surrogate love. when inside your soul, within the hours of your life, you are providing a partner like space for another. and that other responds to you like a partner. sometimes. when it’s just the two of you on the phone, its as though you never broke up. when it’s only y’all in the house, she treats you like her man. but neither of you are actually trying to do this. so you keep this relationship type thing surrounding you like a shield, a forcefield reminding you constantly that real love doesn’t exist. and meanwhile, that real love may be finding it hard to penetrate into your world. real love stymied. effective self-sabotage.
under the law a couple is only officially divorced when they are both physically and emotionally separated. that is, first you separate your stuff, split the property (if you’re in a community property state like cali or ny), and then you begin to cut away at the emotional ties. which is harder. way harder. in fact, the reason why people get so caught up in the division of property is because that’s their surrogate for all the emotional entanglement that feels unfathomable in terms of extraction. on the flip side, a lot of us stay entangled emotionally with folks without actually committing, surrendering to the deep sea dive of love.
an informal poll amongst the homies tells me that surrogate love is alive and well. one dope brother has two women he can’t stop thinking about. both are gorgeous, talented, and totally unavailable, that is, they both are in relationships that they aren’t passionate about, but they also ain’t tryna leave. he feels like both they man. but in reality, he’s single, surrounded by dope women who are actually available. but he’s not open to these women. because that would mean entertaining the possibility that he may truly fall in love. with someone who may truly fall in love with him. surrender is a challenging state.
i have some experience with surrogate love. talking on the phone with my ex like every day. being there for each other in our times of real crises. but not really being there for each other in public. no commitment, except to a general idea of friendship, and to the covert continuation of our partnership in emotional ties and patterns of deep and confusing flirtation.
what am i scared of?
really shedding the emotional ties with a former partner feels like taking off the pads in a game of tackle football. except the game has changed. its flag football. and i’m out there wearing my helmet and pads. i’m on a bright green field, we got refs with stripes and whistles, the winter air is sun charged and crisp. and i’m not the only one who has suited up all wrong for the game. but i’m going to be one of the first to acknowledge it. and take off these pads. take off this helmet. i’ve got all the armor i need in my ability to be flexible and proven strength. i believe what is before my eyes. the game has changed.
are you a surrogate lover for someone else too frightened to let go? do you use someone else as a surrogate love, surrounding yourself with a shield to “protect” you from what may be true, about love and surrender? holler at me. let’s talk.
the love doctor