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This is what happens for me. I meet a guy, we become friends, then better friends. Friendship turns to love, at least for me, but I think for him also. Only for him, the love is good Christian platonic brotherly love. This love can be very open, very trusting, very intimate…for an hour or two over coffee. Unfortunately this beautiful love doesn’t touch and doesn’t really commit. I never know when one of my brother-I-love will move away or fall in love and get married.

Brother will meet a girl, like a girl. They’ll become friends, then better friends. Friendship will turn to love, love with some kissing, love that takes the Relationship label. They’ll have problems, but nothing to severe. Communication, trust building, figuring out finances. They’ll include me in their solution-finding process because I’m good at that and I love to do it for my friends. They’ll pull through their challenges, then plan a wedding. I’ll be invited to be in the wedding. I’ll accept and love it, then go home and feel sad and lonely.

Like I lost a friend.

I haven’t lost a friend. In reality, I have been able to sustain really good friendships with my brothers after they get married. In some ways, there’s even more love, more openness, more intimacy than before because marriage brings more and deeper and sharper pains than we had when we were on our own. And we can talk about all these pains and understand the other even clearer.

There really isn’t much I can legitimately complain about when a brother gets married. Now that I think about it, the transition only enhances our friendship.

What really hurts is when they move away. Then there is the void in me where once there was openness, trust, intimacy, understanding. Friendship turned to love, love like for a brother, and deeper love than that. At least for me. Love that wants to share life perpetually.

The trick about a love orientation that loves a person’s soul, regardless of their gender, is that you tend to love really easily. You open yourself up to the richest loves and the deepest pains. Some days you’ll have love everywhere around you and some days there will be no love to be found.