A Reminder That I’ve Had Lovers

Woman in bikini lying on her stomach in the shallow water
Jakob Owens / Unsplash

I’ve had lovers.

There is this idea held by many from the place I come from that you should be married young. I’ve only had a few years of adult life under my belt but it is strange to these people why I am not married, let alone still single. I’m not saying they are wrong. I’m not saying I am right. I believe we should do what feels best for our hearts. And I write this out of understanding and opening for those who just don’t know yet;

Because the thing is, I’ve had lovers. My lack of matrimony isn’t to say I haven’t had my fair share of love.

I’ve had lovers sail me on ships at sunset, sleep alongside me on the deck and wake my sleep-filled eyes with kisses during the sunrise as we drift out at sea.

I’ve had lovers buy me plane tickets to other islands. I’ve had them offer to fly me to far off lands. To meet them, or accompany them. To experience life- together.

I’ve had lovers sing off-key while they cook me dinner. I’ve had others sing on-key while I cook dinner for them.

I’ve had lovers cup my cheeks and plant kisses on my lips while we stand in waterfalls with mud caked around our ankles after long talks about life and hearts and the way humans tend to function. I’ve watched the way their eyes laugh when we slip and almost fall.

I’ve had lovers send me their novels in the mail. Hardcover- with a doctorate title in front of their name.

Or postcards from foreign lands.

I’ve had lovers take me free diving with several dozen sharks while the sun begins to peak over the ocean and buy me carrot cake for breakfast after.

I’ve had lovers encourage my passions, gifting me slacklines and dive knifes or supplies to paint with, and coconuts.

I’ve had lovers rub my feet while we sit on their balcony with a view of the city, and then feed each other ice cream at 2am after lovemaking.

I’ve had lovers spell my name in red bell pepper, perform melodramatic cooking shows that keep me doubled over in laughter.

I’ve had lovers kiss my ear lobes over white wine, and make love to me on their lanai at sunset, overlooking the Maui ocean.

I’ve had lovers teach me to salsa dance. Cup my cheeks and tuck the hair behind my ear. Keep me giggly every chance they get.

I’ve had lovers who smile hard, laugh long, fiercely pursue their passions… and love big.

I’ve had lovers.

Men who tour the world sharing music.

I’ve kissed the lips whose lyrics are known all over the globe.

Men who don’t work; but travel around the world climbing the most beautifully rogue rock and mountains you’ve never known.

Highliners too. Men who balance on fabric thinner than my resolve, over canyons with floors thousands of feet below. I’ve mounted them in tents in the middle of New Zealand winter- to keep from frostbite of course. Practical.

I’ve met lovers on planes when I am luckily seated next to the man with the arms and the face and all the right words that I’ll never buy, but it’s fun. I like fun. I can be the winner of any game you like. Too clever sometimes. And by the end of the flight, I’ll know his lips better than my own.

I’ve held men who are rangers in forests most people only read about in children’s books.

Even when they don’t realize it. I’ve felt their love. I don’t speak in tongues; I speak in hearts.

The thing is none of these experiences are mutually exclusive to one person. I’ve had variations of these moments with multiple men. I’m not a spinstress. I’m not a drifter. -I’m an experiencer. I let go when it’s right. I hold on when it’s hard. I gracefully allow what is not meant for me to leave. I’m an experiencer. And, I do not settle out of fear to die alone.

If it is how I am meant to die, then it is how I will go. I am not worried about what I cannot control.

Just because I’ve loved, does not mean I have lost. I think a lot of people hold on out of fear. Many times you have love for someone only to realize it might just be platonic instead. Just the other day, at the farmers market, a man I briefly dated two years ago ran to give me a hug, lifting me off my feet. He bought me the papayas I was looking over. Asked how I was doing and meant it. That is love. But, it is a different kind. I have loved many, yes- but I have only gained in doing so.

There is so much love to be had. So much experience to be shared. If there is any advice my young lover heart could give; don’t settle. You will not die alone. Loneliness will pass, it will not kill you. It will teach you. About who you are and what you want and mostly what you deserve. Complacency was never a life worth writing an epic about. And that’s what I want- an epic.

I am young, but I’ve had lovers. I have no need to marry. I do have a need, a duty, to experience. If I want to know this world over, I think I should love her people first.

My experience with love is rich and beautiful. My experience with people is valuable and lasting. I am grateful for the hearts I’ve experienced, and the hearts I will experience in the future. Because that is it- It’s all experience. And I have no need to settle.

This one is for all the people who have been taught to sign it off. One person. For the rest of forever.

Sometimes, that is what is right for you and your heart and your soul. And sometimes- it simply is not. It is not our place to judge or determine. Not for matter of settling down. And not for matter of experiencing hearts. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

Sponsored by Homecoming available now on Amazon Prime Video

The People Bringing You Delicious Dairy

A new Thought Catalog series exploring our connection to each other, our food, and where it comes from.

Meet Marc Forgione