The last failed lover I had never really asked me any questions about who I was at my core. I asked a lot of questions about him. I studied him. I made a lot of observations, took notes and in a way I consumed him. You see, I really wanted to truly get to know him, so I’d know how to love him – at his core. That’s how I was taught how to love – deeply & completely. Perhaps I’m a f’ing weirdo because love in this day and age seems very surface, perilous, horrible and superficial. Anyway, I wanted to love him by learning his story.
I believe that everyone’s story is important. It is the road map to who they are in the present, in the now and in your arms.
I told him intimate and critical pieces about my life because it explained my brokenness at present. Honestly, he wasn’t intrigued. He didn’t seem to care about “who I was” or my experience. Surely, at best he tolerated the banter in exchange for “other things”. That’s terribly cordial of him and exceedingly stupid for me to think that a man could love me without wanting to know my story.
And perhaps, at that time… love was defined as two different things because we are two different people.
At present and really all throughout my romantically dysfunctional life, I assert that when someone truly wants to love you and get to know you — they want to know your story, they want to hear your story, your story however gruesome, boring, exciting… your story will matter to them and to y’all’s future together. If a person is not asking what scares you? what makes you happy? how do you feel about your life? your parenting? what’s your ambition? … if they aren’t asking those questions willingly without prompts — f’ing RUN. Be alone until you find someone who is genuinely interested in you.
Perhaps I am spoiled. My Dad used to always tell me I was more unique and talented than he ever imagined. He made me proud to be quirky, smart, confrontational, cerebral and by all accounts proud of my beautiful Blackness. He taught me that my thoughts, my feelings… they mattered.
My Dad always wanted to know “my why” and he said that a guy that is truly interested in me will always want to know my “why” …. too!
A story, a part, a history, a failure, a triumph – they all shape who we are and perhaps who we aim to be.
So as I look back, when I told my lover in passing “I don’t think a man has ever truly loved me…” and he scoffed and said “I’m sure they did, you just didn’t notice…” – it prompted my retort “… no one has ever cared, thought about or even dared ask me about MY STORY…”
And now at 45yrs of age, I doubt if anyone ever will and I’m at the point, I’m no longer interested in sharing my story or myself – and it is in that place of peace, I find that I’m very okay with that.