Maybe you realize it as you hold the lighter to the incense and watch as it catches flame, or while straightening your bed sheets, or the moment right after you caught yourself zoning out instead of reading the words on the page in front of you. It doesn’t matter how you realize it, the point is you realize it.
You realize that there is more to love than saying “I love you” and there is more to a relationship than words. You realize that love is more than phone calls with abrupt endings. Love is more than endless talks about him, his hopes, and his dreams. It is more than waiting for him to ask about your day.
In similar moments, you also realize what love is not. Love is not losing sleep over waiting for him to call you. Love is not analyzing his every word looking for inconsistencies, errors, and changes. Love is not freely giving your valuable time and attention without any reciprocation. Love is not fighting on the frontline by yourself. Love is not waiting for him to tell you he messed up again, he’s done, this is too much, or he met someone else. Love is not pain, love is not unpredictable, love is not selfish. Love is not holding on as the wave continues to pull you under, just when you caught your breath for the hundredth time.
There is more, there is more, there is always more.
So, even if you miss him the moment right before your toes touch the bathtub water, or when you open the refrigerator door and see his wine on the shelf, or while you’re out with friends and are reminded of his smile…remind yourself that love is not empty, love is not one-sided, love is not feeling alone, and that love is not grounded in fear.
Then, close the door, walk away, leave him behind, and move forward…because this is not love and there is more.