Love someone the second you get out of bed because it’s the hardest time to do so. The spell you built together all morning is broken and now you can decide whether or not you hate them. They are so vulnerable laying there with their little naked body under the covers, giving you hopeful stares. You could destroy them with a single glance if you wanted to. Please don’t though. Please choose to love them.
Love someone when they’re drunk and it looks like their face is melting and they’re stuffing food in their mouth, sauce dripping down the sides. Your body will recoil because you’ll think for a split second that you fell in love with an animal instead of an actual human being. They are so unattractive in that moment, so pathetic, so lost, like a loveless ape, but I want you to love them regardless because you know this isn’t who they really are and because it only takes three glasses of wine for a beautiful person to become ugly and that shouldn’t be enough to leave you cold. When you carry their heavy lifeless body to bed, look at them when they fall asleep and try to remember the person you adore. Please choose to love them.
Love someone when they’re insufferable, when they hate their job and hate their friends and seem to hate everything in their life except for you. You might lose respect for them, you might look at them as if they’re weak and can’t stand on their own two feet, but I want you to try to push those thoughts out of your brain because the fact is that this happens. People get stuck in their life and they look around and only see one thing that makes sense to them. It doesn’t make them weak or co-dependent, it just makes them human. Don’t fault them for things that are largely out of their control, don’t have your attraction hinge on how great their life seems to be going. Choose to love them.
Choose to love them when they say your least favorite word, choose to love them when they have a day when they need you more than usual, choose to love them when they smell like shit, choose to love them when they aren’t well, when they aren’t the able-bodied picture of beauty they were when they met you because people never stay the way you want them to. You should know that.
Growing up, I thought falling in love was just something people did to distract themselves from dying. It was like getting a tattoo; having a boyfriend or a girlfriend was a way of branding yourself and letting people know that you were valued and that you were important. There was something inside of you that made you better than the average person.
Now I know that, in many ways, I was right from the very beginning. But the kind of love I understood when I was younger is not necessarily the “correct” kind of love. That kind of love is paper-thin and it will wash away. However, every time you choose to love someone despite the bullshit, you are making it stronger, you are painting a fuller picture. By choosing to love, you are accepting the flaws and ugliness that comes along with something beautiful. You are understanding just how life works.