A few slipped under the radar, I am sure. I will have to include Queenie. I have slipped out of contact with too many, and there have been drastic changes here and there, and that's sad. But I still trust and respect many of my exes, and that's where my love has its roots. Some of my exes have proved that I can and should not trust them, and a few of them have demonstrated that I should not respect them overmuch either.
A large factor in my trust and respect for Darkside is that he compels my honesty. There are not many people who I feel that I must tell everything to. I am capable of lying with a straight face to the public in general, if I have a reason that I should lie. After getting caught lying on some things a couple times, I learned how to lie convincingly. I just told my lies exactly the way I told the truth, with the same level of detail and enthusiasm, throwing in plenty of extraneous corroborating detail. And while I considered myself, for the most part, exceptionally honest and straightforward, I, like Miles, never realized how much "subtle spin" I was putting on stuff until I had someone who not only appreciated my honesty, but compelled it.
How does he compel my honesty? He is honest and open with me, to whatever degree he is open. I would be doing his trust a disservice if I did not repay him in kind. If he doesn't wish to tell me something, he tells me that he'd rather keep that to himself. He is the antidote to Shawn. He won't let me lie to myself, either. I trust that he would never lie to me, but I know he's not so great about open and honest communication with himself. Ah, well, we all have our little flaws.
And he's honorable. If I am in need, and he knows about it, and it's something he can do something about, he'll help. He has had any number of opportunities to betray me and hasn't. Most telling is that he could have betrayed me by not encouraging me to do what was right for me -- he would have just had to offer me no opinion, and not help me figure out what was right. It wouldn't, technically, have been betrayal, only that he would have been standing by as I turned traitor on myself. He didn't, even though it meant inconvenience for him. So he has demonstrated his honor to me.
His honesty and honor are what win him my trust. Those and his kindness win my respect, and his charm and wit win my fondness. Trust, respect, and fondness are the seeds of love.
And when the seeds of love take root, they stay rooted so long as trust, respect, and fondness are still there.
I can't love Shawn again. My respect for him is growing slowly as he earns it, and the fondness is back after Darkside healed me, but the trust, the undeserved trust, will never return. Trust, respect, and fondness have all departed for BJ, leaving me wondering why I made that mistake. I am fond of digitalambience, but there is history there too with trust and respect. I trust, respect, and am fond of the Lady E., my first and most beloved fiancée. I trust, respect, and am fond of River, lately beloved of swallowtayle. I respect and am fond of pyrogenic, and while I suppose I trust him, I would have to spend more time interacting with him in the present to say that definitively.
Actual innate respect differs from showing respect for someone. Showing respect for someone is a basic social grace. Actual respect for someone is something that is earned through that person's actions. While I behave respectfully towards the people I speak with on the phone, do I actually respect the ones who curse at me? Absolutely not.
I was probably going somewhere with this, but I have no clue where. At least more of the structure of my mind is being revealed, now.