The one who wants to be with you accepts you for you: your mind, your heart and the parts of your body you may feel are imperfections, the ones you criticize when you look in the mirror. They think every single inch of you is worthy of adoration and will spend all day, every single day (if necessary) proving to you how beautiful and sacred your body is. They will kiss your body slowly, part by part, just to prove to you that each one deserves to be loved and caressed. This may take some time, but they’re willing to do that. They will show you that you don’t need you to be perfect or to be Bond Girl Christmas Jones — a scientist who is also secretly a supermodel when she removes her glasses and ponytail. You don’t need to be some focus-grouped, whitewashed, photoshopped idea of what’s attractive to deserve their love — someone who doesn’t eat, fart, burp, express opinions or speak above a dainty whisper. They just want you to be you, and no one else.
The one who doesn’t want you always wants you to be someone else when they close their eyes or wants to you be someone they can make you into — like that woman in Weird Science. Rather than pushing you for your own betterment — because that which we love should push us to grow — they look at you as a mission and a project, a site constantly under construction for repair. They will tell you that it’s for your benefit, and they just want the best for you. But they don’t want a better you. They don’t want you. They’re settling for a house they can fix up and remodel — one that’s in a lower price range and came at a bargain. They don’t see the value in you because they’re too focused on what’s better, and they’re too focused on what they want to see you for the steal you are.
The one who wants to be with you never lets you forget how special you are. They tell you via text message (in full sentences that don’t even need emoticons), flowers, candy, skywriter and actual in-person words — because they know how important it is to be in the presence of love, to be wrapped up in it, to feel it next to you holding you and never letting go. They will tell you by being there for you when you need them to be and even sometimes when you don’t need them to be, when you’re sick in bed and insist that you’re fine and they don’t need to come over and take care of you. They will be there anyway, with a bowl of chicken soup ready, five kinds of reading material and a dozen different brands of medication. They take your health seriously — maybe a little too seriously, like a grandma — because they take you seriously. They would book a seven-hour flight with a layover in Timbuktu just to watch you puke in a toilet, which they swear is cute when you do it. FYI, it’s not cute, it’s disgusting, but caring about you makes them into a beautiful liar like that.
The one who doesn’t want you isn’t there or when they are there — still isn’t. They’re always texting someone else and perpetually glued to the screen of their phone as if they suddenly would go blind without the light of the iPhone. They’re always hanging out with other people who aren’t you, talking about other people and making excuses for why they don’t have more time for you. They always talk about how busy they are and how full their schedule is, but they aren’t that busy. Their life is full with friends and acquaintances and a bunch of people who are tagged on Facebook smiling in photos with them. None of these people are you, and if they wanted you, those people would be you. If they cared about you, they would show you off like a fucking farm animal at a 4H fair and advertise you like an Apple product launch. It’s a little creepy, but people who care do that. They want to brag about you, because they know Steve Jobs could never create something as fascinating as you.
The one who wants to be with you understands that you are a priority in their life and their schedule. They have their own things going on — friends, family, cats that poop too much and houseplants that are weirdly needy — but want you to be a part of those things. When the time is right, they will bring you to family functions or poker nights and introduce you as “my girlfriend” or whatever label/introduction you have decided is appropriate. They will say this word repeatedly — as if there were a drinking game for its mention — just to remind themselves how lucky they are. They will bring you up to friends and family so much that everyone around them will get slightly sick or hearing about how great you are. You will be like your high school best friend’s newborn baby that she always status updates about. The mentionitis will go away, but that feeling, that gratitude of your presence, never will.
The one who doesn’t want you assumes that you know all of those things and don’t need to be reminded. They forget your birthday, your anniversary and might not even know very important information about you that you expect everyone in your life to know — like your eye color. They might not even know your middle name. They haven’t taken the time to get to know you and learn the important things, like the dreams that you haven’t locked away yet and what you want to be when you finally grow up, or the less important things, like that you can’t listen to Explosions in the Sky without crying and you feel like the movie Lost in Translation was made for you. You don’t communicate or really talk at all — because they’re unwilling to open that part of themselves. They don’t see that you belong in it.
The one who wants to be with you knows that falling in love with you doesn’t happen all at once and it can take years to truly get to know someone. Learning about someone is like wandering through an old mansion with many rooms; it’s always discovering that there’s another door to unlock. This person is willing to go on that journey, to be constantly surprised by how intricate and complex you are, an M.C. Escher painting in human form, and loves finding out grand staircases of new information about you, like that you consider Missy Elliott your spirit animal and want to live in Paris when you get old. But they also love how simple you are sometimes, as simple as a backrub after a long day, because they love everything about you that’s beautiful and that hurts. They’re willing to stick it out with you through the hard conversation and the rough patches — whatever it takes to lie next to you at night, they’re willing to fight for it. They will fight to love you.
The one who doesn’t want you won’t fight for you or perform random acts of emotional strength to prove their love. And you should have some who is willing to do that — to chase you and sweep you off your feet (and let you do some of the chasing, too) and strive for ideals we all say are “unattainable” or “unrealistic.” You deserve to be loved by someone who knows how to love you, specifically, and only you. You deserve to someone that won’t let your dreams stay locked away. You deserve to live them.