Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The many layers of love

The recent breakup of a friend's engagement has me thinking a lot about love lately.  What is it?  What makes it disappear or endure?  What, exactly, is "true love"?  Is it that sparkly passion of Scarlett and Rhett, or is it the comfort and security of Ron and Hermione?

In the past, I have been guilty of dropping the L-bomb a bit too freely.  I think I said it at one point or another in every monogamous/serious relationship I've had, although the frequency varied.  For example, with non-bf I probably said it less than 10 times over three years because he never returned the sentiment.  With my boyfriend before that, we said it daily.

When I ponder over past relationships, of course with hindsight being 20/20, I think, "Oh, I didn't love him," or "That wasn't true love."  But that thinking is faulty.  Because I did love them.  At the time.  I loved them with what I knew about love when I was with them.  Sometimes the love was more about teenage hormones and other times it was more about friendship.  Sometimes it was about passion and excitement, and sometimes is was about loving love itself.  Sometimes it was about the other person, sometimes it was about me, and sometimes it was just about not wanting to be alone.  We are all guilty of that. 

This love I feel for F is different than all those past loves.  I have been comparing it, trying to figure out why.  I've been dissecting the reasons he is the only one I've ever even considered cohabiting with, trying to come up with an explanation other than "I just know," or "It just feels right."  Finally, I think I've been able to figure it out.  It's not that I love him in a particular way, it's that I love him in all the ways.  We have a strong, connecting bond that only happens when you've been friends for over a decade. I am deeply attached.  I am fiercely protective of him and our relationship.  He is a member of my family, my inner circle.  But on top of all that, there is sparkly chemistry.  My heart pumps an extra beat or two when he seeks me out at home to give me a random kiss, or when we cuddle together on the couch.  And even though I enjoy my alone time, I am always happy to see him when he comes home.  I am as at ease with him as I am by myself, and that is saying something.  The combination of the sparks, comfort, and the fact that his presence adds to my life instead of drains my energy is how I know this is for real.  Really reals. 

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