Sometimes I fantasize about winning an Oscar and in my acceptance speech I always thank "the women who have loved me". I name a lifetime long list of teachers, friends, strangers, coworkers, etc. When I awake both refreshed and inspired, I always think about my relationships with women and how they drastically differ from my relationships with men.
My relationships with women have been pure and honest. Women have offered me emotional shelter and support even when I never asked for it. My relationships with men (friendships and otherwise) have been confusing, draining, and sometimes one-sided. I don't think I am a hard person to date or to love (I want to make a joke here about how lovable my grandma says I am but I'll do that later or maybe on Twitter) but I think there is something larger that stands in our way.
Once I had a conversation where my best friend was updating me with her tales of dating savagery when I said "how could you treat him like that? You would never treat me that way..." First we laughed together, then I told her to seriously rethink how she treats the men in her life. And since then, I have done the same. In the 6 years since that conversation, my relationships have transformed.
Six years ago, I was looking for my prince, someone who knew what I wanted before I did, someone who could peer into my soul and see my desires, someone who loved me on sight, someone who was perfect. This notion is crazy.
How dare I want something so unfair to my partner? How dare I expect to be treated like a person, beautifully complicated, flaws and all when I refused to treat my partner the same way? How dare I drink the Disney kool-aid?
We often hold our lovers to a much higher standard than we could hold our friends. We forget that a lover is just a friend that regularly touches you inappropriately. We see a light in our love that is so bright that we forget that a human is the source of the light. Yes, love has many depths, but it starts with friendship.
So drink with me during the day and hold me at night. Send me memes in the morning and love letters in the afternoon. Laugh with me and look at me with like I am the holder of the brightest stars. I am your bro and your lady.
Anyway, I haven't figured it all out yet but I can say that we'd all get a little closer if we treat our lovers like friends.