What You Thought Love Was Going To Feel Like
You thought falling in love with someone was going to clue you in on some big secret of the world and that you would start to understand things in the way you were always meant to. And it did. Sort of.
You thought falling in love would make you feel safe and protected. Even when you were out with friends or hanging out by yourself at home, you’d feel like someone was always taking care of you. They were. They were thinking about you, adoring you from afar, and filling you with a sense of security.
You thought sex would mean something more if it was with someone you loved, just like you had heard about on the television or read about it in books. You’d feel more comfortable getting naked, you’d want to give more, you wouldn’t feel empty once the orgasm faded away. This held true. Sex was so much better when your private parts AND your brain were both on the same page. Now there’s no comparison.
You thought falling in love would teach you compromise and compassion. You’d learn how to fit someone else’s wants and needs into your life without it feeling like an obligation. You’d aspire to be the best version of yourself. Self-improvment is an easy thing to do when someone is always there to see you for who you really are. You thought you’d be better for having loved someone. And you were right.
You thought love was going to feel like a wet kiss to your brain, that it was going to make everything extra hazy and dreamy, that it’d turn you into an insane jealous psycho. that it would make your emotions resemble scrambled eggs and force you to cry at stupid shit like A Walk To Remember and develop a newfound appreciation for Whitney Houston’s music. Yes, yes, yes. More yes.
You thought that love was going to make you skinnier and prettier and calmer and nicer and more accepting. You’d feel superior to your friends who were single and almost hate yourself for thinking it. You wouldn’t drink so much because you wouldn’t need to, duh, or go on Facebook or Twitter as much because hello, you’re in love. This turned out to be half true.
You thought love was going to solve all your problems and it didn’t — sometimes it actually caused more — but it was worth it. Every fight, every misunderstanding, every moment of it. You realized that it’s not love’s job to make you happy. It comes and goes. The only person you have to be happy with and truly love is yourself.
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Even as I write this now I am debating whether or not to erase it all together.
When I say I’m in love with you, I mean I love the story I can tell to my next lover, about my ex-lover, about how beautiful things were, how intense, how storybook, what a couple we were, and how you gradually, inexplicably, painfully, bit by bit, disappeared.
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
I was 24 and, while not gay, ever since college I had been getting more attention from gay men than from heterosexual women.