Love + Sex Love Life Stories

Have you ever felt unrequited love?

Usually when I think of unrequited love, I think of something great. Some sort of grand story full of catharsis. Unrequited is generally special.

A type of love that demands to be talked about for an eternity. Something electric, with compulsive wavelengths. Something like the movies that comes with its own playlist attached to it.

Something with late and long nights spent together in a damp minivan twinkling and spitting out dreams on a whim. Something with vicious fights fueled by our own desire. Something that makes my soul open up just as swiftly as it gets torn apart. And, somehow I wind up bursting at the seams yet feel completely unsatisfied. I always want more. 

Why do we long for the type of love that hurts so much it imprints our hearts? It is difficult to locate the line that separates struggle and triumph, as nearly every love story in popular media blurs the two. But unrequited love is so unbelievably magnificent and sad at the same time that it becomes all encompassing.

Unrequited love is an entire body, overwhelming, feeling. I have broken hearts before and I have had my heart broken, so I can tell you that the feeling never fades, one way or the other. It feels as if you are running fast, and for a long time, yet making no distance at all.

One time I waited two months for a guy to message me back before I realized that he just wasn’t going to. Ever. Again. And that entire time I couldn’t help but wonder why I cared so much. What we had wasn’t at all special, but I still was left longing for a distraction from the heartbreak. I was showered by his passivity instead of his kisses and I wanted him to know how much his absence hurt me, but he was so equally careless and carefree that none of it mattered.

Not even for a second. 

I felt unrequited love again while in a long-distance relationship. This kind of unrequited was different. It wasn’t one-sided. Instead, we felt tremendously for each other. It’s just that our bodies weren’t able to be physically together for some time. We were only long distance for the few months that I would be studying abroad, but it felt like an eternity. I remember being there and using all of my senses to try to gauge what his touch felt like.

Somedays I would wake up and watch the sun from my window, silently knowing that that same sun wouldn’t bounce to him for another six hours, and I would recall how that same sun looked dancing across his back at dawn. I’d lay in bed at night and want to tell him about my day, but I knew that I couldn’t. I was constantly reminded that he no longer took up the space in between my arms when we slept. But I was, and still am, fascinated by the immediate consumption of these moments. I am so grateful to have given him my heart. He still has it. 

The extent of passion is practically boundless. We should feel like we can fly on a whim, or scream and dance, when we are in love. Unrequited love just forces you to confront that intensity, those struggles and triumphs, head on. Some of it is beautiful; some not so much. I like to remind myself that love doesn’t need a reason, love just is. 

Unrequited love is messy, but worth it. It is a collection of fleeting moments. It teaches us that all love should be leaking, dripping, through every difficulty yet also a thread that is continuously weaving through and connecting our bodies and our souls. The whole point of longing is to continue, because there will always be potential to love someone rather than to have loved someone. They can’t be the one that got away if they weren’t the one in the first place.

Love Life Stories

That time of the month is more complicated for me than you know

Presented in partnership with  Lunapads.

No one likes periods, but I particularly hate periods, because there is no crueler reminder that my body is that of a woman, one that pains me to reconcile with my mind.

It breaks and weakens me.

I become painfully self-conscious. Suddenly, questions fill my mind, realities my body betrays me with.

I’m transgender and gender-fluid, but my body is not – is my identity legitimate?

The way I experience gender feels invalidated by the physical reality of my body. Questions about the conflict between my gender and my biological sex bother me all the time, but periods don’t make things easier.

[bctt tweet=” I’m transgender and gender-fluid, but my body is not – is my identity legitimate?” username=”wearethetempest”]

My period works like clockwork. I take a pill every day, one that limits my period so that it comes every three months. There is an inevitability to it before I can change my body permanently, it is a reality I have to face.

Yet, still, it comes and disrupts.

The first few days are shadowed by exhaustion and loss of motivation. There are some mood swings. The world feels like it’s falling between my feet, every interaction with other people become a new source of anxiety.

Do they see my weakness? Do they see my fragility?

I feel like glass, and I tread on my duties and obligations lightly. We all work like clockwork day to day, but there are no resolutions in periods. I can’t bear cold foods and drinks, as they bring harsh stomachaches afterward.

I treat my periods the same way I treat my body – with oblivion. I don’t want to see the shape of my body, my below-average height, my narrow shoulders. It’s never easy, but to accept is to break down. Before I can go alter my body to the state I’m comfortable with, this is my only way of moving forward. I wear clothes that don’t show my form, preferring to shop in men’s sections online to avoid the discomfort of real stores. Wearing baggy clothes, shopping in the men’s sections – online – because I don’t want to feel the discomfort of real stores.

[bctt tweet=”When my period comes, my body becomes harder to ignore. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

I heard about the boxer briefs from Lunapads first from a friend. When I finally decided to order a pair online, I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised when the mail came, and I opened the packaging and indeed, there it was, simply a pair of boxer briefs. The fleece insert was black, the same color as the briefs – and barely noticeable.

Property of Lunapads

There’s a reason why that’s so important.

When my period comes, my body becomes harder to ignore. My oblivion becomes stubborn denial. I can’t ignore the red patches on my sheets, the stickiness between my legs. I just can’t. Periods need to be dealt with – one can’t just be oblivious. You have to clean up, be aware of your actions, be careful – there are just so many things you can’t do. You can’t even love properly – no sex, no masturbation.

I’ve always felt that periods were some sort of punishment from God, made to weaken those with female bodies. It shouldn’t be a “female experience,” why should such pain and suffering be a female experience? Why does having a female body inevitably relate to suffering and weakness? This fact angers me and I hate it because it causes me to hate my body even more than before.

In these moments, Lunapads boxer briefs offer me a bit of solace. They offer me solace because they allow me to be a bit more oblivious to my body.  I no longer need to change my pads, and no longer need to change into smaller, less comfortable underwear, just for my period. I can keep on wearing boxers, keep on being oblivious. I can almost be oblivious about my symptoms, the “can’t do’s.”

[bctt tweet=”In these moments, @lunapads boxer briefs offer me a bit of solace.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Oblivion has always just been a series of illusions that we sustain to keep our sanity in place. Everyone is oblivious to something, and everyone has their own illusions. Without this, no one would be able to say “this is who I am,” because as people we are all too complicated to be boxed by rational labels and reasonable narratives.

Property of Lunapads

So yes, I’m happy with my oblivion, and the little bit of extra oblivion that Lunapads boxers give me.

I finally feel free.