Men and Love

I see a man walking across the parking lot. He is of normal height, and he doesn’t stand out to me as anyone “special.” He’s holding his girlfriend’s hand and laughing. They get to the car, and he pulls her to him in an embrace, still smiling, he kisses her forehead, opens the door, and helps her into the car.

I distinctly remember this happening. I was probably in my early 20s? Maybe mid-20s. It’s not the car or the man, and I didn’t even notice the woman, but what makes this scene something I remember is what I thought about as I walked away from it.

“Do men REALLY fall in love? Is that something that really happens, or is it all fake, a facade? Are they capable of love?” In my head, the answer was, “No. I don’t think so.”

That same scenario played out more than once. I remember a man holding his children, and I walked away thinking the same thing. “Are men really capable of love?”

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Messed up, right? I’m not even sure where I want to go with this post, really. I remember even thinking the same thing after I met the man who would become my husband. Wondering if the feelings I was having were really reciprocated? Even questioning my own feelings (though I think that was more a sense of worry that I was getting married because my clock was ticking, and deep down, I knew I was ignoring red flags.)

I love love. I love to be in love. I love to express my love. I don’t even need the people around me to tell me they love me back or feel the same way. Loving people makes me happy. Being in love makes me happy. Being loved makes me especially happy.  But for a long time, I was skeptical that men really felt this emotion. Were they just performing what they knew the rituals should be?

I googled “Do men really”… and “fall in love” came up in the auto search. So I guess I am not the only person who has wondered about this. The consensus is, and there is enough science to back it up, that yes, Virginia- Men Do Fall In Love. YAY!

One of the research studies worthy of mention is the article published by The Journal of Social Psychology titled: Women and Men in Love- Who Really Feels It and Says It First?

This article presents a survey report from 172 college students, revealing that more men fell in love and expressed their feelings than women.

But those studies don’t make it easier to overcome childhood messaging, past relationship trauma, or other things that might make you worry or disbelieve the truth that someone does love you. I eventually realized that men could and DO fall in love. They care deeply, the love well, they can take care of their families, be tender, plan lives together and mean it. All of those things are real.

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I think it took being loved, maybe for the first time, by the man I eventually married and divorced. My ex-husband was the first man I think I was ever truly in love with, at least as an adult. Despite our relationship not working out and ending up toxic and abusive, I believe he loved me, especially initially. He showed me how much fun being in love could be. We truly liked each other, which I hold dear now, and I find it extremely important to really LIKE the man I am with. I believe that helped our love be even stronger. Even in the few weeks between me deciding to leave and being able to, we did things together and enjoyed each other’s company more than you would think two people about to separate would.

As much as I love love, I am also slow to “fall in love.” When I do, it’s not about ‘falling’ for me. It is almost always a conscious decision. I know I am going to let go and do this thing. I’m going to trust that I’m safe, and he will hold space for me and care for my heart too.  It doesn’t happen often.

Sounds funny since I am a polyamorous woman who currently has three local partners (well, two, as of today, but I can’t think about that right now.) I adore all of them. My adoration of them has different ways of manifesting for each of them. I love them to death. I am only “in love” with one of them. I am only building a long-term plan for life together with him. I have a feeling I could make that decision for one of the others, but that is a long way off, and I don’t like to think that way early in a relationship, so the relationship has time to develop on its own.

I am a romantic. I am a lover. I really do love love. But I am also careful of who and how I love. Maybe it’s because I felt as though men couldn’t love women for so long, so falling in love with one wouldn’t make sense if they couldn’t love me back.

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Here are a few other posts you might find interesting from this blog:

Love in the Shape of Polyamory

Love is Worth the Risk

I Fall in Love, Just a Little ol’ Little Bit

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5 Replies to “Men and Love”

  1. Love and being in love is a wonderful thing. I’ve always found it hard to tell if men are in love with me, whether they express it verbally or not. Right now, I know I’m loved, not because he says it a lot, he doesn’t. But because of his actions, including the way he pulls me into his arms and kisses me for no apparent reason. I’m glad things are going well for you too.

    1. I’m glad you can tell that you have it now! I am in a new relationship, and even just trying to figure out where it’s going (does it need to GO anywhere though? LOL) or if he likes me or LIKES me can be soo hard!

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