I Wanna Know What Love Is

How can you tell if you love someone?

-Love and Marriage Eventually?

Well, LAME, in December, it’ll be 9 years that Ben and I have been together, and I love him dearly. So while I think I can definitely speak to how that feels to me, I don’t think that my way of loving is necessarily the be all end all. There are many different ways to have a loving relationship with someone, nearly as many different ways as there are people and combinations of people on the planet. Not only that, the concept of loving someone and being in a loving relationship with them are two different things. You can love someone and still not be able to maintain the things that are necessary for you to create a loving relationship, but that’s another advice post altogether.

I don’t know that there’s one feeling that makes you say to yourself ‘this is the lid to my pot.’ But there are a lot of little things that build up over time, and through sharing the experiences of everyday life that affirm this.

For me, it’s the way he makes me laugh, but also the way he comforts me when I’m upset, or even how he deals with things when I’m upset because of him, or when he’s upset because of me. It’s the way I look forward to coming home to him. That unlike other people, the idea of spending time with him is never tiring to me. It’s how I never run out of things to say to him, but also how we can just sit quietly together on our computers or reading, and not have to entertain each other.

Like any collection of feelings and experiences, the feeling and experience of love can change and move. Sometimes we talk more, sometimes less, sometimes we fuck more, sometimes less. Sometimes we need time alone with ourselves, or sometimes things in life come up and consume us, but in my experience, it swings back around again. We each trust the other to be honest, and to do what we think is right. We respect each other enough to let each other be/do/think for ourselves.

So far, we keep turning back to each other, finding comfort and stability in each other. When something exciting happens, I want to share it with him, and when something scary or disappointing happens, I want to turn to him. I think that’s one way you can tell if someone is right for you. When, given the universe, you continue to chose them every day.

Love isn’t this hurricane wind that knocks you off your feet. In my experience it has never been something I could fall into or out of. It’s a spark of attraction and compatibility that, with care and work, over time can become a structure, and a shelter, and an asset in my life. It’s a gentle breeze, that compels me to do better, and to be better. Eventually, by inches and seconds, not only have I been knocked off my feet, but I’ve been happily transported miles away from my starting point. Life is full of these situations where you start something because you enjoy it, you give it support and effort and all of a sudden, you’re on top of the world.

Of course, I would feel remiss in my advice-giving duties if I didn’t include this caveat: Nothing. Lasts. Forever. So many people suffer under the delusion of true or eternal love. That’s complete bullshit. 50% of American marriages end in divorce, and uncounted others turn into a bitter, winner-take-all staring contest. Just because a relationship ends doesn’t mean it was a bad one, and just because a relationship lasts doesn’t mean it was a good one. Love, like all things, like life itself, is temporary.

Wrong. Also, those are fucking fish hooks. Umm… gross.

P.S. If you want to ask me real advice questions and not just read shit I posted on Reddit with about 500 extra words shoved on top, email me, facebook me, tweet me, even comment here and I’ll answer your burning questions.