First of all: Love has nothing to do with what you want
We’ve done ourselves a real disservice, chalking all this bullshit up as love.
Attachment isn’t love. Want isn’t love. Need and desire and longing and preoccupation are not love.
Love isn’t even a fucking feeling, fam!
From this shit article on “how to know you’re in love,” none of these are love…
Love is not “want”
If your explanation of “love” starts with “I want,” it is not love.
Even if you want…
“Just to hear the sound of their breath leaving their lips… to watch the way their head tilts back in abandon, the way their arms outstretch or cover their mouth unconsciously… to kiss that smile, melt it into yours”
“Each moment to stretch and grow and last forever.”
“To stay up all night and talk, and yet, you also just want to lay your head against their chest and breathe in the silence.”
“Them, all hours of the day. But not just their physical self… their heart, their mind.”
“To touch every part of them… and want them to touch and understand and crave you.”
Shit ain’t love.
Love is not “craving”
… “the sound of their laugh mixed with yours.”
…or “longing for”
… “all the tiny parts of them — the secrets, the stories, the lives they’ve lived outside of you.
… “a soul connection.”
… or desire
… for “them. Their mind, their heart, their soul.”
Love is not daydreaming
“When you close your eyes and breathe, you can’t help but imagine yourself with that person, can’t help but feel their touch on your skin, their smile lifting the corners of your mouth, their kiss setting off both a spark and a calm somewhere in your soul.”
“You unconsciously imagine the dates you will go on, the events you will attend, the places you will travel, the dinners you will cook together in a time down the road. Suddenly you aren’t scared of what lies ahead of you, but excited to know you have someone to share it with.
This is fantasy. Escapism, even. Not love.
“When you talk about them, sometimes you gush and can’t stop… Sometimes you’re overflowing with passion, talking about their hands, their eyes, their smile, their touch. It’s as if you’re a little kid again, admiring your crush with such wildness and desire. But sometimes you speak with such calm. You’ve settled into comfort, into familiarity, into a wonderful, beautiful tying of your souls that it seems you’ve always been together, that there never was a time before.
“And sometimes it’s as if you’ve known one another all your lives.”
Love is not about your growth
“You want to be better. You’re inspired to become the best version of yourself and to fight to improve and grow and be all that you’re capable of.”
“You are thankful for the ways they challenge you, strengthen you, teach you, and let you bloom.”
Love is not a freefall
“You can’t help but fall a little deeper every day, and that’s scary and wonderful all the same.”
Love is not a realization
“When you think about your life, you realize how blessed you are to have that person in it. You are inspired by their passion, by the way they care for you, by who they are, and are growing into by your side.”
Love is not companionship
“You have a friend, a partner, an equal, a force who will take on the highs and lows with you. You know that whatever you face, you won’t have to face it alone.”
Love is not a feeling
“When you’re with that person, your heart skips, your palms sweat, your entire body buzzes with life. And yet, you’re overwhelmed by calm, by tranquility, by pure, numbing joy. With them, you are both fearful and fearless, wild and at rest.”
Even if the feeling is gratitude:
“When you wake up, you’re thankful, simply for another day by their side.”
WHAT LOVE ACTUALLY IS:
An action. A decision. An investment. Effort.
Love is not frenzied. Love is calm. Love is decisive. Love is deliberate.
And love is focusing on their feelings and wants and needs, not yours.
Love is understanding.
Not wanting to understand, but actually trying to understand them, before being understood yourself.
“Understanding them, entangling your heart and life with them… know them physically, emotionally, spiritually, completely.”
Sure, great. But it’s all fine when weather is fair, but far more important when fighting.
“Seek to understand before being understood.”
That is love.
In the throes of an argument, when all those fantastic lovey dovey feelings have shifted to frustration and rage-face.
Love is setting your feelings aside, shutting the fuck up at the risk of never being heard, and instead asking, “okay, explain your side to me. Again.”
Love is compromising.
“You don’t always want to be right.”
Love is accepting.
Not just their flaws and “being” imperfections, but the things they do — and actions that fall short of what you would want from “perfection.”
Love is letting. Love has no leash. Love is loose. Love has a wide berth.
Love is giving.
Love is not about your wants — or needs, or desires, or cravings, or longings. Love does not make demands — even if those demands feel like “love” to you, like marriage or moving into together.
Love answers the demands of others — regardless of what they are.
Love is about their wants. And needs. And desires. And cravings. And longings.
Love is supporting.
Not wanting to support, but actually supporting.
Love is not about your growth. Loving is letting them grow.
“You… support them at their weakest and inspire them at their strongest.”
Love is an act and an investment
You don’t tell us you love us. You don’t even show us you love us. You just love us.
You know you’re in love when you make the daily investment in their needs and wants — over your own.