I’m in love with you because you’re lovable. If you were to be put in a line-up of people and someone asked me, “Who would you love the most?”, I would pick you. You know why? You have kind eyes. You have eyes that make everyone else’s look dark and scary, including mine. How does one even get kind eyes? How do I convey warmth and vulnerability all in one glance? I guess I’ll just leave to that you. You’re the nice one in this relationship. You’re the one who makes me want to be more empathetic and stronger.
I’m in love with you because you make me feel safe. It sounds corny and vague. People always talk about feeling safe with someone and you wonder what it even means. I still don’t really know. All I know is that when I’m with you, I feel like I’m clutching a giant thing of pepper spray or reliving a moment of being carried to bed by my parents when I was five years old and fell asleep in front of the television. All day long, I can feel fragile, like a raw nerve, and when I come home to you, it’s like I just put on the thickest winter coat and installed bulletproof windows in my apartment. “Honey, I’m home….and no longer terrified.”
I’m in love with you because I’m not obsessed with you. This is a distinction worth noting, one that took me a long time to learn. In the past, I would confuse obsession with love. If I felt things intensely and regarded my lover as a mentor, it would mean that I was in head over heels. They were all the way up there and I was down here, studying them like a dutiful pupil, and that dynamic felt comfortable to me. That wasn’t real love though. Real love isn’t rife with inequities. I’m in love with you because you’re my equal. We’re on the same page. It’s stable, unlike obsession, which is inherently erratic.
I’m in love with you because you’re my best friend. When people hesitate to call their partner their best friend, I’m incredulous as to why. Shouldn’t we all be falling in love with our best friend? By saying this, we’re not diminishing the value of our platonic friendships. They’re incomparable and exist in completely different realms. You need both to feel fulfilled. I need you, I need them. I need it all.
I’m in love with you because we aren’t afraid to fight. Relationships shouldn’t be a series of highs and lows but they shouldn’t be completely even either. You need to have disagreements in order to know that your love is strong, that it can survive trivial resentments, the debate between whether or not to get hydrangeas or lilies, chicken or steak, an action movie or a romcom. What these tiffs illustrate is the art of compromise. I’m beginning to realize that a big part of love is just relinquishing control and giving up your right to be a total brat. The idea should be that you love them more than any surface decision. You’re fine with being unhappy about the action movie, so long as they’re happy and you know you’ll be rewarded with an extra long orgasm later so it’s fine. Give and take, give and take.
I’m in love with you because you’re the peanut butter to my jelly. Ew, see what you’re making me do here? Yeah, love makes you behave like a complete sap and not give a F about it. It’s refreshing to not be so self-conscious about your behavior 24/7. You can just use your “I’M IN LOVE #sorrynotsorry” card whenever you see yourself go over the deep end. Here’s the thing: There’s nothing more rewarding in this world than knowing that you’re being understood. Someone is seeing all of you and accepting it as is. “I’ll take the one with the beautiful dents that likes to cry at commercials. I see potential in this one.” You take me and I take you. Sold.