No one can tell you what love is. They can’t tell you how to love or how to be loved. Don’t let them. Don’t listen even when they do.
Love isn’t mythical. It isn’t a right or wrong. It isn’t one way or the other. We don’t look for love in how they talk and what they do and when they decide to say the things we want them to say.
Love is crazy. It is messy and disordered. It has no rules. It’s sometimes quiet and doesn’t say much. Sometimes it is hesitant and scared and takes a little longer to emerge. Sometimes it is misunderstood and gets loud and hurtful but it is learning. Love doesn’t always choose the right words and can’t always see the good in your mistakes. It is sometimes early and cannot always defeat time. It is sometimes abrupt and gets confused halfway through and decides it needs a little time away. Love is sometimes egoistic. Sometimes love is young, too young to understand, too young to know any better because it gets overwhelming. It is often unfamiliar, even when it has been there before. Love often has different words and different habits; it comes in different momentums, different from everything you have known, and everything you have been told and warned to look out for.
The point is, you can’t fault love because love is flawed. So let love be. Let it be raw and imperfect. Let it fall and break and learn. Don’t strangle it with laws and perfection. Don’t confine it into limited definitions and hypothesis.
Perhaps those who have left did so because of the way they have loved; perhaps it hurt and the hurt carried on for a while after, but they loved you. Don’t take that away from you, don’t alter their love, don’t persuade yourself that it wasn’t love because someone said so. Only you know it. Deep down. Only you know that they loved you in the imperfect way that love is pronounced.