I wonder how many couples have Elton’s “Your Song” as “their song”.

Finally won my first Tell Me Something Good last night. I told my tale of a foray into the dark world of adult based roulette chat and the ramifications of anonymous trust. Buy me a drink sometime and I might just let you in on it. I’ll just say it involves finding an angle, difficulty in maintaining posterity and some perfectly timed trolling. I’m glad my lack of dignity brought joy to someone at least. I’d walked away many times without getting the gold. It felt goood.

I was having a weird thought today about relationships, permanence and non-sexy navel gazing. Have I already given the best of myself to previous partners? I’m not saying I’m a worse person than I was, clearly I’ve sprouted in numerous ways. That considered, there are many qualities that I see myself lacking in that I used to exhibit. I think fondly of that wide-eyed early twentysomething, relentlessly looking forwards to everywhere the relationship would lead. Now I fight my ingrained assumption that things won’t work out. Instead of gazing towards the horizon, any sign of turbulence seems reason to jump ship. Every bump is another notch in a tally counting down to a crash. It takes effort to stave it off, to feel optimistic, to assume happiness is the norm rather than the exception. I can see the irony of course, the leaden weight of negative assumptions pulling the relationship off course naturally. I’m not saying I’m an eternal pessimist, but that I actively have to put effort into seeing the silver linings in looming dark clouds.

I miss the excitement of first times, of being blown away by my first flit of tongues intertwined. I miss the newfound sight and feel of a consensual naked breast. Someone coaxing me into her warm, wetness and shuddering with anticipation. I miss when this world of passion was a revelation and I found it hard to think of anything else.

Is there an enthusiasm I gave to partners that’s been tempered by experience, by heartbreak and loss? Was I a better person when I couldn’t see the steps play out clearly? When each ascension was a landmark, a jump, a new peak? Is there something I’ve lost by throwing logic into the mix rather than following pure passion?

As I write, the absurdity of this notion rises. I’ve lost the innocence, but gained perspective. Wisdom and experience have made me capable of giving to my partners the things that really help. The excitement hasn’t gone, it’s shifted and manifests differently. I might not hit that peak, but my appreciation and respect for each landmark goes deeper than it ever did. Having been with further partners, I’ve learned how to channel what we’re both looking for, understand what the relationship needs and put the energy into those areas. It’s foolish to think that I’ve become a powder keg waiting to be knocked. I’ve just gained the insight of knowing where roads lead and the ability to steer clear of those ditches. I know when to stop and what to tolerate. It’s hard to see that as an issue.

I think that the word love these days means more to me than it did. I understand what it means and say it with intent. It’s deliberate rather than reactive. It has body and weight, coming from a place of knowledge rather than hope. It’s easy to glorify blurred echoes of the past, but harder to seek the dark outlines that really defined them. Am I forgetting the times I said things because I knew they’d hurt? Stringing someone along because the alternative was being alone? Dating an ideal, ignoring the flesh beneath? I was no monster, but monsters aren’t the only ones who can act less than human.

Let’s say this. I’m thankful for who I was, because it allowed me to be who I am. I’m thankful for making mistakes, because they showed me how to avoid them. I’m thankful for being wide eyed, because it helped me to focus on the things that matter. I’m thankful that I still have so much to learn, because it gives me more to be thankful for in retrospect.


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