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Love.

It can be such a special and beautiful bond between two people. Uplifting. Inspiring. Life changing, once you find the real thing. It’s like this private little connection that you’re only willing to share, exclusively, with someone else.

But…have you ever doubted the idea that there’s one, and only one, person who you can share your whole heart with? I mean…is it possible to love more than one person at a time. I’m not just taking about temptation or a horny little crush here. I’m talking about a true, heartfelt, connection with another person that is not your husband or boyfriend, wife or girlfriend. Can you love two people at once?

Maybe one guy is super gorgeous, and an extrovert that you have a lot of fun with and who pulls you out of your comfort zone and makes every day a surprise. But maybe there’s another guy who you love to just cuddle up with on the couch, share deep emotional conversations with, and feels like he fits you to a tee in every possible way. It would be awesome if you could somehow combine both personalities into one person…but life doesn’t always work like that, does it? You can’t always have it all.

So the question is…can you love more than one person at the same time? Or is one of those situations just a ‘grass is greener’ type of illusion? And if you can love more than one person…what then? Do you cheat? Do you suppress those feelings for one person or the other? Open relationship? I mean…what do you do?

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“The way I see it…

There’s this idea that showing emotions is a sign of weakness, especially for men. That’s why you hear things like “Boys don’t cry” or “suck it up and take it like a man” or other things like that. Personally I think that’s bullshit, and while I’m not that good at showing emotion, I really do feel them.

I did find that I tend to hold my emotions back when I’m around other people, because it’s not really any of their business, you know? I don’t need anyone butting in when I’m trying to feel something, or having to justify why it makes me feel a certain way because they don’t (“Why are you so sad, it’s just a song”). It’s easier to just hold it all in until I’m alone again.

We need to work more on what’s good for us and stop caring so much what others think.” – Shadow086

“I do cry in emotional situations, but it depends on the circumstances. When I heard that my Aunt Laura (whom I had never actually met in person) had passed away? I felt sorry for my grandmother, my mother, etc, but I personally felt no connection to her. When my son, Max, called me “Daddy” for the first time after the adoption was finalized? I definitely turned into a blubbering mess! Certain movies like Heartstone or Love, Simon, move me for different reasons. I’ve always been someone who wears his heart on his sleeve, and if I ever got choked up watching a movie in a high school classroom, so be it. It’s not healthy or human to bottle everything up inside.” – Page Scrawler

“To be honest…I definitely fight valiantly against shedding tears in front of other people if I can help it. Unfortunately, depending on the circumstances, I’m not very good at it. Hehehe! I grew up in an era where boys didn’t cry. Ever. You could break a leg, cut off a finger, lose your favorite pet in a woodchipper accident…whatever, suck it up! BOYS don’t cry! And I find myself still trying to hold it all in, even when I’m alone. Bad habits, I guess.

But I DO cry sometimes. When I lost some friends to Covid-19, or when some of my family members were sick, I cried. There are times when I’m writing really intense or sad scenes in my stories where I dig deeply enough into my emotions or my past to cry as well. And some songs will hit me a certain way when I’m in a certain frame of mind…and it’ll catch me off guard. Hehehe!

I was watching the “Squid Game” series recently from Netflix…and (no spoilers), there is an episode that totally broke me down! I couldn’t stop crying. Jesus! That was a rough one…it really was. BUT…it’s not, like an apocalyptic or traumatic experience that I could never recover from. I just thought it was a really well written and emotionally engaging episode. Not many shows can affect me like that. I’ve had movies make me sad before, horror movies that have scared or disturbed me before, films that have angered me too. But I cherish the idea of me being moved to feel something. I like it. When I’m writing my stories, I can only hope to have that kind of effect on people. FEEL something! It’s ok. I’m giving you permission. Hehehe! What’s everybody so terrified of?

Anyway, I feel like I’m seeing people work harder and harder to avoid anything that makes them even slightly uncomfortable for most of their lives. And when the time comes when something becomes unavoidable…it’s almost like they’re unable to handle it. They’re not equipped to deal with the situation. And I’d think that would be scarier than the situation itself. I’d much rather take my hard times and heartbreaks in small doses and build up a tolerance than delude myself into thinking that I can avoid all of the bad things, all of the time, everywhere, for the rest of my life…and then have it hit me like a truck anyway.

No thank you. I don’t mind crying over a movie every now and then. And I have this automatic reflex that tries to stop me, especially if anybody else is around to see me tearing up…but so be it. I don’t want to spend my life locking my emotions up in a dungeon for the rest of my days. It’s gotta come out some time, right? :)” – Comicality

“Well I think you know how I’m answering!

I came from a family where it wasn’t the done thing to show emotion that much. (Old fashion values family)

I controlled my emotions (still do) for more reasons.
Firstly although my folks were ok with it the thought of coming out in my family seemed like the worst idea possible.

Also I’ve always had huge trust issues so not allowing anyone “in” with a few exceptions has been something of a safety barrier/shield for me. Unfortunately this with hind sight probably answers why relationships etc don’t last very long.

But there is also one other realization I’ve learned over the years….

I don’t allow myself to feel certain emotions, because I’m not actually strong enough to cope with some of them…

A recent example, there was a very tragic story of a 6 year old boy who died of neglect and shortly before he died had said “No one loves me”….

That hurt for me to hear about and then I kicked myself for not being strong as I should be.” – Dom

“Yes and no….

So I like to watch reactors too. And from my own experience I’ve seen plenty of women and guys getting emotional at certain scenes in a show or movie etc.

There is some sort of right-wing “alpha” bullshit going on at the moment though, on social media where men do sometimes get teased. If someone complains about depression or being bullied, etc, some knobhead like Ben Shapiro will say “here’s an example of the de-masculation of men”, as if men are robots who shouldn’t/don’t have emotions and feelings “fuck your feelings!” (outside of maybe wanting to bone everything female, that seems to be OK).

It’s from the same type of people who also push the concept of rigid stereotypes for males and females. Girls don’t play sports. Boys love sports. Girls play with dolls. Boys never play with dolls. Blah! Blah! Blah! I’ve noticed a lot of anti-trans women who call themselves feminists, side with these assholes, because they both share the same hostility towards trans people, though how they can call themselves feminists, I’ve no idea. How’s it feminist to side with assholes that think you, as a woman, belong in the kitchen, and your sole purpose is to be a pleasing wife, and attentive mother?

Personally, I’m like you, Com, I don’t like to express too much emotion in front of others. It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just the culture I was raised in. The “British stiff upper lip”. Maybe we passed that curse on to you guys, before you revolted 😛

It’s really hard to break out of that life long social habit.

I will talk about my emotional responses with other people though. I’m not passed discussing it with family and friends “Oh I sobbed/got teary eyed when I watched that film/show, read that book.” Etc.

I think my weirdest and most difficult emotion to (express, not feel) is gratitude though.

Like Christmas morning (and birthdays) has always been really uncomfortable for me. Like, it’s not that I don’t feel gratitude I just feel weird, as I am opening up gifts from family members, as everyone watches me opening them up, scrutinizing my facial reaction, etc.

I hate, hate, hate being the centre of attention at any time, even in front of people I know and love the most, but it’s particularly awkward at Christmas.

How do you react when your parents have splashed out hundreds of pounds / dollars on something you’ve really wanted? Saying “thanks!” to every present, one after the other, just feels so not enough and disingenuous after the fourth or fifth time.

I don’t know, just a weird quirk I have, I guess. Lol.” – Mike

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If you guys ever want to add your two cents to any one of the ‘Q & A’ sessions for future issues of Imagine Magazine, we’d LOVE to hear your input and your personal stories on the forum! Feel free to attach your screen name, or do so anonymously! Drop by “The Shack Out Back” forum on the 1st of every month for a brand new topic of conversation! We look forward to hearing more from you! 🙂

 

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