I’m not a love expert. I am fully aware that I am 23, an age that I feel sounds considerably young. (24 is when I’ll feel old). I haven’t “been around the block” or have told many people I love them. In fact, I have only told two people I loved them and in hindsight I’d like to think that only one of them really counts. I have had one person tell me they loved me when I had no intention on ever saying it back. (I didn’t either.) I have said I love you to a person who waited a good two weeks before retaliating with an “I love you too.” Finally.
I don’t think there is such a thing as love at first sight. I don’t think there is such a thing as soul mates. I don’t think you can ever love someone all the time every day seven days a week. I get confused with the different kinds of love. Friend love, family love, puppy love, true love. I still get weird telling anyone but the person I am dating that I do love them, as if I always need to clarify to gal pals that I am not a lesbian, just that I love them all the same.
While some people may look at the word love as a specific emotion that is almost indescribable, I rather see it as a word that is poignantly vague and used too often. I love mashed potatoes. I love my mom and dad. I love the feeling I get when an audience laughs. I love the tension release of writing. I love my brothers’ sense of humor. I love a good sneeze. I love my boyfriend. I have too much love for too many things! And I say that in a bad way.
Us English speakers need to thesaurus it up a bit.
There is really only one thing I know for sure about love, but I will save that thought for later.
Love love, the kind of love that our mind directly goes to when we first hear the word, is something I crave and desire to have. Granted, I assume everyone desires romantic love and affection in there life. I assume no one really wants to be alone. I assume that I am not alone in my quest to find true love and happiness. But in that I will say that I feel like I have always put love slightly higher than others beginning at a slightly younger age.
Some call it boy crazy.
And I was.
Growing up I always seemed to have a crush, or a potential boy, or a straight on boyfriend. It makes sense as I was an attention needy girl, and nothing makes you feel more attended to than the opposite sex (or same sex…Go Gays!) giving you their focus undivided. It was always such a feeling of accomplishment when I discovered that, yes, he liked me too. Or yes, he’ll kiss me back. Or yes, I do have a date to the dance. This isn’t love, what I am talking about. This is more of its origins.
In the beginning, the search is more for attention.
Eventually it becomes a quest for companionship. Is this a person I can be around for longer than a day without going nuts?
I think next is actual desire. Sure puberty brings its own springy desire, but I’m referencing the legit kind. (Though I am 23 and may have the expert steps mixed up) Not only do I like the attention, the companionship, but I also dislike it when it’s not around me.
Last, or at least where I am right now in my love life, there’s the quest of all of it: the attention, companionship, and the desire, plus many many more tiny steps I am grazing over, to stay that way. And to me, that is true love, or romantic love or whatever love you want to call it.
The love I think we think of when we do think of the word love is the quest for all things to “stay that way.”
Of course it’s all just an impossible goal. “Staying that way” in a kinetic world cannot possibly happen. Even when the credits roll at the end of a RomCom, the kissing couple still have to clean the kitchen later (if they weren’t fictional characters, I mean.) But I guess that’s life. If everything was easily achievable, we could all go ahead achieve everything and die already.
The idea is that we try.
As wise married wives usually put it, there will always be ups and downs. For many, like fifty percent, the downs can be so down that they are the breaking point. For lots, though they are happy, it’s not all they expected it to be. Fear is love’s enemy, because fear makes change look bad.
I don’t want to dive into the philosophy of it all because, like I’ve been saying, I am no expert. And really it’s all just words and definitions anyway. But I will say, and forgive my gushing here, that I am absolutely so so so in love right now, and I want it to stay that way.
And I wanted to write about it today.
I feel like it’s deceiving because, as I have said before, I have always been the girl with a guy in some form. I haven’t been single in over four years. I don’t even know what it feels like anymore. And trust me, I question it. I wonder if because of that reason and that reason alone, my boy craziness clinging onto me from elementary days, if I am really what I say I am. If I am really in love.
Because I judge other people for their claims of love. Couples getting married quickly. Couples never getting married. Couples sticking with their high school sweetheart. Couples getting married for shotgun purposes. Couples on and off with drama drama drama. And though I usually talk myself out of the eye roll, it still initially exists and so I must anticipate others’ eyes on me. I can only say that this time, it is different and this time I know I am right.
Because I want it all to stay this way.
I know it can’t. Immediately it can’t. I do a distance relationship and soon it will be back to that long length and it sucks. But what’s helpful in my lovely endeavor is I know that there are many other lovers out there (I hate the word lovers, ug) that deal with this change hardship in different categories.
There are lovers (brace yourself, I’m about to use that word a lot despite my disgust for it) who have to work on opposite schedules so they can raise their kids. There are lovers (ug) who work together and are with each other all the time who struggle with balance. There are lovers who go off to war, now that’s real distance and real fear. There are lovers who learn they can’t create more future lovers, even though they really wanted to. There are lovers who are hesitant because of their individuality. There are lovers who haven’t even met yet. Who are lone lovers.
So upon that reflection, I am injected with a new set of confidence for the love I have and what’s ahead. The idea is to try to make it all “stay that way”, even when you are certain it can’t. In other words, it is important to you that you keep the love alive. Not out of fear, but out of desire. (And not fear desire or desire from fear or any combo of those words. Keep them separate people.)
I think I have reason to give advice at this point, so here goes it. And if you want to fling any my way, trust me I will take it. Just as long as it doesn’t conflict with mine.
Ahem. Thoughts on “staying that way.” (Pointers I have that tell me I am in love. One for every year I am “wise.”)
- “Staying that way” doesn’t mean the routine needs to stay the same, or that you as an individual can’t grow, it means finding a balance on all the needs that love has as timely changes happen.
- Fights are allowed, but always with the background thought that they will be over soon and you will eventually want to be kind to that person again. You know they are not detrimental.
- On that note, you feel really bad when you hurt that person. Disrespect and insults are usually a sign of deeper resentment, and if you don’t immediately feel bad about them, then something is wrong. I avoid insults all together.
- There is a desire to do really incredibly gay things. Like text messages during the day, or cuddling at night, or, for some, that goo goo voice. (Side note: don’t be a dick and do that shit in public. You’re trying too hard at that point.)
- You don’t act differently in front of others when the person you love is around.
- Even if there is a sense of comfortableness, there are still random days or times of year that you get excited to see them. Like giddy excited. Like Christmas excited.
- Touch. Rocks. (Take that as you will.)
- You want them to teach you new things not just because it is interesting, but because it is important.
- You’re not scared to spend time apart or with other people. (Clinging is desperate and trust should be natural.) You don’t feel the need to check out other people, even if on occasion you do. I sometimes forget that I can even do that still.
- Your friends like them.
- Family too.
- You want to make them happy before you realize that you may have a list of needs from them.
- Of course, you forget that list because they got it covered.
- Vulnerability is the name of the game. You tell them anything if it is important to you.
- They are not the sole purpose of existence, but they can help you with finding it.
- There is no point in fearing the end, not because it is assumed that there isn’t one, (“we’re gonna be together 4eva!” Barf) but because the here and now is what love wants. Planning is for the mind. Plan your career, not your love.
- You can fart in front of them. (Just not on them.)
- Sometimes traits come full circle and you find that their old irritations are now actually endearing.
- But by all means, still get irritated.
- You use the golden rule, and give hints along side it.
- There is no status involved. Being with them is not just to make you look better or vice versa. (Hence why I think it’s impossible to be in love in high school.)
- You feel so happy.
- You know you are in this together.
I apologize to my boyfriend if he gets embarrassed by this blog, (it really is all about him). But I will not apologize for saying I am in love to any eye rollers. And I cheers anyone who is in it or still searching. Because, though the word can be debatable and the desire can be attuned to whoever. one thing I KNOW about love is…
Everyone should have it at least once.
– One El
“I don’t think I could date someone who has been divorced.”
“Why? Do you think they’re like used goods?”