I want to live in a society where men and women can be great friends and no one assumes they’re in love. This of course comes from the way that I love. I get deeply attached to people and that is so often misunderstood. So often, people assume that I like whatever male friend I’m hanging out with or gushing about. And maybe that’s the problem– that I do gush over some of my guy friends. When I do that, it’s hard for others to believe that I genuinely don’t like them in the “I want to date you and marry you and live happily ever after” way.
One part of me understands that. I can see why the way I talk about or show care or attach myself to some of my male friends could be misconstrued as a romantic affection.
But the other part of me just gets so frustrated. Most of the time, the frustration is aimed at people who don’t believe me, no matter how many times I tell them. But today, the frustration is toward me. I’m not mad at myself or anything, but it’s just frustrating. Because I know people are confused because I honest to goodness cannot describe how I am feeling. I can’t put into words the difference between being in love with someone and loving them deeply but feeling no romantic attraction. And it’s hard for me to describe how deeply I care for these friends because I know it will be misunderstood.
For example, I had breakfast with one of these friends today. He talked almost the entire time so I was privileged to just listen and watch him as he spoke. I was able to sit and stare back into his blue eyes with pupils that, quite honestly, are much larger than what I’ve seen on anyone else. It’s like he’s in a black room and his eyes are searching desperately for light. I was able to observe the way his brow pulls together sometimes when he’s confused or didn’t quite hear me, the crease in his forehead slightly off center. I sat fighting a smile from forming because I was thrilled to be sitting across from him and to be listening to the way his voice rose and fell gently as he explained his new job to me. The way he automatically took the check and the smile on his face as I convinced him to let me pay. His short burst of a laugh. The fullness in my chest at the happiness and contentment of being near him again…
And now you think I’m in love with him.
And I understand that! But you have to just take my word for it.
It’s just… my heart doesn’t quite beat on it’s own. Instead, it hears and replicates the patterns of the beating hearts around me. It seeks to create a beautiful harmony that our ears are simply not privileged to hear. And I can feel the pull– the grip– of other hearts on mine. Ah, I wish I could describe the feeling! But truly, there are no words. And while there is no romance, there is a love much deeper than can be expressed.
So, I understand the confusion. But again, take me at my word. Everyone else might be confused but, for once, I am not. My Lord calls us to love each other- he didn’t say only love those you’re attracted to. Never did he say to only cherish your crush. No. He said love your neighbor.
Plus, let’s be honest: If I liked someone, I wouldn’t be gushing about them. I mean, come on! I’m not that forward!