I’m a logical person, a person who thinks things through, and then over-thinks them, and then thinks about them some more, and some more still – and yet I don’t know that I can define love. And the cliche about love, of course, is that you’ll know it when you’re in it, right?
I used to think it happened explosively. That love was something astronomically powerful that not only swept you off your feet, but knocked you down on your ass and soaked through your skin and became an overarching force that was impossible to ignore. But, what if that’s not it? What if love is quiet and soft? What if love is gradual and delicate? What if love isn’t an explosion, but is instead this calm feeling you get when you wake up one Wednesday morning and realize that there’s no where else you’d rather be than next to this person whose quirks make you laugh until you can’t breathe? What if, more than anything, love isn’t what all the romantic comedies have made us believe it is?
Over the past six years, I’ve thought a lot about love. I’ve defined it, I’ve been in it and out of it, I’ve thought I was in it and then realized that I wasn’t, I’ve wanted it, not wanted, and on and on.
Lately, I think I’ve stopped trying to define it and have started to believe that being in love is about more than just explosive emotion. And yet, it’s also about more than just finding someone to coexist with in the same space at the same time. Love is about finding someone who lights even your tiniest parts on fire, and everyone’s tiny parts are different. It’s about finding someone who makes you more you, who will even surprise you every now and then by knowing you better than you know yourself.
For me, it’s about finding someone who is as enthusiastic about cheese plates as I am, someone who thinks that when it comes to laughter, sex, and alcoholic drinks, the more intense the better. Love, for me, needs to be somewhat spontaneous, I need someone who will just up and take me on a cruise. Someone who won’t tease me because I have to wash things in a specific order in the shower (shampoo, face, conditioner, body), or who won’t laugh (too hard) when I’m hungover and can’t do anything except lay on one side with my eyes closed and ask repeatedly for someone to squeeze my head.
And you know what? Even after all the thought and the over-thought, after all the defining and the re-defining, what I want from love is actually quite simple: I want (as Chelsea said) a safe place to rest my lips. I want someone who will keep me in his heart because that’s where I’ll be warm and safe. I want someone who will look at me when I’m at my messiest and kiss me on the forehead, someone who thinks I’m lovely in the morning, and at night, and during all the in between times. I want someone who isn’t afraid to live, really live, who identifies what he wants from life and then demands it, loudly and without hesitation.
I want someone who won’t tell me that I’m his everything, because he has a full life of things that don’t revolve entirely around me. I want someone who can handle me, who can tame me in a way, simply by running his fingers down my spine and settling his hand on my lower back. Someone who knows how much I like to be whispered to and who isn’t scared off when I’m crying. Someone who can sense when I’m overwhelmed, who just knows when life is too much and who will, in those moments, stand close enough to me to block everything else out.