I know that missing someone can be stronger than loving them. I look around every day and see my peers in the throws of visceral love. The only type of love I’ve ever felt is for red velvet donuts. They’re smitten and proclaim their love to their Facebook News Feeds constantly. I wonder how they have so much of themselves to give to someone else, when I can barely figure who I am outside the scope of someone else. Sometimes I wish that I could love as fiercely as they can.
The type of love I can fully give you is one that will be muted at times. Instead of vivid reds and oranges, the colors we have come to associate with passionate yearning, I’ll be able to love you only in pale pastels. You’ll be able to see it’s there, but it won’t be bold. I’ll retreat into myself, and I know at times you’ll blame yourself. Know that it is never your fault.
I can offer you a slow love. One that builds over months while our peers excel before us and find each other exchanging keys and “I love you’s” long before I let you spend the night.
I can offer the type of love on a Sunday morning where we wake up late and I drag you to a coffee shop by a lake, just so we can watch the ducks glide across the water. I’ll buy us a newspaper and warm hot chocolates. I’ll let you read the comics first.
I can offer you evenings on the couch of being big spoon, and nights of being the little spoon. I can offer you the all the tender kisses I can muster and mediocre blowjobs when I’m tired and it’s getting late but you’re still in the mood.
I can offer you reassuring hand squeezes when you meet my parents, and a night of take-out and cuddling once you’re finished with the huge exam you’ve been worried about. I can offer you days where you’ll doubt my sentiments, and I hope you always remember that it’s only due to my own doubts.
There will be days where my heart seems to be full and I’ll constantly remind you that you’re the greatest thing that’s happened to me. Just know on the days when my heart seems empty and my eyes wander away from our conversations over wine and couch cuddling, my sentiments will always stay the same. Just because I doubt myself and have allowed myself to indulge in day terrors of potential failure doesn’t mean I’ll love you any less. In fact, I’ll love you more because you anchor me in reality.
I can offer you days where we will fight and I’ll be mean and even cruel. But I can also offer you the guarantee that I’ll always put aside my pride and apologize in the end.
I know you may wake up one day and want more, and if that day comes I hope I’m the person who is able to give you that. You may decide one day to break away, and to find the type of love that will be as vivid and strong as you are. If that’s the day we eventually face, you will see the true scope of just how much I can feel for you. Because for a man like me, missing someone can be stronger than loving them.
—Buy Shawn Binder's book Everything Is Embarrassing.