No obligations.

When I said I loved you it didn’t come with any expectation. It came freely and without any burdens. It surprised me too when I said it for the first time. I remember I had just come back from a family vacation out of state and you had come to visit me the same night I came home. I was so excited to see you and couldn’t wait to wrap my arms around you. You were kissing me goodbye in the doorway and as you pulled away to leave I suddenly said “I love you” and kissed you one more time. You looked me in my eyes, kissed me again, and said “Write to me. Express yourself anyway you need to.” Then you smiled and turned to go. I didn’t know I was going to say those words out loud. I hadn’t rehearsed. I hadn’t said them aloud to anyone. I said them in my own head time and time again, but I never let those words out of my mouth.

I was so surprised and, in fact, I was reeling at what you would think about those three words. I immediately started texting you to explain myself. I remember the first thing I was sure to express was that my love for you comes without any expectations. I just love you. Pure and simple. It doesn’t seem so commonplace to express or receive that kind of love yet it’s the truest emotion I can share. But I can imagine it could be peculiar to hear. Anyway, I continued to write and just poured out my heart to you. While you didn’t return the three little words explicitly, you were so sweet and kind in your responses. You were warm and heartfelt and embraced the utterance. You didn’t freak out or shy away from me. You didn’t distance yourself by running for the hills…in fact, we drew closer together. In my head though I knew I couldn’t say those words all the time. I knew, and still know, that society has fucked up the meaning of those words and how heavy they can be instead of liberating. Therefore, I found different ways to express my love. I would say things like “Well, you know why I’m so good to you…something along the lines of I like you but a whole whole lot more than that!” I got creative and while I got creative at telling you I loved you, I learned to love deeper than I have loved anyone before.

Some people may tell me that I should’ve told you more clearly how I felt about you. Others might say that it was foolish to fall in love with someone who was unavailable to me. Others even yet might say a million other things that don’t change a thing about how I love you. So here it is… I loved you freely because I never want my love for another person to affect their behavior. I want THEIR love for ME to affect how they treat me. My love for someone else shouldn’t persuade them to behave differently. I want you to choose me because you love me, not because you feel like you owe it to me for any reason. I can safely say that all decisions about how I chose to act in our relationship were influenced by my own emotions and not someone else’s, nor yours. I don’t want someone to love me because they feel obligated to. At the end of the day what kind of love is that anyway? It’s not real at all. Just because I love you doesn’t mean you owe me anything.

I must be honest though, I do wonder if you knew how deeply I loved you if it would affect the outcome of our situation. However, I balance my wonder with contentment that I loved, and still love you, freely. I do fear that the depth of my love would be a burden to you if you knew of it. But this idea is a strange concept. The stars in the universe are as beautiful and wondrous as anything yet they do not question their magnificence or think themselves a burden. They also don’t require recognition or praise. They just simply are. Therefore, why would I think my love for someone, given as purely as any gift, could be a burden? Maybe it’s humility or maybe it’s self-deprecating, I’m not sure… I do know that it’s something I am pensive about though.

In this moment, and in the many that will follow, I will not regret learning how to love someone so freely. I will never forget the lessons I have learned in the course of our relationship. You have given me so many gifts. So many. I will never be able to thank God enough for all that you have brought to my life. I am forever and ever changed.

Freely and humbly yours,

The Repressed Peach

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