What Love Is Not


Love is not a road. It is not a straight path, not a dead end, not a rushing highway. It cannot be compared to the likes of a street, with lights blinking red to green. Sometimes it shifts, sometimes it turns, sometimes it stops, then begins, then spins in circles. Love is not a road, it is a ride.

Love is not demands. It is not asking so much of another that they forget what they desire, or what they dream. It is not making someone bend to your wishes, or requesting that they change their life to fit your mold. It is not creating a universe built around you, and you only, under the guise of your bond. Love is fluid. Love is balance. Love is compromise.

Love is not impatience. There is a quickness to love, but it is not born of selfishness. Love is not expecting someone to feel the way you do at a certain point, or trying to rush what is not meant to be or become. Love is not putting timelines on emotions, or expectations on relationships. Love is patience and trust.

Love is not perfection. In fact, it is everything but. Love is the wildness of falling into someone, the fear of wondering if they will respond. Love is sometimes saying the wrong things at the worst times. Love is messing everything up, then patching it back together. Love is faulty and flawed, but beautiful nonetheless.

Love is not steady. In love, you will not always be standing on sturdy ground. You will not always be set, or feel confident. You will have insecurities, you will falter, you will wobble in the arms of the one you care for—this is natural. Love is not the fix-all, end-all. Love is work. Wonderful, wonderful work.

Love is not static. Sometimes it’s soft, and sometimes it’s loud. Sometimes it fills an entire room with its presence, and sometimes it hides in the shadows, exchanged with a simple touch. Love does not stay the same, nor stay still. Love is always becoming, always blooming.

Love is not rules. Love is not putting guidelines on how to be or act. It is not saying that someone should do something. It is not asking people to be something or someone they are not. Love is free and unbound. Love is not rules; it makes its own.

Love is not restricted. Not by age or sex. Not by race or orientation. Not by woman or man. Not by desire or preference. Not by circumstance or time or distance. Love cannot be contained or kept silent.

Love is not controlled. It will not wait for you to decide if the timing is right. It will not be on hold as you attempt to decipher your feelings. Love will jump up behind you and scare you, make the hairs on your neck stand up, make your spine quiver in its majesty. Love will not wait for you to claim it; love will claim you.

Love is not simple. It is complex. It is multitudes of emotions and moments, slivers of time and stolen glances. It is text messages and mixed signals, fears masked by laughter and kisses mixed with alcohol. Love is in simple touches—fingers grazing on someone’s leg just a little too long, lips brushing a cheek with tenderness. Love is all the ways we fight against our intuition, and all the ways we give in to someone’s hold on our heart.

Love is not easily defined.
It is simply felt. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

Keep up with Marisa on Instagram, Twitter, Amazon and marisadonnelly.com

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