what in love is like.
*my friend recently wondered out loud what it’s like to be in love. this is my attempt at a response. feel free to interchange genders if that’s how this speaks to you.
he laughs and it’s your favorite sound. this bubbly yet deep-set rumbling, it fascinates and elates and cracks you up and sucks you in all at once. it’s like fireworks erupting straight from the soul, or an earthquake, or that sound of wheels rolling and wind rushing when your plane lands and you are finally home.
you make him laugh. how or why, it makes no sense. he finds you hilarious and quippy and you throw out all the zingers that borderline grandpa-joke status. he finds you hilarious in ways no one else has, you find him hilarious in all those silly yet brilliant ways you always wished were more prominent in the world.
it’s everything: the way he dresses, the cuffs of his pants, the fact that he has a way chicer shoe collection than you probably ever will. he has taste and an unquestionably unique sense of style and he doesn’t even realize how cool he really is. the music he listens to, the whiskey he sips (always sips), the door he never once fails to open for you. the hand that reaches for yours whether you’re walking down the hall or up Broadway, the way you fit under his arm, how damn smart he is, always. the color of his hair. the shape of his back. the way he dances with you like a five year old in the living room.
he loves you and it’s unconditional as yours is for him; it’s in love and love at the same time. it doesn’t matter what kind of crappy day you’ve had or if you’re feeling inexplicably emo, because maybe you heard a song with minor chords and maybe you started to think about mortality or maybe it’s just a gloomy-insides day. it’s not only the mistakes and ugly moments. it’s a romantic yet unequivocally grounded love that accepts and adores the boring moments, the human moments, the nondescript and unfunny, the not so wise and tripped over sentences and the things that don’t make sense. the sitting on the couch with hummus breath and the falling asleep on the center console of the car. it’s simple love and so complex and tough love and frustration when sometimes you’re asked questions you’re not prepared to answer. it’s things not getting under your skin too deep because you know they’re not intentional; it’s wanting to have a discussion, not go to battle. it’s loving it all.
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in love, for-real in-love, means that all the others (or lack thereof) and their lessons make sense now and you’re grateful for each one of them. the guy your younger codependent incarnation figured you’d meet again, the one who broke your heart, the one who shied away from your sometimes over-the-top personality quirks. the one who talked to you like you were a prop, the what-the-hell-is-going-on-here who charmed your socks off (not literally, hopefully, socks are precious) and made you feel special. the long stretches of singledom that never really felt like singledom, because you were and always will be whole. but in love is the realization that you’re now inexplicably…complete.
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in love is not looking to be saved, not looking to be fulfilled, not needing…not needing. but that’s exactly what happens; you’re thrown a rope, your heart is filled up full, you are a more authentic and self actualized person on your own simply because he exists. you want him with twelve kinds of want all the time in even the smallest capacity, whether it’s a comforting lingering thought or a stolen away evening or an isolated long weekend. he becomes a part of you; his pain is your pain, his bucket list your own. you have not an other half but a teamed soul. he is your muse and the fire inside you, and your goals and dreams become brighter and not in some fairytale way: they’re discussed more thoroughly, planned more thoughtfully, executed more authentically. it’s because of him, and not just his insight or even the way he lives his own life; but the way he looks over at you in the morning, with mascara traces under your eyes and sleep in your lashes and Darth Vader pajama pants and the slightly creaky body of early hours, like you can do anything in the world.
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