Don’t say goodbye at all. Keep the relationship going and going and going, until there’s nothing left and you’re in two completely different places. You’re sitting next to each other on the couch but you might as well be in Somalia and them in Delaware. The emotional distance is actually terrifying. Now you know that you can understand someone so completely and then not at all. Just like that. And even though it’s terrible, none of you have the guts to cut it off so you just act out the love; you dig deep inside of yourself to access a time when it felt real and you try to bring it to the surface. It’s really quite dreadful and pathetic. Sometimes, the most painful goodbyes are the ones that never get said.
Thank you for arguing with me. You taught me the correct way to disagree, as well as the incorrect way. You pushed me to my breaking point, so now I know to never go there again.
Thank you for second-guessing every romantic gesture I made. You believing them to be nothing more than measly attempts at covering up dark secrets, only solidified their necessity. You taught me that I am more than capable of being romantic. To an almost pathetic,The Notebook, “you had me at hello” degree.
Thank you for sharing with me. Blasted music from busted speakers. Feuding teams with unwavering fans. Faithful friends and a perfect family. You taught me that I can share the intricate facets of my life, with someone else. And that when those shared moments last longer than our relationship, it is okay to sit in them and remember you.
Thank you for boring evenings on the couch. While I complained to no end about multiple nights in — with nothing more than a six pack, a remote control, and reruns of The Office — I realized my affection for the simplistic. You taught me that I am more than capable of putting down the Jack Daniels bottle, and picking up a cook book.
Thank you for the loss of affection. You taught me that missing compliments, absent touches, and separate sides of the bed do, in fact, affect me. I have learned that I need physical reassurance and verbal affirmation from time to time. I have also learned that such a need, is okay.
Thank you for loving me. There were moments when, without a doubt, you made me the happiest I have ever been. There were times when a stolen glance. An inside joke. A tender kiss. And a shared song, with you, sent me into a world of butterfly kisses. You taught me that I am capable of being unapologetically happy, and that I can be that happy again.
Thank you for facing a tough decision with me. You taught me that I can survive the worst imaginable situation. That I can survive it with you. And, eventually, that I can survive it without you. I have learned that I cannot change the decisions I have made, but I can learn to live with them.
Thank you for leaving me. I may have been a drunken mess. An easy-target for any one-night-stand-seeking gentleman. An embodiment of bad decisions and piss-poor life choices. But I was me. Every dark. Twisted. Ugly facet of me. And in breaking me down, you taught me how to build myself back up.
Thank you for reconnecting. The ability to see palpable changes. Realistic transformations. And lingering habits, solidified the necessity of certain actions. You taught me that it is okay to turn around, and look back at what was. Just not for too long.
Thank you for ignored phone calls. You exiting stage-right from my life, was the most humane action of our entire relationship. I hated you for it, but you were the stronger of us. You saved me from myself. And you taught me that I could live in a world where you no longer existed, and flourish.
Thank you for impacting me.
Thank you for changing me.
And, finally, thank you for helping create a me who is loved. By someone else.
by Nico Lang
When you kiss someone, kiss them with both hands, kiss them like you are holding on tight and won’t let go. Lean in for the kiss like you are both in a musical and the score is swirling around you — as if your dress or her dress or both of your dresses will be blown up by the wind at any moment. Pretend you are like people who are holding each other after a long war is over and peace has been declared and you are being photographed in black and white. Kiss them like it’s going to be hung on someone’s wall someday, as a reminder of what love can be like.
When you kiss someone, don’t church kiss them, unless it’s the kind of kissing you do when you sneak into the confessional booth after hours. Give every part of your mouth to the kiss, but try not to eat their face because you want to have some of their face left to kiss later. Do not swallow their tongue because you’ll need it to let them explore the parts of your mouth that most kisses miss. Put your hands on their neck or use your hands to caress their hair (without them feeling like they are being strangled), like their body is being pulled into the kiss, and they just might fall inside of your face. Kiss them like every neuron inside of you is firing at the same time, every cell inside of you has suddenly sprung to attention and every part of you is consenting to this moment.
When you kiss someone, check your breath, check your heart and check to make sure you come back up for air. Move your lips together, slowly and passionately, like you are a moving sensually over a violin, but then don’t be afraid to kiss them more forcefully — and even bite a little, as long as it doesn’t turn into bloopers from 50 Shades of Grey. Don’t just kiss their mouth: put your lips on their ears, their face, their cheeks and a bunch of places that your mother never told you you were allowed to kiss people. Tell them how much they deserve to be kissed and that you wish you had the ability to kiss them every second of the day, in every place they need to be loved, in all the places no one has ever kissed them. Kiss them like you are just kissing them for the first time, and if you are kissing them for the first time, don’t forget how much that first moment means to you and remember it so you can tell stories about it later.
When you kiss someone, put your arms around them and hold them tightly, especially if you are to re-create that scene from Spider-Man, because in real life, you would probably fall down and die. Pretend you are kissing in the rain, the snow, the sleet, the hail, the tornado or are in a Shakira video and kissing under a waterfall on a remote tropical island. Embrace them like you aren’t too tired to kiss them or to remember how much people need even the smallest touch sometimes, those tiny reminders of human connection that we live for.
Forget that your mouths are both filled with booze or coffee or that you have a million other things on your mind. Kiss them like this is the moment you’ve been waiting for all night or waiting for all of your life.
When you kiss someone, close your eyes tightly and give yourself to the moment, but don’t be afraid to open them for just a second to look at the person you are kissing and think how lucky you are. Think about how wonderful it is just to be kissed and to linger in someone’s embrace without needing to pull away and how grateful you are to know that feeling of not needing to be anywhere else in the world. Touch them like you aren’t taking even the smallest token of affection for granted and like it might be the last time they ever kiss you. Make believe that you are going away to prison tomorrow or act like you are in a doomed romance and they are being married off to the Sultan of Brunei or the Butcher Lazar Wolf. Kiss them like that doesn’t matter. Kiss them like rest of the world doesn’t matter. Kiss them like you mean it.
I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.
I love you only because it’s you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.
Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.
In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.