Love and self

When you love someone, do you lose your self?

I think that is the tricky bit about love. When you fall for someone else, do you fall or do you hold on to yourself? Where is that boundary?

I am in a flirtation. I am very interested in a person. I am interested in what he says and what he is interested in. I am learning quite a bit about some topics that really, have not been on my radar. I also often disagree quite strongly in the realm of politics. And I don’t really care that our politics are just about opposite ends of the spectrum.

I am interested in where we meet and where we don’t meet. Where we agree and where we very strongly disagree and privately think that the other person needs their head examined. I am not falling too far into the “really this person thinks like I do, they just won’t admit it” trap. Well, perhaps I am. Perhaps that is what love is: when we project part of our self and the ideal part of ourself on to the other person. They reflect and occupy some part of our ideal. That does not mean that they ARE our ideal or that they ARE the projection.

In this particular flirtation, he does not seem interested in much of what I am interested in. Well, particularly poetry. Occasionally this bothers me but mostly I shake it off. I am hoping that I have reached the age and level of cynicism where I do not expect the other person to like everything I like, to agree with what I say, to have the same ideals or ideas. I am watching myself and wondering how much of what I like in him is him and how much is my projection. Don’t know yet. The mind is a peculiar place. So is the heart.

But …. I am feeling much happier about holding on to myself at the same time as I fall and crush. I look at what he likes and wants but I also hold what I like and want. I am trying to give them equal weight, the needs and wants and desires of the two people present.

Hold and fall, at the same time.

The picture is of an etching by my mother, Helen Burling Ottaway.

Shake it off.

Also published on everything2.com

2 thoughts on “Love and self

  1. susurrus says:

    Lovely etching and some interesting ideas. I think it takes time to settle into love – to test each other’s ideas and find out how far they’re flexible and how far fixed. I’ve often wished my partner shared more of my musical tastes but I’ve never expected anyone to read the same poetry or prose as I do. This isn’t logical as my music is more obscure than my reading, but I suppose music is easier to share.

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