i love hard and long and deep from the first moment i begin loving someone. my love lasts until the very end, which might be endless, since we don’t know what happens to love after the body dies, after the sun explodes, after the aliens/ zombies/vampires colonize, vaporize, kill, or turn us. one aspect of loving hard is that i show up for people who need me. if someone i love says to me “i want ____” my natural immediate response is “i want to give you ____” and then proceed to do it, buy it, give it. love has become tied to need in my experience. being loved is confused with being needed. i thought i understood the interdependency of healthy intimate relationships. i went to therapy throughout my 20’s to distinguish between healthy interdependency and unhealthy codependency, but the distinctions have become more subtle and ticklish in the past few years. i’ve been avoiding people that i love because they need me and i need to be loved without being needed and i don’t know if that is healthy or possible within these interdependent intimate relationships.
i’m honest about my not-knowing much, but i pretend not to know what i want and need, because the wants and needs conflict with each other. for example, i need to be alone but i want to spend more time with the people i love. another example, i need to communicate more fully, but i want to protect my privacy and the privacy of those that i love. 95% of the time, i choose what i want over what i need which eventually and consistently results in physical illness.
there are people i love that i’ve avoided for months (some i’ve avoided for years). they continue to love me and i continue to love them from afar. i don’t know if they need me or not. i don’t need them. i’m careful to avoid needing anything from most people. there are a few people in this world that i trust, and i pile all my needs that i can’t self-fulfill on them. they pile theirs on me. i want to engage in healthy interdependency with them. it is three dozen other people i love that concern me, that claim to love me and probably do, but their needs seem stronger than their love. although i want to give them everything they want and need, i need to be alone. i need to be loved without being needed, i need to be loved because of who i am and not because of what i can do for them.
for now, for a long while now, i avoid most people i love because i’m not healthy enough or strong enough to explain what i want and need in those relationships. i keep waiting and expecting for those people to drift away from me and wander off. most don’t. that means something, but i’m not sure what.