Note: The kind of love mentioned here is the “Romantic Love”. You know the kind. It makes people say weird stuff like, “Like a moth to a flame, like a song without a name, I’ve never been the same since I met you.” (Eric Clapton). Sometimes a little less cheesy, but yes, that kind.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” -C.S. Lewis
After seeing so many relationships fade & so many that just get better with age (generally happens when the two of them need to team up against their kids :P), I have spent a lot of time* reading various articles & asking “experienced” & “non-experienced” friends, trying to decipher what love really is, what it feels like when you’re in Love, & if you are really in Love with the person in question or if they really Love you?
* Yes, there was a period when I had way too much time on my hands.
The more I researched (which kind of ended after Brianna Wiest wrote this awesome piece), the more I realized that every person I’ve loved/had a crush on (they are not many) they all made me feel wonderful, amazing & beautiful in a way that no one ever had. This meant that I actually was in love with the way they made me feel &, now I realize, that I did not really love any of them. I liked them a lot for sure, but I never truly loved them. I loved that their attention was focused only towards me & no-one else, I loved that they would give me a nick-name that we would use only when we were with each other, I loved that they would make me laugh when I was in a bad mood.
I’ve always been in Love with Love.
I suppose when you truly love someone, you kind of just know. You’re unfazed by the fact that it won’t always be sunshine & roses & that many times you would have to work very hard to try & keep it that way.
When you’re in love with that feeling, then you would be upset when that person doesn’t behave the way you want them to. For instance; when you want to cook with them, 3rd day in a row & they want to watch a Cricket match you would get upset & start to wonder if they really love you. And instead of finding out what if they actually like cooking or telling them how you feel, you will start behaving in a passive-aggressive way by speaking in mono-syllables when they ask you something or bang plates & spoons when you set the table.
You want them around because they make you feel better about yourself but you don’t think too much of that person. You always praise the way they take care of you & at times also show off to the world about how you have someone who does so much for you as opposed to praising them & their qualities.
You also care too much about what they would think. Around that person, you would be careful with the words you use & the things you say, how much you reveal, the way you dress & what you post online.
You fear that one wrong move that would destroy everything. Your perfect world, perfect partner & perfect image. But most of all you fear being all alone. You love them with this fear & insecurity rather than with love.
When you love them, like really love them, you are secure with yourself & your relationship & you trust them. You would support them at their worst & praise them at their best. You are their Best Friend. The thoughts & feelings of Jealousy, Possessiveness, Fear of losing them to someone else, Abuse & Selfishness are almost non-existent. You are vulnerable with them. This means, that you don’t fear giving your heart to them even though you now know that they have all the power to slice & dice it into a thousand pieces & return it back to you. They are your soul-mate. (Not this kind but this kind).
You can be yourself around them & not build an illusion of what you think they want you to be.
You simply love them, no ifs’ & no buts’, no pride or problems, just plain & simple love.