I wonder what it’s like to be in love with someone. What’s it like to have a crush? To be so flustered or happy or eager when conversing with someone? What’s it like to be sad when you don’t see somebody every day or when you don’t talk to someone? What’s it like to be excited for a simple text or a wave or a smile? What’s it like to cry over somebody because you’re not brave enough to confess or that person’s already taken? What’s it like to have your heart break every time you remember that you hold an unrequited love? What’s it like to passionately long for someone? To want to spend every waking moment together? To fall in love all over again and again and again with the same person? What’s it like to love?
to me, love is constant.
it’s that constant light-headed feeling you get whenever you see that person. like your head is suddenly one of those silver crinkly balloons that they sell in grocery stores that have contrite sayings like “get well” or “it’s a boy” on them.
it’s that jolt of electricity that pops and crackles under your skin and scorches your veins when they even so much as brush your shoulder as you pass.
it’s never-ending conversations in a dimly lit coffee shop over lattes that have long grown cold as you discuss philosophy and religion and your lives and everything in between.
it’s the knife that punctures your heart, cutting through your ribs and through all the muscle, and twists with every hateful word said or by every worried thought that they may find someone else better than yourself. it’s the tears that you shed when you yearn to see their face and hear their voice after long periods of separation.
love is everywhere. it is within friends, family, lovers, even strangers.
i have seen love in a stranger’s eyes in a low-lighted tunnel.
i have seen love in the eyes of a friend who was something more, then went back to a friend. (i don’t see it much anymore, but i know deep in my gut it’s still there).
i have seen love in the eyes of my father and mother, despite the hateful words spat at each other.
i see love in the eyes of my beloved every time he looks at me and with every smile he shares.
love is constant. and it is astonishing.
i can see
every little light from
as i sit on my bed
and it’s okay, i guess
we don’t use the same lights anymore.
i’ve always hated change.
i wish you were sitting here
with me, maybe
with your back to me as
i stayed up blogging (you say
i’m addicted, i just say
it’s better at night) and you roll over
and throw an arm around
my waist, sleepily mumbling
for me to come here, and i just
rub your head and scratch your back and
whisper “go back to sleep, sweetie.”
and i’ll put up the laptop and
you’ll pull me close and we
will go to sleep in a mass
of tangled limbs and tangled sheets.
i’ll stay up alone, tangled up
in just sheets
while you’re asleep miles away
maybe dreaming of me.
christmas is supposed to be
about being with who you love, and
i can’t be with you right now. it
is hard not to be a little depressed.
I suppose I’ve only ever thought there to be two kinds of ‘love’. One, you feel for your friends, your family - it’s compassion, empathy, open heartedness; it’s a general, enveloping, positive emotion towards people or places or things.
The other kind of love is the you-are-my-soulmate, my-one-and-only type of thing. The sort of word that makes your heart stop for a minute the first time you hear it in a relationship. The kind of word you only hear in a relationship. The kind of word that defines where you stand in that relationship. The kind of thing you wait months before saying, hold back the first few times because you might only be sure you mean it right now and maybe it’ll be different in ten months. This kind of love, I’ve always considered to be the serious, heavy, game-changing “I am in love with you”.
That’s how it’s always been for me. From my first really serious girlfriend to the on-and-off pillhead lovers, from almost-serious hookups to my high school sweetheart, there has been this one kind of love that I searched for and found and lost because that’s how that sort of thing can happen.
And you tell me you love me, sometimes. And I sort of just smile or kiss you or otherwise take it in stride, not quite knowing how to react. I care deeply for you. You balance me. There are poems and drawings driven entirely by your ubiquitous presence in my head - it often feels like you are all there is for me here. But you tell me you love me and it makes me, momentarily, terrified. What if we aren’t on even ground? What if one of us feels something to an extreme the other doesn’t? What if a difference in feeling is what changes us? Will I hurt you by not telling you that I love you too? I can’t possibly love you, it’s too soon, I’m not ready to drain my bank account to buy you a ring.
But I realize, now, that all relationships include a certain amount of love. Even a puppy crush, I think, involves a bit of it. There is no permanence to it; love may be a committed relationship, but the feeling itself is not a commitment. It can pass and fade and die and grow and change and be a thousand things.
For me to have thought that there is either this “friends and family” sort of love or this “I want to marry you first thing tomorrow” sort of love was foolish. Those are extremes; there is an entire spectrum between them. I hesitate to tell you I love you too because I’ve spent my whole life thinking those words to be this declarative, finalistic diamond ring that we only put on the one person we really, truly, seriously, honestly believe is for us, forever.
I think because of that, because of the weight I attribute to those three words, I may not be able to casually tell you I love you too. I’m too attached to the fairy tale idea of “love” as this forever-lasting, all-powerful sort of romantic force. The rational side of me realizes that this is somewhat ludicrous; the romantic side of me says that it doesn’t matter, because that’s what it knows.
I am happy with you. I do not see an end to this. I am exuberant to see your face, enthusiastic to hear you knock; there is insight in your words and deep comfort in your touch. There is poetry in your movements. There is music in your breath. Understand, please, how deeply I do feel for you; but understand my inability to let slip those three words, however powerful they may be when you use them.
i’ve always been that person to say “i love you” first in a relationship.
in my first real relationship, my boyfriend looked at me very seriously when i said it and told me not to say those words again unless i really meant it. and it hurt at the time, because i did mean it.
i’ve said those words to many different people, and for each person there is a different amount of love or a different meaning for it. but i think that having this understanding of love can be any sort of level rather than two main extremes is very important.
your voice is like wine to me.
i find myself drunk on it
whenever you let it flow
from your lips.
i pray it never runs dry.
how can a title be given
to two people
who want nothing more
than to grow
from each other
and simply enjoy
each other’s company?
why must we demand
that a label be put
on a relationship
such as that?
i want nothing more
than to lay my head in your lap
and listen as you read books by men
who have long been dead
and whom you admire.
why do we have to explain ourselves to others?
you said such sweet words
(“you’re just beautiful”
"you’re really smart"
"you really need to give yourself more credit")
that i was afraid
it was simply the artificial chemicals
pumping through your veins
that happened to be affecting
but you smiled and took my hand
and reassured me that you meant
and every kind word
took me by surprise.
you called me baby
and seemed so concerned for my well-being.
whenever I asked why
you would say “because i love you”
and i would feel my heart
climbing against my ribcage
trying desperately to escape
so it could join with yours.
for the first time
i took your hand
and didn’t feel scared.
this is progress.
"this may sound crazy, but does every song remind you of us?"
you have no idea
how much i think of you.