Why is it that we always try to put our best foot forward at the start of any relationship? Logically, it’s a ploy that’s doomed to failure. Imagine the disappointment of finding that your knight in shining armor is nothing more than a frog…warts and all. Perhaps we are hoping that, by the time the warts become visible, we’ll be loved so much that they won’t matter. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Some warts are easier to ignore than others.

I’m guilty of it myself. I’ll say that I like things I don’t so we can appear to have things in common. I’ll agree just so the fragile peace can be kept. I’ll hide my faults so I know that you like me. At least I used to…but not any more. Now I believe that the good comes with the bad, and if you truly care for someone you’ll give them the chance to know what they’re getting into.

Do you want to know what it means to love me?

I will not become who you want me to be. Instead, I will strive to remain who I am and hope that our love is strong.

I adore women, and they adore me, although not always romantically. I will not forsake my friendships with them to soothe your insecurities. Instead, I will pray that you learn to trust me and understand that my heart, and my body, belong to you.

I will not give up those quiet moments when I need to retreat from the world and all in it. Instead, I will show you what it means to hold each other in silence.

I will not give up on my dreams, no matter how fanciful. Instead, I will take you along with me as I realize them.

I will not accept the crumbs that are given to me. Instead, I will demand what I know I deserve of love.

I will not love you alone, for there are so many different types of love. Instead, I will seek to assure you that you are the only one who can call themselves my lover…my partner.

I will not cry in front of you…not at first. Instead, with time you will realize how fragile I am and something as simple as a song can bring me to tears.

I will not accept being taken for granted. Instead, I will make myself so much a part of your life that you cannot imagine your heart beating to any other sound than my breath.

I will not ever take you for granted. Instead I will show you every day with my words, with my eyes, with my hands, with my body, that you are everything to me.