What turned me into this? Why push Lauren away? Why deny my feelings?

For the past five years, I have found myself in one challenging relationship after another, not knowing what I was getting into. I won’t go into it all, but the most extreme example: my last relationship ended with me frantically stopping an ex, the mother of a boy I still adore, from killing herself after our breakup. Of course, they weren’t always so dramatic, often good, but there are many more stories where that came from. Hidden monsters everywhere. And I was deeply in love every time. That only seemed to make things worse.

Strong, silent type with soft center, deeply afraid of intimacy, needs the love of a good woman to free him from his tortured past. Oldest cliché in the book, right? But this isn’t a book and life isn’t about clichés. Should I take a chance with Lauren or not?

Each of those previous relationships did have important traits that I wanted in my life. Traits I still look back fondly on. And how do all of those traits together apply to Lauren? Supportive? Check. Hot sex? I get all I can handle from her. Smart? Beautiful? Warm? Non-judgmental? Inspirational? All checks. Laughs at my dumb jokes? Oh yeah. Not to mention down-to-earth, stable, creative, and more. You’re right, Lola, she is the total package. If I can’t open my heart to Lauren, to whom could I ever open it?

What Lauren hadn’t expressed to me was that she was on a journey of sexual exploration as much as a romantic one. I was surprised to find that out in the manner that I did, but I’m definitely okay with it. Both where she’s been and where our next steps lie together. Just the two of us.

We see each other as often as possible now. All of the sweet things I wanted to say but held back flow freely. We talk openly and at length about our thoughts and feelings and concerns. We work well together. And we still can’t keep our hands off of each other. I don’t know how long this will last, neither of us does (we’ve talked about it), but it’s good to be happy and together. Very good.

As I write this, I can hear Lauren’s voice floating out of the bathroom, singing along to 90’s music as she takes a hot bath at my place. I have to smile. I still haven’t told her that I love her yet, though obviously she’ll be reading this. After the drama of the past week, it just doesn’t feel right. Like it would be the worst form of apology. But I will. Someday soon, I will.