. We knew what topics not to bring up. Any stumbles in our sex life became magnified because we chose not to address them. We let our desire for a life of comfort outweigh our desire for a life of passion. I didn't realize that the pieces of ourselves we were hiding from each other were ultimately what tore us apart.
Our sex life deteriorated. Our passion was gone. Our communication became surface level.
We broke up. It was a long and drawn out affair but a mutual decision in the end. I helped him pack all of his belongings and then stood at our door and watched him leave my life for what I thought was forever. That day was one of the saddest days of my life. I had hidden parts of myself from Paul so we could stay together. I thought that I would never find someone else I could share so much of my life with. And now he was gone.
Shortly after the break up, we reconnected and for the first time in years we were honest with each other. We sat over coffee and pastries at the bakery down the street from our previous apartment where we had always said we would go and never had. I shared all of the secrets I had kept from him for so long. How I was bitter about how he had treated me during an illness I went through; the desire to have him spend time with my friends and the new life I had created at my job that I never felt I could share with him. After hours of laughter and tears, we both realized that we still loved who the other had become. Feeling like the world had been lifted from our shoulders we walked hand in hand back to the apartment we had previously shared. We had the most incredible sex, better than any we had while together. Truly seeing each other again for the first time.
In the end Paul and I parted ways, but I came away with a newfound discovery of how I want to approach love and relationships. When I first meet someone I am taken by them and open with them. I have nothing to lose and am driven by the excitement of the unknown. That honesty and openness is what I need to continue to share even after my partner and I fall into a routine. I can’t hide who I truly am from my partner because I am afraid of losing them. Who I am when I meet someone will never be who I am again.
Commitment, in whatever form, is the desire to grow with someone and not stand still with them.
I don't want to hold back. I don't want to let the desires of my heart stay inside of me. They are meant to be shared and explored with who I decide to share my life and love with.