Love On The Brain: Eros vs. Pragma


Last week we discussed the ethics of love magick, and knowing what you will and will not do when doing a love working. So we now know what kinds of love magick you are comfortable doing. But what will the goal of your magickal workings be?

Who are you wanting to attract and what kind of relationship do you want?

What is Love?

Knowing what you want in romantic relationships can be difficult. I feel like there is a definite set of narratives handed down to us from many different sources–what our culture says we should want, what our friends think we should want, what our parent(s) say we should want. It’s sometimes hard to hear your own inner voice through the den.

I also feel as though we collectively concentrate more on passionate relationship than healthy ones.

So, understandably, it can be hard to suss out what are your genuine wants and needs, and what are the things you’ve absorbed without thinking about it.

Baby, Don’t Hurt Me…

It’s funny how things work out. I planned all my blog posts for 2017 in November 2016–assigning each month a topic and sketching out rough outlines for each post. I figured love/love magick would be a great topic for February because Valentine’s Day is a thing, and didn’t think much of it beyond that.

Then, December 2016 and January 2017 roll around and I’m suddenly consumed with thoughts of my own romantic past–which of course forces me to think about my romantic future.

I had already begun thinking about boundaries and my need for them due to other (platonic) interpersonal relationships in my life, and what was going on within those. And then I had a dream about my first love–someone I was friends with, who also didn’t treat me the best. From my personal diary:

January 16, 2017

Dreamt last night that [name redacted] proposed to me. I’m pretty sure I said yes in the dream. When I woke up, I check up on him on Facebook for the first time in 4 years. He’s been engaged to some chick since April 2015

This makes me the last person from my class to still be single. If someone had told me when I was 16 that I would be feeling a type of way about this fact, I’d’ve laughed in their face. And yet here I am, at age 26, feeling…I’m honestly not sure. I’m not angry. I’m not sad. I’m not disappointed. I know it is better to be single than to be in a bad relationship, or to settle. So I’m not exactly in any rush to go out and find just anyone.

For years (throughout my teens and early twenties), I had convinced myself that romantic relationships were for suckers. Love was for the feeble-minded. As you can probably guess, I was one of those insufferable people who thought pessimism automatically equaled depth and intelligence. So I obviously thought love was a waste of time.

But I’m a human and we all want love (of different kinds), so I obviously had crushes. Name Redacted up there was the first and biggest crush I had after we moved to KY. That was a…’relationship’ of sorts with very few clear boundaries. I won’t get into too much of that here because a) it’s not solely mine to tell, b) from what I could glean from reading his FB profile, he seems to have changed for the better (he was only 13-16 while this was all going on), and c)…a lot of what happened was embarrassing. From my diary:

And then there are those like [name redacted], who didn’t want a ‘real’ relationship with me–those I gave my whole heart to, real and raw and bloody. I threw myself wholeheartedly into these relationships in embarrassingly earnest ways. Baking birthday cakes and bringing them to school. Writing whole composition books full of poetry for them and actually GIVING THEM THE BOOKS. Giving good and honest relationship advice to them when they were going after other girls, like this wasn’t crushing to me.

And now with hindsight, I can see that it was in these relationships where I wore my heart on my sleeve, because I knew there was no chance for a real, committed relationship with these people. I thought, in ‘real’ relationships, you either end up together forever, or it ends.

And if you’re fully 100%, wholeheartedly invested in a ‘real’ relationship and it ends? That’s fucking painful. But there’s no chance for that if the relationship was never ‘real’ to begin with. Yeah–that didn’t really work.

A lot of the fuckery I faced in these relationships stemmed from the fact that I never had any clear boundaries in place. As a matter of fact, I was never really taught to have boundaries. Especially when it came to love. Growing up in a hillbilly household, you’re taught that you only have family and close loved ones to rely on. And they rely on you. So if anything was happening with someone you loved, the thing to do was drop whatever it is that’s going on with you personally, and help that loved one in need.

Which is really wonderful in theory. But in practice, it can easily lend itself to getting walked all over, putting your own needs on the back burner indefinitely, and sometimes even losing all sense of self.

On my past, ‘real’ relationships:

Part of me feels as though the work I’ve been doing on my boundaries will be helpful in a basic way. The other part of me knows that there will be things I am overlooking and won’t know are issues for me until they come up in that relationship. This thought makes me nauseous, and I know that stems from me wanting to have my shit together as much as possible before I jump into my next relationship.

I know from looking back over my past relationships that this more than likely stems from me treating romantic relationships more like a business transaction. Which is…I guess good in some ways, but doesn’t actually seem all that great. It kind of works to keep myself from getting too hurt, which on one hand is great. But on the other hand, it also keeps me from getting too invested in my committed relationships.


The Past & The Future Merge to Meet Us Here

What I’m finding is, I really want a passionate relationship. I want to feel butterflies and not immediately smash them down. I want to just feel the emotions as they happen, and not keep them close to my chest and play that shit like a poker hand. I scares me, because I’ve seen plenty of women in my life get either hurt or taken advantage of when throwing themselves into love.

But goddamn it, I don’t want to start another relationship by planning for the end of it. I want to just go through it and see it to the end–whatever that may be.

How do you remain honest in love without being a fool? How do you love unconditionally without being taken advantage of? Am I just being cautious, or am I pants-shittingly terrified?

Either way, I know that whenever my depression is really bad, I go to sleep longing just to be held and yet I know this will not cure me. That is one myth I will not allow myself to be pulled into–love does not fix everything.

This makes me wonder, of course, just what I want from a romantic relationship. I do not now, nor have I ever, believed that your partner should “complete” you. So I don’t want that. Nor do I think you should expect your partner to be everything to you. These are two big myths I think get perpetuated by our culture, and I find them to be highly detrimental.

I try to strip away all these cultural expectations from my ideas of what I want from a potential boyfriend/husband and I mostly get lost trying to find my way through it. I think I want a best friend with whom I’m sexually compatible. Someone I can really grow with. I don’t want either of us to be stagnant.

Above all, I want to feel safe. I want to feel safe physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. No judgements. No expectations beyond that of basic respect. I want someone I can be proud of, who is also proud of me.

I get the feeling at least some of this will feel familiar to most of you. I am not the only one who has ever felt like this. These things can, obviously, be hard to work through/out. And I am clearly still working on it myself.

So for those of you, like me, who are trying to navigate these emotions, I’ve got yet another workbook for you.




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