Love is a funny thing. We spend so much time trying to find it, figure it out, trying to explain it and, in some cases, trying to get it back. It’s a mysterious little devil, this crazy thing called love. It has the power to both break you into a million tiny pieces and also glue you back together again — heck, sometimes in the span of one day! From your first kiss to your 50th wedding anniversary, it’s love that always keeps you guessing and on your toes.
A few people have told me that I couldn’t possibly know anything about love since I’ve never really had much experience in said department (I’m talking about you, Anonymous…), but I have learned a thing or two over the years; I don’t think you can really go through life without being at least touch by it, from seeing it play out around you, from seeing how love weaves its way in and out of people’s lives and from seeing the choices that others make. Contrary to what Simon and Garfunkel once mused, no one is an island unto themselves. And right now, as I’m typing this, Michelle Branch’s Goodbye To You just came on Pandora. This song never fails to make me all sorts of emotional — come on, don’t pretend like you’re immune to it! So! Here are four things I know about love, even though I’ve never been “in love” (well, love that was reciprocated, anyway)…
1. Love takes time: Not to steal from a classic, but Miss Mariah sure knew what she was talking about. Love — the kind that is deep and meaningful and long-lasting — is sort of like the perfect stew. It takes time to cook and has to simmer for awhile before it’s “just right.” I mean, you don’t want undercooked meat and raw vegetables, do you? Of course not! You want things to come together, not forced. You want to have time to get to know those vegetables — oops, I mean each other!
2. Love teaches you about yourself: Every new experience gives you a glimpse into who you are, what you want and what you most certainly don’t want. As important as the other person is to you, love teaches you to look out for yourself and love yourself first. Those romantic butterflies may make it hard to see that sometimes, but it’s such an important thing to remember.
3. Love is an unexpected roller coaster: Now, this is most definitely something I know all too well. You can have this vision all mapped out in your head — a vision of exactly how you think everything is going to go — and then? BOOOOM!!! The rollercoaster you’re on takes an unexpected turn and you find yourself in completely unfamiliar territory. I’ve even found myself in these murky waters a time or two. I’ve fallen for guys I NEVER expected to, hung on for a little too long with some guys and even spent an absurd number of hours analyzing every…single…detail. It can be intoxicating, sure, but those unexpected twists and turns can be doozy too.
4. Love, at the end of the day, is beautiful: For as messed up and complicated as love can seem sometimes, I can’t help but feel like we make it too hard. I do this all the time, even if most of those complications are largely in my head. Just listen to an ’80s love song. You’ll know what I’m talking about.
What are some things you’ve learned over the years, friends? Do you feel like you’ve gotten wiser? Are there still some things that you just plain don’t understand? What advice do you have for all us lovebirds out there? xoxo
[Photos via We Heart It]