Romantic love is a funny thing. You can feel it so intensely and all consuming, but it is almost always conditional. It’s a weird concept when you really think about it- we are influenced our whole lives to find the one and live happily ever after, but when the reality sets in that people are actually NOT perfect and we aren’t living out some Disney movie, all our influences tell us to move on and remember our individuality. Aren’t these two notions so conflicting? I love my dad- he is legit the wisest person I have ever known and talking to him has brought to my attention so many ideas and notions that I would not have explored otherwise. He always reminds me that loving someone when things are good is easy. Anyone could do that. But loving someone when things go to shit, and when the easier option is to run away and detach yourself from the inflictor of your pain, is what true love really is. Of course there is a balance to this- in an abusive situation etc etc… BUT for the few of us who have been lucky enough to really find someone who actually has our backs- who actually loves our hearts more than our bodies- who flourishes on our success and whole heartedly holds us in the highest light while knowing our shortcomings, someone we can laugh with and explore with and grow with, those are the ones worth fighting for. People will hurt you. That’s inevitable- but, true love is understanding the WHY behind the action. True love is seeing someones short comings, looking past the pain they’ve caused you, and actually taking the time to understand their faults. Getting to that point, although challenging, is absolutely the most rewarding occurrence. True love- long term love- is not always easy… in fact, I don’t know that it ever is. BUT it is fucking excruciatingly beautiful when two people are able to reach the point of honest understanding and non judgement- its unexplainable when a person actually feels like home.

One of my all time favorite, most powerful things I’ve ever read was this…

Part One:

“A lot of people ask me what my biggest fear is, or what scares me most. And I know they expect an answer like heights, or closed spaces, or people dressed like animals, but how do I tell them that when I was 17 I took a class called Relationships For Life and I learned that most people fall out of love for the same reasons they fell in it. That their lover’s once endearing stubbornness has now become refusal to compromise and their one track mind is now immaturity and their bad habits that you once adored is now money down the drain. Their spontaneity becomes reckless and irresponsible and their feet up on your dash is no longer sexy, just another distraction in your busy life. Nothing saddens and scares me like the thought that I can become ugly to someone who once thought all the stars were in my eyes.”

Part Two:

“I never expected this to be my most popular poem out of the hundreds I’ve written. I was extremely bitter and sad when I wrote this and I left out the most beautiful part of that class. After my teacher introduced us to this theory, she asked us, “is love a feeling? Or is it a choice?” We were all a bunch of teenagers. Naturally we said it was a feeling. She said that if we clung to that belief, we’d never have a lasting relationship of any sort. She made us interview a dozen adults who were or had been married and we asked them about their marriages and why it lasted or why it failed. At the end, I asked every single person if love was an emotion or a choice. Everybody said that it was a choice. It was a conscious commitment. It was something you choose to make work every day with a person who has chosen the same thing. They all said that at one point in their marriage, the “feeling of love” had vanished or faded and they weren’t happy. They said feelings are always changing and you cannot build something that will last on such a shaky foundation. The married ones said that when things were bad, they chose to open the communication, chose to identify what broke and how to fix it, and chose to recreate something worth falling in love with. The divorced ones said they chose to walk away. Ever since that class, since that project, I never looked at relationships the same way. I understood why arranged marriages were successful. I discovered the difference in feelings and commitments. I’ve never gone for the person who makes my heart flutter or my head spin. I’ve chosen the people who were committed to choosing me, dedicated to finding something to adore even on the ugliest days. I no longer fear the day someone who swore I was their universe can no longer see the stars in my eyes as long as they still choose to look until they find them again.”

This idea never sat too well with me, but as I get older I think that I felt that way because it had truth to it that I wasn’t ready to grasp. It throws out the notion of a fairy tale love that I had been so engulfed in, and puts forth a good old dosing of reality. I don’t know why but it’s grown on me a lot… Just like anything in life, you have a choice. You have the ability and power to choose past seeing the pain someone’s actions caused and instead see the struggle and indifference that was within them in order for them to have made those decisions. You have the choice to get off your high horse and remember times when you have acted carelessly or selfishly towards others because of your own inner turmoil. Loving someone means understanding them and their WHY’s. Loving someone means planting your root with them and growing, loving someone means sacrifice and not saving face, loving someone means honesty and integrity, loving someone is all encompassing- is being their strength even when you’re faulty yourself. Loving someone- actually LOVING someone is crazy fucking magical, man. Unexplainable. Impenetrable. Insane.

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