Smile, even.

Listen to me: You have to make the open relationship sound like his idea.

Let him watch joggers run up and down the warm road in the middle of the summer. Say nothing. Smile, even.

Indulge the way he politely makes conversation with people whose names neither of your will remember. Watch these people light up when they feel seen.

Say nothing. Smile, even.

Never be offended when he rants too long about a celebrity he will never meet.
Say nothing. Smile, even.

Meanwhile, live.

Lock eyes with the man on the bus reading his book about something he grabbed just to look impressive, but say nothing. Smile even.

Let the young man bagging your groceries make a joke just to have what seems like the basic part of a conversation.

Say nothing. Smile, even.

Pay too close attention to the man who takes his dog on a walk near your apartment every morning as you head out. The earth still quiet and the day ahead might be rough, and still the way he says good morning warms you.

Say nothing. Smile, even.

When the one you love comes in with a suggestion – an addition to what he believes is an already perfect relationship – gasp, widen your eyes like the thought has never crossed your mind,
cross your legs,
cross your heart, and claim you have never even considered.

Smile, even.

Let him suggest the terms.

You veto things and make adjustments.
You veto things and make adjustments.
You veto things and make adjustments.

Now is not the time to say nothing,
be clear.

Let him tell you how he loves the way your mind is so open. Let him tell you how you are nothing like the men he’s loved before – all of which were clingy, fearful, and perhaps boring.

Say nothing. Smile, even.

Save the conversation for the man on the bus; glancing and turning the pages of his book about something he grabbed just to look impressive. Make a conversation.

Keep the talk small, let him feel impressive,
let him talk about his life – the details all excessive.
Agree to meet him later – somewhere suggestive.
Walk between the line of being coy and too aggressive.

Save your wit and quip for the young man bagging groceries. His one-liners punchy and begging for return and reciprocation beyond humor. Deliver. Laugh. Claim he is good company and that drinks, at his convenience, are on you.

Save your best Good morning for the man who takes his dog on a walk near your apartment.

…..Greet the dog first.

Let him tickle the spots between your fingers with his tongue, stroke his disheveled hair, tousle his ears.

The morning is still quiet and willing to keep some of our best secrets.

When the one you love asks you “how was your day?” tell him about work, talk about what you read in the news, how the rain might have caught you off guard – things people who love out of habit discuss.

Watch him scan your face for irregularities:
A wider smile,
Life in your eyes again,

Watch him study you for differences,
Newness,
A lighter step than usual,
Unprovoked laughter.

Watch him say nothing.
Watch him smile, even.

8 thoughts on “Smile, even.

      • It was an experience!!!! Lol. I’ve been in a few open situations.. one situation ended badly. But it’s pretty much as you described it. Everyday as I fell out of love with my “partner” I was falling in love with someone else because he forgot to keep the intimacy between us. We became friends and roommates instead of actual lovers.

        Like

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