“It is the way we used to talk–our between-the-lines language,seemingly nonsensical, but steeped in meaning. It is a way I’ve never talked to Andy–who is always so open, candid. I decide, for at least the hundredth time today, that one way isn’t better than the other, they are just different.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about this love thing lately. Who we love, What we love about them, Why we love them, Where and why it goes down the drain…and most importantly, our ability to love in so many different levels and ways.
These thoughts sparked for a variety of reasons, one of the main being the book “Love the One You’re With” a friend let me borrow. In the book, there is the boy that girl is newly married to–Andy. Happy,Cute,Simple, Safe, and Wonderful. Then you have Leo who is the infamous (du nuh nuhh) ex-boyfriend. Charming, Sexy,Witty,and the thing Butterflies in the stomach are made out of. Girl is at a crossroads when ex comes back into her life and yadda yadda yadda. You get it. I think what had me hooked was the fact that I think most of us girls have or had, at one point in our life, had a Leo. The guy who you makes you hold your breath and your head spin and fills up pages or even books of journals. I’ve had a Leo. I think most of us have also experienced our Andy. I also definitely married my Andy. At a very early point in my relationship with my now husband, I was also put at a crossroads. Leo (we’ll call him that) tried talking to me more than once, obviously aware of the fact that I was (gasp) no longer pining over him. I automatically go into ‘What if’ mode when thinking about what could have happened here.
I could have very easily talked back. I could have messed things up with my future husband, I could have easily gone back to a crazy and passionate and ridiculously indulgent affair, I could have further damaged relationships with both ‘Leo’s’ family and mine, I could have thrown all cares to the wind and just seen what would have happened. I could have. I didn’t. I never responded to him, and that was, as an understatement, not easy. After the relationship with the first dude you ever deeply cared for has only been over for a couple of months, definitely not easy. But I didn’t. I didn’t because I think what I was finally learning was what this book points out in story version. Love is a lot of things, and what you experience with each person you’re with will be a different version, a different story every time. There is no wrong or right way to love somebody, and it doesn’t have to be a passionate, fiery, I’m about to wet myself feeling every time. Sometimes it’s not supposed to feel that way and then, sometimes it is. I’ve experienced both, and though they both have their upsides, I prefer feeling happy and complete to feeling intensely forlorn all the time.
But I don’t think that’s the point. I think the point is this: That even though love is not just one thing or one person or one feeling, there is one thing it should not ever be. It should not be hurt. But It does hurt and we,time and again, let it hurt us. When we look for guys, ( & I know when I first started dating my husband) we usually think of words like ‘Simple’ and ‘Safe’ like they’re bad things. Why? Because we’ve been conditioned to believe that love should be a difficult, painful weight to bare; That we have to hurt to get anything good in the end. It shouldn’t be and we shouldn’t have to. Believe it or not, it’s actually okay to feel happy and good about yourself in a relationship. There should not be intense pain involved because where the opposite of love is hate, the absence or removal of love is usually hurt. Love obviously hurts when it is taken away from you, but if love is hurting when you’re still in a relationship, something isn’t right. You should not hurt, He should not hurt, The people most important to the both of you should not be hurting. Unless someone is dead or dying, True love should not hurt anyone, ever.
And so I walked away, for good. I said nothing. I made the best decision of my life. I made myself happy.I finally became closer to my family. I married a man who is my Andy–who is simple and happy and cute and wonderful; who keeps me safe and warm at night. It’s a different kind of love than a Leo love, but it is just the same, Love. And it’s the best kind I’ve ever felt.