If someone asked me how many times I have truly been in love I would say two. In the past ten or so years since my first “real” relationship I have only really meant those three words twice and both times the two guys couldn’t have been more different in personality or situation.
The first time I fell in love it was instantaneous, like being hit with a bolt of lightening that made the hair on my arms stand up. We both fell fast, spending nights that turned into days in bed talking about anything and everything we could. I was young and freshly graduated from college so my ideas around adulthood weren’t fully formed and neither really, was my understanding of love. I thought love meant butterflies and wild nights of passion and taking the bad with the good, the latter of which I now know is all relationships, romantic or not.
I was convinced that our feelings for one another would transcend any situation and that love could exist without trust, respect or honesty.
Because reading articles and listening to friends I started to believe that true love was a fire that burned hot and bright. That love conquers all and includes a honeymoon stage complete with enough sex to satisfy you for months. I believed that, that kind of love was the kismet sort of love where fate and destiny meet and two people who see each other for the flawed people they are choose to love each other anyway. It was a “shoot first and ask questions later” type of love and many people have it, but I didn’t and the relationship failed because we ignored every warning sign in favor of the “love is ALL you need” mentality.
The second time I fell in love it happened over time, like building something brick, by brick, by brick. We both held ourselves at bay spending only a little bit of time together every week, peeling back the complicated layers of people who’d we loved before that loaded us down with a fair amount of emotional baggage. I was older and just starting to understand what it meant to be in a “grown up” relationship and I thought love meant getting to know someone and falling in love with certain parts of them at a time.
I was convinced that we were building a foundation, a love that sprung from friendship and lust and would turn into romance and passion.
Because other articles make you believe that true love is a slow burn, happening over time and slightly defying your expectation. Some people truly believe that relationships are the reward for hard work and trying to un-complicate a complicated thing – love. It’s a, “we’re in this together” type of love that many people have, but I didn’t and the relationship failed because in the end we realized we weren’t building the same type of foundation.
Like assholes, everyone has an opinion about love. It is all consuming and it defies expectation, but is also expected to be a moment in time where everything stops and all you see is that person. It is hard and it is easy, complicated and layered. It is friendship but also passion and lust and not being able to keep your hands off one another. It’s can develop if you have sex on the first date but it doesn’t last if you don’t wait a few too. It’s a Sunday kind of love and a Monday kind of love and a Saturday morning kind of love, which are all days but somehow mean ten different things.
It’s adventures and travel but it’s staying at home to “Netflix and Chill”. It is with someone who is your best friend, and your confident, but not too close of a best friend because you have to have your own friends that are separate from the person you’ll maybe, maybe not spend the rest of your life with. It’s open communication, but not too much communication because it’s all a game in the beginning and the person who expresses the most disinterest wins. It’s offline and online and through mutual friends and blind dates and randomly running into each other at the grocery store (I have yet to meet anyone who fell in love at a grocery store).
It’s unexpected and happens when you’re not looking but only happens when you’re trying and dating to see what type of person is best. It is drunken nights and sober brunches and having everything in common but then again opposites attract, right?!
This is why I don’t know what love is. This is why I’m not sure what it’s supposed to look like or feel like because everywhere I turn I am told it is not what I think it is.
Sometimes I date guys and it’s like my first love and sometimes I date guys and it’s like my second and then I meet guys who I know I won’t love at all, but then again, will I? Is it the wrong guy who’s a challenge or the nice guy who bores me to death? And where does sex fit into all this?!
I don’t know what love is and I’m not going to pretend to know the perimeters in which it’s suppose to fit into but one thing I do know is it’s probably going to feel good and it’s probably going to feel right and all I need to know is when I feel, not to let it go.