the love of four men in one weekend

I exaggerate of course. It wasn’t really a weekend — it was about a 48-hour period starting on a Saturday afternoon. But during this time, four men told me they loved me.

Wolf made small gestures, such as making gourmet sandwiches (complete with little love notes) for my first flight. And then there was the grand gesture first made many months ago (and subsequently reaffirmed more than once) when he agreed to amend the terms of our relationship to allow for one specific exception to our monogamy, without which the trip likely wouldn’t have happened. When he dropped me off at the airport (sending me into the care of another man) and said he loved me, I knew in the marrow of my bones ­— as I have for years ­— that it was absolutely true.

The purpose of the trip was to spend time with Gawan. After serendipitously meeting online, I was surprised to find myself falling for a man I’d never met. I’ve termed that emotion “love” for over a year now. When he picked me up at the airport on the far side of the world and said he loved me, I felt completely secure in his love, though it still feels fresh. This was only our second time meeting – our “second date”, if you will.

I took the opportunity to visit two friends en route, one of whom (Lucas) is the only ex who I still consider to be a real friend. We don’t keep in touch as much as we should (he’s a self-described recluse and workaholic, and I haven’t been reaching out) but we’ve vowed to do better. I’ve been thinking about him more since I started blogging because he was the person who first told me about BDSM. During our brief visit, I raised the topic and was pleased to find that he’s still interested in it. Why pleased? It means that I still know him, it’s an interest we broadly share, and I now have a trusted friend I can talk to about it. When he dropped me off at airport #2 and said he loved me (there’s something about airports, or at least infrequent goodbyes and hellos), it was no shock — I’m one of his oldest friends — but the word “love” is new. This is the love of a deep friendship built on the pillars of years.

The fourth man is Mr. Pleasant Surprises, whom I’ve known a little longer than I’ve known Wolf but we’ve been in touch only very sporadically over the years. It wasn’t until we visited in May that I got any hint of how much he cared for me — the delighted smiles, the warm hugs, the arm flung around my neck as we walked together. I invited myself to crash at his place. This time he shared things with me that I hadn’t known and I came to understand that I’m one of the few people he trusts, and that he has an even bigger love and touch deficit than I do. He’s a self-described loner, so I was even more surprised that he invited me in emotionally. We talked for a few hours, and at one point we just stood and held each other. We looked into each other’s eyes, seeing fondness, acceptance and caring, both of us drinking it up, and he kissed me. And told me that he loved me.

In reference to Mr. PS, Gawan playfully decreed “no more boyfriends”, not that that’s where I see this heading. But PS has made it abundantly clear that he values this relationship; I’ve never had a lot of friends myself and I can’t recall any friend ever expressing their appreciation for me so intensely. I want people in my life who want me in their lives. I’ve heard of that notion, of course, but hadn’t personally experienced it until recently. It seems I still have things to learn about healthy relationships.

With four declarations of love in the space of a weekend (give or take), I feel loved. Even lovable, which is… unfamiliar.

This is right. This is good. I was in need of more love in my life and somehow I’ve stumbled upon quite a lot of it.

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