We like to think we have it all figured out when it comes to love and intimacy. But the truth is that there is no absolute truth. In fact, if we’re solely relying on what society tells us, we’re definitely headed in the wrong direction. Kurush, a mid-twentysomething from Queens, pushes us to see things in a new light: love as a life-affirming quality that must be rooted in ourselves and intimacy as the ultimate freedom.
Love is society’s unicorn—the mythical being that you heard about and that’s been described in so much detail, yet too perfectly to be real or attainable. It is portrayed as this overcoming of circumstances to preserve togetherness between two people.
It doesn’t even seem like the people have to gel perfectly or not, it’s more about latching onto togetherness with glittery and sparkly pixie dust thrown in the mix. It’s magical by design, as if it is supposed to seem unreal, which makes love seem impractical. And if you keep looking for that perfect, magical love, you’ll miss out on it altogether.
Society can make this magical form of love look and feel more like an addiction, as opposed to it being nurturing. We see people or characters hurting themselves in the name of love, or constantly belittling and demeaning themselves to make the “love” they are in last longer. But I see it differently.
To me, love is a quality you bring to your actions, and it could be directed to anyone or anything. You could love your dog or house, or fall in love with a person and continually love them. It’s a life-affirming quality. Love should be rooted in yourself. You should love yourself, so that it pours out onto other people.
Love is society’s unicorn—the mythical being that you heard about and that’s been described in so much detail, but yet too perfectly to be real or attainable.
I love love. It’s been a hilly road, but the road itself has been smooth. It’s been a long drive filled with periods of darkness and periods of high visibility. It’s been varied but never uncomfortable or life-threatening, although it has gone down some roads that looked dangerous.
For example, during a recent breakup, I kept finding myself being drawn to women like the person I used to date. And that’s what I mean by it being dangerous because you can fall in love (and become addicted) with the idea of a person.
I was beating myself up, wondering how I could let her go. There were moments where I felt like I was dying when I thought about not being able to be with her. But I had to figure out if I was losing myself in the fantasy of being in love, or if that’s actually how things were when I was with her.
In that moment, there are things that you would never talk about or hear from another person that become easier to say, do, and hear…That’s intimacy.
When it comes to intimacy,I believe it has so many levels. In a platonic relationship, it is the kind of openness that allows you to share yourself without having to second-guess whether or not what you say will affect the relationship you hold with a person. This also carries over into a romantic relationship, but it expands to include the freedom to show yourself in your most naked form (literally and emotionally) while also being able to connect with a person sexually.
Two examples of this come to mind. One is when I was talking to this girl a few years ago, and she was very stiff and controlled when it came to certain things outside of the bedroom. But after we would have sex, we would have these long, open conversations about her fears and what she was trying to do. We’d talk about the things she wanted to overcome: her struggles, fears, joys and dreams. That’s intimacy.
The other example is of another woman I used to know. We never really talked or connected. We were both intelligent, and the prospect of talking romantically existed, but we struggled when it came to having a real conversation. But after we’d have sex, things were different: there was an openness to the silence, and the silence was speech enough.
It goes back to that freedom to show yourself in your most naked form (literally and emotionally). After you open your mind, it’s easier to open your body, and then after doing that, it is even easier to go deeper into a dopamine-filled bliss. In that moment, there are things that you would never talk about with another person that become easier to say, do, and hear.