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Maxine's Journal

Adventures of the Polka-Dotted One

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Let's Only Date Grown-ups.
tacit spotted this in my paper journal back in February and asked me to post it so he could link to it. I only just remembered it today:

Let's only date grown-ups.
Here is what is mine, there is what is yours.
This is what I would like, and this is what I will give.
This is what I won't, can't, don't give.
Where is your beginning and what is your end?
Love is not give and take, love is give and give.
I give, and you give, and we draw lines in ourselves where we stop.
I draw a line here, do you see it?
It's the place just before it hurts me to give,
because I know, if you love me, if you love the way I do, this is where you would beg me to stop.
And if you don't, if you wouldn't, you are worth nothing further.

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Do you mind if I share this and if not, how would you like credit given.

It Rocks.

Sharing is good. I'd appreciate a link back, and the addition of my name (Maxine Green). Thanks!

This is so apropos right now that I find myself both at a loss for words and also incapable of speaking them even if I did have them.

I got this from ashbet and passed it on (with attribution) to a friend who needs it in the comments of a locked post.

Thanks for writing it! (My own lines are in different places, but I think you did a wonderful job of describing a really clean place to put your lines).

Aw, thankyou, and I hope your friend gets some benefit out of it.

I think, where lines are concerned, that none of us has just one line. I know when I wrote this I was thinking of a sort of measuring stick, with particular lines for each relationship and for each... not really got the words for it... level of effort or intimacy, and we all draw different boundaries for different people, and for the same people at different times. But that particular line, that's where I stop with *anybody*, unless someone is dying, and I'd hope folks respect that.

For me, I sometimes make a conscious decision to give where it "hurts" me to give (which I think is in some part about the distinctions between pain, damage, and destruction). So I'll give where it causes pain, and very occasionally where it causes damage, but not when it is actively destructive to me. Because I am resilient and have a large resource pool, I tend to be about greatest good for the greatest number. But I'm not saying anyone else should draw the same lines I do; I'm very aware of my privilege (I hope).

Four years later, finally I reply!

Yes definitely, I also will sometimes make a conscious decision to give when I know it will hurt me to do so... but if someone is the sort of person who would *ask* me to make that sort of sacrifice without caring that it hurts me or my wellbeing, they're probably not the sort of person I'm going to want to go there for in the first place. It doesn't have to be a reciprocal arrangement, but I need to know there is some concern for me in there.

Hence if they wouldn't beg me not to they aren't worth crossing that line for.

Wonderful, beautiful piece. Such a powerful sentiment, even though it's difficult for many people to manage.

That is truly gorgeous and gorgeously true. Thank you for sharing it.

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