Love: a four-letter-word that gets tossed around in conversations pretty carelessly to describe just about anything. I love your shoes. I love this restaurant. This dog totally loves me.
But what about when it comes to relationships? What does it really mean to love someone?
I’m by no means an expert on the topic; I’ve had my heart broken more than a couple of times. But, I’ve learned a few things along the way that have taught me what it means to be in love. More importantly, I’ve learned that love is an immeasurable force that can’t be reckoned with. We can’t force it.
Love means accepting another person in the strongest way possible. It means supporting them in anything and everything, even when you may not agree on the situation.
Love means not looking for something better or seeing what’s out there. It means committing to that person because you know they complete you in every way. It doesn’t mean being a replica of another person, but rather being like a puzzle piece that fits perfectly with the other. Your traits complement each other to create better versions of you both.
Love means waking up early and whipping up pancakes in the morning just to show you care. It means going out of your way to make them smile and, without even thinking about it, dropping everything for them in those times when smiles aren’t appropriate.
Love means screaming at the top of your lungs sometimes. It means caring so damn much about that other person that you can’t help but become furious when your relationship is called into question. It means fighting to get it back.
Love means smiling for no reason at all, and giggling from the tickle of butterflies flying around in your stomach.
Love means not needing constant contact, in person or via text, to feel secure. It means trusting them in every way possible and earning their reciprocal trust in you.
Love means loving yourself, too. It means always being your organic self and never shifting to fit another person’s standard. It means sleeping tight at night knowing that someone else knows just as well as you do how perfect you are in all your imperfections.
Love means gazing into their eyes for hours that feel like minutes. It means breathing coolly when you’re all wrapped up in their arms and becoming one with their heartbeat when your head is pressed up to their chest.
Love means giving in to an awesome power that brings two people together in the craziest ways. It means waiting, sometimes for a long time, for the stars to align. It means persevering through horrible dates and dull chats in line at the coffee house until you get your turn with it. It means surrendering control to a greater force and staying along for the ride.
Sometimes love means disappointment. It means broken hearts and red teary eyes. It means taking a shot on someone and being let down. It means learning the hard way that you can’t make someone love you.
Love, once it finds you, is worth every fleeting moment of highs and lows. Love, although it may fade, never gives up on you. Love that leaves is not lost; it will find you again someday, perhaps when you least expect it or maybe when you really want it to. Love doesn’t play by anyone else’s rules.
Love means letting yourself go. Love means giving in. Love means taking chances.