It feels good to be known.

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Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Recently, I reached out to a man back home whom I have always loved. And he responded. Because he has always loved me, too. We have texted some in the six years I moved to Austin, Texas from Fort Worth, but this was only the second encounter during what feels like a lifetime, and also feels like yesterday.

I took one look at his now long dreadlocks, his soulful brown eyes, and his still sexy body, and I was a goner. He says he took one look at my lips and wanted to dive in. We found the bed and fell onto it, holding one another and kissing. We got back up and took off our clothes. My extra 20 pounds meant absolutely nothing to him. (Take note ladies. Men do not care). In fact, he luxuriated in my voluptuousness. I wrapped my legs around his much thinner body, and held on tight.

Photo by Romina Farias on Unsplash
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Selfie by author

There were no barriers between us. Physically we practically melted into one another. He loved me with his tongue and hands, stroking all of my body with both. Mentally and emotionally we felt attuned. There was no awkwardness, even during the second go round, when I was sore inside, and he lost his erection for fear of hurting me. Not that we are only gentle in bed. We broke a bed once.

In the past, there were times we didn’t make it to the bedroom, making love on the hallway floor because we couldn’t wait. The sex has always been hot. But it has also always been loving. And that is the difference between us and the short relationships I’ve experienced in the last few years. Partners who haven’t taken the time to really know me are disappointing in the long run.

So much of feeling loved is feeling truly seen and known.

After seventeen years of off and on, we now know most of each other’s good and not so good traits, as well as we know each other’s favorite positions, and can easily slide from one to another. It wasn’t always this way. Once, after I had told him I could no longer see him if we weren’t monogamous, he moved in with a woman who convinced him she “needed” him. I had never taken that approach with him because I never want to be perceived as needy, and I’m not. But it was a form of not telling him all the truth. I appeared to be fairly well off financially, even though every month was a struggle to provide for me, my son, and his friend from New Orleans I took in after Katarina. There were three months I thought I might lose the house. But I didn’t share any of that with him, lest I not appear strong and independent. Turns out he was okay with a woman who needed him. I should have told him.

To his everlasting credit, he claims that 99% of our issues and the reasons we didn’t wind up together were caused by him. I can’t argue, but I do know there were times I was too proud. And we were never able to fully resolve our different ideas of polyamory and how best to conduct it if we actually did it.

Meanwhile, we have loved one another through weight gains and losses, different hair styles, our children growing up, and his rescuing me from an unhealthy relationship. He helped me move some of my Mother’s furniture after she died, from her house to mine, three hours both ways. We have commiserated about and celebrated our children’s failures and successes. He has fixed so many things in my house that were overwhelming for me, and that I couldn’t afford to hire someone for. During all of that and more, we understood one another, had long discussions about life, feeling, beliefs and politics. Oddly enough, we never really fought, even when I told him it was too painful to keep seeing him without a commitment, and when he returned to me briefly after his foray with the other woman.

This isn’t a “happily ever after.” So far we have managed four months of a long distance relationship. He has deep ties and commitments in our home town. He has children and grandchildren, a father, mother, and an uncle he keeps watch over. I have my clients and the practice I have built here, and my son lives here. Four months isn’t a very long time, especially after six years apart.

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Photo by Leighann Renee on Unsplash

Still, making love with him feels like coming home. It feels like being welcomed and embraced. It feels like connection. And it’s hot as hell.

He speaks his adoration of me as we lay in each other’s arms after. I tell him what I love about him. We share bittersweet memories and a little teariness on my part for the time we have missed. I tell him I love him. He tells me he loves me. He tells me I exude womanliness. He reminds me of who I am.

Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist. Leans Left. Mindfulness practioner before it was cool. M.Ed., LPC.

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