Lovers or just friends?

I have had friends through my early twenties who have called me “lover” through texting, side comments, and other means.

I know for certain that I am not in any kind of romantic relationship with these people. It kind of sets wrong with me. Like they are just throwing around different terms, trying to find one to stick to me. One friend who used this term in regular conversation with me was a female friend in high school. She was a little rough around the edges and much more adventurous than I am. Another was a gay man who used to be close friends with me. Yet another was a butch lesbian who befriended me for the sake of being friends with her (now ex-) wife’s friends. And the last is Henry, a 30-year-old straight man who I’ve dated in the past and who has, at times, been a faithful lover if nothing else.

But, I feel that through nicknames and “pet names” we demean each other, and lessen the importance of the person in our lives. If I were truly Henry’s lover, that would be a different story, but I’m not and I have no hope to be. Henry has decided to start dating. Once another person becomes involved, I kindly bow out and leave them to it. It’s happened to a number of men over the years and that’s fine for me. That’s the way I prefer to remain stable in my sanity.

But it also makes me want to run. To wonder what I will do if I were to find someone who is so very dear to me that when they find someone else, I spend weeks crying myself to sleep, thinking of them endlessly and wondering “what-ifs” until dawn.

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