On the Unquantifiable Nature of Love [Dear DBN]
There’s a reason we talk about love in English class and not math class – it’s an unquantifiable clusterf#@k. This week, instead of worrying about who loves who more, it’s time to learn that love is like the weather: even in the sunniest places, there are cloudy days. Throw your jacket on and relax.
I told him I loved him. And that I wanted to stay together when he moved two hours away. He said that he “felt the same way. and that he wanted to stay together too.” I responded, “Awww you love me?” He smiled, giggled, and then patted me on the head. What the hell does that mean?!
It means he’s human and that saying “I love you” is weirdly terrifying. The first time someone told me they loved me, I responded by saying, “really?” I didn’t know what love was then. I thought he was the bee’s knees, but it took me over a year to say I love you back to him because I wanted to understand it and mean it when I said it. Words are my missiles – I do not launch them without knowing how and where they will fall. And while we could all do without being patted on the head, it’s important to focus more on actions than words. He’s expressed that he’s ready to commit to you over this distance, and that’s exciting, but he may simply not be ready to say I love you.
Look, we all want the mutual mushy gushy, but it’s important to remember you tell you someone you love them because you want them to know they are loved – not because you want to hear it back.
Beautiful Big Sister…Have you ever been with someone who is “perfect” for you and madly in love with you but who you need more time to feel the same way about? How does one go about being in a relationship that is imbalanced in this way? How does one not freak out about not being in love with this perfect person yet?
My mother once (a million times) said to me, “make sure to fall in love with someone who loves you more than you love them.” She meant that over the course of thirty some years, it is better to be adored than to long for something; it’s better to be wrapped in warmth than running to keep your temperature up. In our youth, this is so completely unrelatable as we barrel into tumultuous, hot n’ cold love affairs. The important thing to remember is not to hit the eject button just because your love feels unequal. Love isn’t quantifiable, so there’s no way to measure it or compare it, and thank God for that. No two people love each other the same amount for the duration of their relationship. The love ebbs and flows and you may pass the baton of adoration over and over.
Remember too that no one is perfect. You’re putting an unfair amount of pressure on yourself to fall in love with this person. He/she certainly loves you, and over time, you may fall into a deep committed love with this person, but they aren’t perfect or perfect for you, because that doesn’t exist. They’re a great person who you are enjoying spending time with – take a deep breath and enjoy it.