"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything."
In the aftermath of one of my crying fits last year, Aaron asked me, "What is it that you want?"
I paused, before answering with a question, "Why?"
"So I can see if I can give that to you."
It's not as romantic as it looks in type. Aaron was exasperated with my sadness, and he didn't want to be the reason that I was hurt. So he was not asking me as a means to possibly giving me all I wanted, but to see if he was able to give me those things at all.
And I was careful with my response because I didn't want to know what would happen if he realized that he couldn't give me what I wanted.
So I didn't tell him the secret longings of my heart because I didn't want to lose him. I didn't want to NOT have him in my life. In my accommodating approach, I told him I just wanted to love him and for him to accept my love. This was a half-truth because I wanted to be loved back.
And I didn't want to love just to experience the notion of loving. Like all selfish sentient beings, I wanted to be loved back. Pathetically, I wanted more than to be loved back to, I wanted to be desired, I wanted to be that one person out of the billions in our world, and the hundreds he encountered daily in Manhattan, that he chose. The one that he wanted to stick it out with and build a life with.
At the time, I believed I demanded too much, and didn't want to lose him. So I held those desires close to my heart. And opted for saying "the right thing," as Aaron loves to call the majority of my thoughtful responses. "Don't say the right thing," he'd follow-up after a question, "Say what you feel."
Now, I've come to terms with wanting those things, with wanting to be among the chosen people, to be that one special woman held up in this one man's eyes as the prize, the one that he felt lucky enough to have captured and to have kept, to have called his own.
I want to be that girl (in this case Jessica Alba) who Ashton Kutcher proposes to in Valentine's Day: "My father said to me if you're ever with a woman who's too good for you, marry her."
I see myself, in my own narcissistic narrative, as that girl.
Recently, I've found myself editing the stories I tell regarding Aaron in fear that my thoughts and longings and desires and expectations will not meet up with his—and above all I don't want my retelling of my life on MusingsOnLove to affect the reality that I relay on this site.
I also think that my withholding has a lot to do with our gray-area relations because unlike most love stories, at least the ones we've come to understand onscreen, this one does not have a clear, determined path. Instead, it's a loop, a mix, a cocktail of conflicting, confusing, contradictory emotions and facts that can't always be properly explained in words—because most times they're just felt, between him and I.
But here are the facts as I've come to understand them: Since the New Year, we've been very present in one another's lives. We talk about the future as something that exists, as something that is impending, but not as something that we'll necessarily be sharing together.
For example, I mentioned that I might be moving to Los Angeles one day, as I have dreams of working as a screenwriter in Hollywood. His reply, "Yes, I think I'll be there as well." Another one: I reflected on this little boy I recently met and how he made me think about how I'll be one of those parents with high standards, the kind that won't constantly praise, as A's are expected. "Yeah I see that," he said. "You'll definitely need someone like me to balance that out."
Despite our connection and our love, Aaron still struggles with being tied down. He struggles with the comfort and stability that a relationship brings, and debates whether it'll affect his work as an actor, ultimately diminishing and dampening his drive.
But he's also a thinking, feeling man, the kind who's working towards, dreaming of something big and knows that when he achieves it, if he doesn't have that person at his side, it diminishes his accomplishment. Yet he still doesn't want to be in a relationship, and because of this he has no claims on me.
We know that a platonic bond will never be sealed between us without distance and time. But we want nothing more than to be apart of the other's life. When we're together, there's no place we'd rather be, but we both know those days and nights spent in bed are of a temporary bliss. Life, with its circumstances and obligations, always awaits.
That's the truth.
While I'm honest enough to recognize that the things of my heart's desire do not align with what he's willing to give me, I don't know the "right thing to say." The answer to those problems I have yet to discover--and in the mean time, I'll continue giving him everything, as Katharine Hepburn advises, because that's all I know how to do.
"I know this is not right," Aaron once wrote to me in an email, "but my only saving grace is it true."