Love, otherwise known as the infamous “L-Word” has been a mystery to me all of my life. Of course, I knew what it meant when I said I loved my parents or my friends…but what does it mean to love somebody? Somebody else. For me, it meant to love a guy. A guy I’m not related to, nor is he a life long friend that I’ve learned to love through shopping trips and sleepovers. He is just a guy. A guy I met that caught my attention.
So, I’m sure some of you may have stopped reading by now, but I promise you this isn’t some sappy love story. Pinky promise.
To give you some background on the situation: this guy and I met a few months ago through mutual friends at a birthday party. In my drunken stupor, we somehow managed to click. I was sure that it was only due to the fact that alcohol gives me this confidence I would normally not come close to having. But oddly enough, my horrible jokes and the cake on my face didn’t seem to bother him. Actually, he asked me on a date the next day. And just about every day since that first date, we have spent together. And it’s gotten to the point of discussing the future, because we like the present. He even brought up the L-world the other day, and I freaked. Not because I’m not crazy about his guy, because I am. But rather, because I don’t think I know what love even really is. Of course, in my past relationships, we’ve always said the L-word like it’s nothing, but now it seems so much more complicated …now that I’m an adult. In the past, it’s been more of a casual:
“I luv u bb”
“I luv u 2”
…that’s basically how it’s gone. It was fairly simple.
And that’s my problem. You see, because I’ve said “I love you” so easily in these past shit-show relationships, it’s skewed my view of what love even is. We said it without even knowing what it really meant. So, suddenly love becomes trust issues at 2 in the morning, or finding excuses for the lies that makes you sick to your stomach, and ultimately wondering if this is how my life is supposed to be for the rest of forever. Of course, I was just some love-drunk high schooler watching too many chick-flicks, so just like Gretchen Weiners always wanted to make “fetch” happen, I always wanted to make love happen. Which ultimately failed every single time. Where was Regina when I needed her? Because now, here I am, at the age of 21 wondering silly things like is love supposed to make you miserable? I’ve fallen victim to the countless love stories and cutesie pictures that spam every goddamn social media site these days saying “You get hurt by the ones you love the most” or believing that fighting like Noah and Allie in The Notebook was super normal in a relationship. Actually, I thought the more we fought, the more we loved each other. HAH. It’s crazy to hear what some people will go through because of this falsified version of “love” that we all believe in. In fact, I know a boy who is constantly bullied by his girlfriend whom he “loves.” And I mean, she even goes so far as to hit him when she doesn’t get her way and constantly makes him feel like shit because he’s not some perfect Prince Charming boyfriend. Some of you may be thinking “Oh, he just needs to be a man” or “Why doesn’t he hit her back?” He’s too nice, and that wouldn’t fix anything. He has confused desperation and a fear of being single with this so-called “love.” He lacks the confidence it takes to stand up to her, as well as believing that there are better options for him out there. I’ve heard so many people say “I could never find anyone better” …and if that’s you, you need to bitch slap yourself this instant. You have one life to live to the fullest and to be the happiest that life can possibly allow, so why allow yourself to be stuck in a miserable situation? This whole idea of settling out of fear of being single is ridiculous. Had I stayed with my first boyfriend, we probably would be married right now, and I would hate life. It was because I broke up with him that I found someone better, and then even better, and then a HELL of a lot better. It’s as though now, it’s not a constant battle. I don’t find myself sick to my stomach wondering if I’m being cheated on or if so-and-so is going to have a bad temper that day. It’s easy, and that’s what’s crazy. Love shouldn’t be a constant battle with someone. Being in love with someone should mean that its a two-person party; both of you are involved, and both should be giving the same amount of input, as well as receiving the same amount of output. And more importantly, it should be fun. You should love somebody because they’re your best friend and being with each other is easy. Not to say there aren’t challenging times in relationships, because there totally are, but the whole relationship shouldn’t be a shit show.
You should love someone based on how they make you feel about them, how they make you feel about yourself, and how you feel together. So many people get so serious when it comes to relationships and love, but just try to remember – you’re young and there are endless possibilities out there. Try them out and find what’s right for you. And don’t let something tie you down – it’s the perfect time in your life to explore and determine what you like and don’t like. Because as we all learned from The Runaway Bride (and just about every other Julia Roberts movie), you must first know and love yourself before you can truly know and love someone else.