I was watching this video, with Conor and Brittany, about telling your friends when you’re attracted to them.
(These guys are some of my favorites when it comes to talking about all kinds of intimacy and authentic relationships, but they are polyamorous and bi so just have that in mind when you watch them.)
Anyway, Conor was discussing his recent experience of telling a friend he was attracted to him. He said this sharing wasn’t even about how his friend responded, it was about Conor sharing what was true and in his heart. He didn’t want to be in a friendship space and be inauthentic.
And Conor said also that it was so wonderful for him to be able to come home and tell Brittany about his experience, to know he could share openly with her.
But her response is what has stuck in my head for the past few days.
She said that every time he shares what he’s been keeping hidden, it gives her more to love.
I’m nearly ashamed to say I’ve never considered that perspective. I keep thinking that if I share more of myself, people will accept it, tolerate it maybe, not hate it, not judge it.
It never occurred to me that people could be actively looking for ways to love me deeper.
It never occurred to me that I could look for more parts of myself to love.
I’m pretty committed to maintaining the status quo in terms of what people might expect from me. It was difficult to come out as an eating psychology coach to people who knew me in my finance days. It was scary to admit I wanted to leave my gym and pursue graduate school.
When I reveal something new, it always feels like the ammunition someone might need to leave me. Like, surely they’ve just been putting up with me this whole time and this will be the motivation they need to finally leave.
But perhaps that’s not true.
I’ve based entire friendships on one discovery. I met a girl who salsa danced at a networking meeting, and that night I was going out with her. It ended up being one of the best friendships I had in Pittsburgh.
I’ve reconnected with old acquaintances based on one social media post.
I’ve had people cry in front of me the first day they met me.
And always it’s just more for me to love.
People always ask what I’d do if I knew I was going to die at the end of the year, and I become a walking fuck you at the thought. Don’t try to shame-inspire me into a more exhilarating life.
I actually told my coach that when he asked me the question. So he turned it around:
There are girls contemplating suicide every day because of their painful body image and self-hate. If you knew a girl was going to commit suicide tomorrow, what would you write?
This is my answer: give me more to love.
And I don’t mean show me something wonderful and impressive that you think I’ll admire and love.
I mean, show me something true and real. Reveal to me something you’re unsure about, something you’re thinking, something you’re afraid of. Tell me the truth.
Let me rise to the occasion and love you.