“You have been my comrade, my fellow artist, my best friend. But you’ve never been my husband.” ~ Frida
I spent nights trying to figure out what went wrong.
I speculated for years whether or not you were the right person for me. I was constantly overthinking our relationship. That was the first red flag that you were all wrong for me.
I burnt bridges and rebuilt them. I destroyed myself and rose up again. I wanted nothing more than to know why it didn’t work out. The one and only thing I concluded is, you were my lover—a great one, in fact—but you weren’t my partner.
There is a vast difference between finding a lover and a partner. And those who find two in one are truly fortunate.
You were a lover because you took the bizarre, the adoration and the worship in stride. You nailed the delivery of exquisite words meant only for me and gave a new meaning to physical pleasure. Your arms sheltered me in such a nurturing way—so did your concern for my being and your overly protective character.
But if I were to strip you from your kindness and affectionate words, I would be faced with someone who I don’t recognize. If I were to empty you of your magnificent sexual powers, I wouldn’t be able to discern you.
You were my lover because I lived in constant fear. I would need years to count the fears that surfaced within me when I was with you. I was continuously terrified of something going wrong. Terrified of losing you—although you reassured me that I wouldn’t. This fear had me clinging to you, wrapping my tenacious grip around you even stronger.
You were my lover because I desired you, got attached to you, and made you my universe. You should have been an unbiased planet or more likely, a planet orbiting me. However, turning you into a whole galaxy left me a mere dead star in your space.
You could make me both happy and unhappy. You inflicted so many mixed emotions within me that I lost track of what is bitter and what is sweet.
We looked at each other but we looked in different directions. And this is exactly the thing that made you a lover. Our paths were not only different, but they didn’t even meet at a single point.
Our story could have been made into an exciting movie about bittersweet love. However, it would have deeply failed if it were to represent a story about a partnership.
I had my share of lovers. Now, I’m ready for a partner—the partner you couldn’t be.
I want a partner who doesn’t push me to think twice whether he is right or wrong for me. I want a partner whose actions will speak louder than words; a partner who won’t leave me guessing, or terrified, who won’t leave me overthinking and analyzing.
By all means, I do wish to find a lover. Nonetheless, if I were to strip him of his romantic qualities, I would still want to see a partner in him. A partner who’s willing to look toward the same direction as me and understand why I’m taking this particular path. I’m no longer opting for a lover questioning why I’m holding a certain sign. I want a partner who will hold that sign with me and make one of his own that I can hold, too.
I want a partner I can communicate with and talk through my concerns, fears, doubts without being judged or misunderstood. I want words to flow between us like a river that will never dry.
True partners make us rise above selfishness and desires, and this is what I want to experience.
I want to experience choice and freedom. I want to experience the experience of love itself and not the thought of it. I don’t want an image of someone—I want someone who I can blindly trust.
I want readiness, not confusion. Lovers are always confused. On the other hand, partners are always ready because they know nothing is a hindrance that will get in the way of spending the rest of their lives together.
I only found a lover in you. However, if there is one thing I am glad for, it is that you have shown me the partner I want to be with.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Image: Everton Vila/Unsplash
Editor: Caitlin Oriel