Yes, it’s true — I am carrying on multiple, long-distance love affairs while being in a steady relationship right here where I live. I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not cheating any one, hiding anything, or betraying any trust. I’m not into ranking them, rating them or otherwise playing favorites. Actually, I’m quite proud of my many relationships and the way they make me feel.
Believe me, I’ve received my share of raised eyebrows, sideways glances, shaking heads, gasping surprises, and point-blank questions.
To be honest, I already have my eye on another one, too. It’s okay, don’t worry. They all know about each other, even though we’ve never all been physically together at the same time. I can assure you that would be impossible, because my loves are not people, they are places! While none of them has been truly permanent, none of them has been a one-night stand, or a summer fling either. They are all places that I sought out (or they sought me). I gave myself to each of them, and I take pride in being associated with all of them. I love each of them in different ways and for different reasons, but they all simultaneously hold a special place in my heart. I guess you could say that I practice polyamorous patriotism, or would that be patriotic polyamory?
Whatever you call it, it can seem crazy, unfair, or plain impossible to some people…even when we are talking about countries. Believe me, I’ve received my share of raised eyebrows, sideways glances, shaking heads, gasping surprises, and point-blank questions. I have tried to explain and implore others to understand. I’ve tried to defend my position and prove my loyalty, all to no avail. At least not to the cynics, or even some of the citizens. What I haven’t tried though, is putting it in writing — sharing my feelings, instead of explaining my actions; describing what I see in them, instead of defending my perspective. But, I don’t want to address the pesky people, the noisy naysayers or the ‘one & only’ army. NO. Instead, I think it’s best to put pen to paper (okay, fingers to keyboard) and tell my beloved lands directly, how I feel about them…starting with my first love.
I purposely left out the periods after your initials because that way, it spells “us”, and I want you to know that there will always be an “us”! You have been such a big part of my life and learning how to love. You always have lots of fun things and ideas to share, but you give me the freedom to choose what I want to do. You have always provided plenty of space, so I can explore new horizons or seek solace in familiar surroundings. You encourage me to be my own person and give me room to grow as individual. Your huge popularity makes me proud to be associated with you! You show you are concerned with others and use your strength and ingenuity to try to be friendly with almost all others (at least the ones that want to be friends with you). But, that’s just it — it seemed like you were often more interested in them than me. You seemed to focus on their needs and issues, but didn’t have the time or money to help me deal with mine. I don’t want to go into all that. I think I just grew up and wanted to add to my experience. So, that’s when I crossed the boundary and fell in love with another. Please know that although there are others, you are the one I will always go “home” to, and where I know I can stay as long as I want, no questions asked.
How I love thee! From the first time I saw you, I knew I wanted more of you in my life. To be sure, when we were together, I was at my best. You were so good for me…and to me. With your calm, cool, laid-back demeanor, you immediately put me at ease, and I’ve never felt more welcomed and wanted before you. While I didn’t have enough time to get to know all aspects of you, I am still enamored with your gentleness and ‘joie de vivre’. I love your multicultural attitude, and bilingual abilities. Your French accent is especially endearing to me! And WOW, what a looker you are! The depth and breadth of your beauty is truly awesome and inspiring. I am honored to have such romantic memories of silent winter nights of amour, as well as seeing you light up and dazzle the onlookers of a summer festival. I can honestly say that you are the only one of my many loves that I would readily return to — j’taime.
To My Soko (South Korea),
To my savior! You pulled me out of the dark, lifted me up, gave me strength and stretched me far beyond what I ever thought I would or could do. When we met, I was down and out, a little insecure and completely vulnerable. Frankly, I don’t know what you saw in me, but I’m sure glad you took a chance on me. As my first real “foreigner”, I knew we would be very different, and I may not agree with everything you do, but I also recognize and appreciate the many things you brought out in me. Your ambition and passion lit a fire inside my heart that burns on brighter than ever. Your tenacity coupled with timidity showed me how to balance the tensions of our torrid affair. And your oh-so loud and loquacious lifestyle renewed my sense of adventure, and certainly my sense of humor. For these things, as well as so many others, I am grateful. You are truly the light of my life!
Even though our relationship is fairly new, for me, it was love at first sight, and I felt a quick connection to you. I am still so impressed with your clean cut appearance, your polite manner and your precision of style. You make it easy and appealing to be with you. I feel calm, comfortable and completely safe with you. I love our little, quiet and cozy place. It’s peaceful and efficient, and I am fast making myself at home. There is so much I can learn from you and share with you that I want to stay as long as you will have me.