Do you love me? I know you’ve said that you do, but do you really? Can you tell me why? Before you answer that, know that I’m not asking in search of compliments. Frankly, you’ve been lovely enough to not leave with me with much doubt as to whether or not you think I’m pretty/smart/interesting/unique etc. I am asking because I’m scared. Terrified, even.
I’m terrified that you love me, or even more frightening, love me for real reasons. I don’t really know what these “real reasons” are that I speak of, because ultimately I don’t know much at all about this whole romantic love thing. I guess I mean when you say that you love me do you mean you love chasing me? Do you mean we both go to Nantucket and like to talk about politics and make sense together and thus you love me?
Or do you mean that despite the fact that I’m frustrating and I don’t know what I want and I like The Economist and Gossip Girl equally and send annoying snapchats that always feature my duck face and wear my heart on the internet you still love me, in a push-me-away-all-you-want, play-hot-and-cold, I-don’t-care-because-I-know-you’re-the-one-for-me kind of way?
Because if you love me like that, I need to know. Because if you love me like that, despite all of these things that are wrong with me or make little sense (and believe me I could have gone on for another six paragraphs), I need to know. Especially if you almost love me because of them.
Because that, as far as I understand it, is real love. I don’t think that anyone has ever loved me like that, and I don’t even know yet whether or not you do, but after three years of Chuck-and-Blair style cat and mouse, after me telling you countless times that I didn’t want just a hook-up and to come back to me if you wanted something real, after me shooting you down when you did, after you telling me that I was the only one you wanted to be with and that you’d wait for me for a year while I disappeared to the developing world, after me pushing you away yet again and telling you that there was someone else, and after you still coming back for me, I’m starting to wonder if you do actually love me like that.
I’m starting to wonder if I’m in some uncharacteristically realistic romantic comedy or tragedy (we haven’t decided yet) and the entire audience is yelling at the screen telling me to get my goddamn act together.
I’m starting to wonder if I’m going to look back at my life and have to think “well, you had a guy who you were really attracted to, who loved you (in the most real sense of the word), who fought for you for three years, who was incredibly smart (your kind of smart), who would talk about international politics with you, who wanted to watch Homeland with you, who would have taken you to West Africa even though he didn’t want to go (just because he knew you wanted to and wouldn’t have wanted you there alone), who would have hired a skywriter to tell you how he felt if it meant you would have given him a real shot, who wanted to watch sunsets on rooftops and cuddle while listening to indie music and would have wanted to do all of those even though they’re cheesy and romantic just because he wanted to be your boyfriend, and he knew that those were the requirements. You had a guy who wanted to commit to you, who wanted to prioritize you, and never hesitated to tell you. You had a guy who loved you. And you were too scared to give him a shot.”
I don’t want to look back and think that. Ever, about anyone.
And so I pose my original question. Do you love me? No, do you really love me? Do you love me despite the number of times I’ve flung your heart at the wall? Do you you love me despite how terrified of being loved I am? Do you love me in spite of me?
And if you do, will you tell me about it? Because if you really love me, in a love-you-on-rainy-Tuesday, love-you-when-you’re-being-impossible, love-you-more-because-of-everything-we’ve-been-through kind of way, I need to know.
PS: Written words help me understand. (But, if you love me, you know that. Because that’s the kind of thing you know about someone you love.)