On those lonely nights—the nights when the emptiness of my room was simply too much to bear, you were there. Well, not physically. In fact, you were somewhere else entirely, but in my dreams, in my imagination you were there. I would squeeze my eyes tightly shut, burrow up against my pillows and imagine it was you. I would dream that beautiful words were being whispered in my ear, that my lover was holding me close and with tender fingers stroking me to sleep against his chest.
I dreamed on countless nights that the fantasy was real: that we were married, in love, creating a family and a life. I would shut out the reality of loneliness, the reality that you were not, and might never be, mine. I would imagine my way into a world that did not exist, and then I would simply fall off to sleep in the idea of your arms and dream about you. When I woke, I’d imagine you getting out of bed with me in the morning, perhaps after making leisurely love to each other, and I’d picture your face in the mirror, brushing your teeth, or I’d put on my make-up with the image of you taking your morning shower. It was in those moments that I thought of all the mundane things that comprise love. The moments that don’t mean anything individually, but when you add them together, they become a life built together, intertwining, revolving around and throughout each other’s existence.
When I look at you, I see a man who has been through the wringer, but is stronger than it all. I see a man who provides well, and happily, for his family. I see a man who chooses his commitments carefully and honors them with not only his words, but his actions. I see a man who has struggled through things that he did not choose, and has come out on the other side of his struggles victoriously. I see a man who has earned the right to a happy life and a loving family. I see a man who has earned, in every way—through honor, battle, passion, and decision—my respect, adoration, and loyalty. I see a man. Not a boy or a guy or any other derivation of a masculine term… a MAN.
I dream now of a life I can share, and I never spent much time thinking about that, before you opened my eyes and my heart. I’ve been alone so long. I’ve had to be strong, be the decision-maker, be the authority, the bill-payer, the one who ultimately had to answer for the hours in my day. My successes and my struggles went equally un-shared, and I had not dwelt on that fact, because I didn’t know how to become unselfish enough to desire a life shared with another. I spend a lot of time thinking about it, now. I think about what it would be like to have my strengths and the strengths of another working together. I think of the moments of joy over something that’s gone right, and the arms into which I could rush when things didn’t go the way I’d choose. I think of the abilities that I have, and I dream of having those things recognized in an equitable relationship. I dream of the qualities that I admire and how I would show my appreciation for all that my man is. I dream of the physical relationship, but what I long for now, that I could never acknowledge—even to myself—is an intimacy that must be earned. I long for an intimacy that sees the faults, but overlooks them in favor of the good bits. Someone once said that love has eyes, but it also has eyelids. I long for the day when I can devote myself to that man who is able to share that relationship with me, because if he trusts me enough to be intimate with me on those levels, then I can completely submit to his desires and needs with total abandon, willingness and a desire of my own.
It was you who opened my heart to a something I’ve always desired. It was you who showed me that it was possible to have the great romance of which I dreamed… and it was in those lonely nights that I longed for the arms of a man, the one who had crept in so quietly and stolen my fascination. That man was you—the man of my dreams.