I think people over complicate things. Especially relationships.
It’s 3 am and I’m on the phone with D telling him about Aric.
D: Have you told him about us?
Me: Of course.
D: I want to meet him.
And so the next morning at 9:30 we all meet for coffee. Everything about this should be awkward. Except it’s not. There is teasing, and laughter, and love. There is vulnerability – and truth. The kind of truth – the kind of “adulting” – I’ve only ever found in Boulder. A place where dating is complicated. So complicated in fact, that my bestie gave this talk all about dating within The Bubble.
“Social circles aren’t circles per se, they are more like interlocking incestuous webs.” Rebecca CloseBoulder is a small place. The chances of running into someone you dated – someone you once loved – someone you hooked up with – is pretty much guaranteed. And when you’re slightly eccentric like me, you might even still eat at the restaurant owned by the man you once loved…cause you love him still…cause you’re convinced that while love can change form – it never dies.
Leaving our “should-have-been-awkward-but-wasn’t” coffee date, Aric turned to me and said…“I’m torn now. I’m not sure who I like more…D or Jake. Can they both be my spirit animals?”
I think in that moment I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. He wasn’t threatened by my past. He understood love in the same way as me. And like me, he spoke with kindness, respect, and genuine adoration for the people from his own past. Even those in the not-so-distant past. Even those with whom things are still complicated. Or at least, society tells us those relationships should be complicated. Relationships where the hurt is still raw. Where trust is difficult. Where promises have been broken…where cross words have been spoken…where we act out in ways outside our character. And yet, his words remain kind and fair. He might judge his own behavior harshly, but to the other parties he has remained loving and respectful.
“Attachment is a very human condition. Meaningful relationships become so because they are intricately interwoven.”Steve DaviesFor this reason, and a million more, I love him. I love him for sharing hard truths with me – for trusting me not to judge him. For never judging me. For meeting me where I am – broken and lost – and loving me anyway. For reassuring me a thousand times a day – and helping me to make friends with my own insecurities.
We only have control over ourselves and our own thoughts and behaviors. And yet, we often try to manage our relationships with others through manipulation and brute force. We create unnecessary power struggles. This dynamic is not sustainable. Especially not in Boulder.
Let’s stop overcomplicating our relationships. Let’s learn to let go…to surrender to outcomes. To feel all the things – even the things that are painful and uncomfortable. Let’s “lean into the sharp points” – and learn to sit with the inevitable disappointments of life and love. In the words of my darling W, “Let’s channel Love and not fear”.
And where we love. Let our love be FIERCE.
“THERE ARE THREE CLASSES OF PEOPLE: THOSE WHO SEE, THOSE WHO SEE WHEN THEY ARE SHOWN, THOSE WHO DO NOT SEE.”Leonardo Da Vinci