We spend most of our lives looking for love. We search for it and crave it, but when we finally find it, we are disappointed. We miss out, believing that this couldn’t possibly be the love we have been told about. We try to put conditions into the love we find. We want love with half measures and boundaries. A love that doesn’t break our hearts. We want a love that is perfect and painless. After all, that is what we’ve been taught.

When love doesn’t live up to these expectations, we disregard it and call it something else because love can’t possibly be bad. Except love has never been perfect. Love has never been about half measures. Real love is full and hits you like a ton of bricks. It winds you and leaves you breathless. Love should not be weighed or measured in any way. It doesn’t care about expectations—in fact, it goes beyond that. Love requires you to lose yourself. It requires you to fall. Love demands surrender. It requires making the deepest parts of you vulnerable.

Love is messy, wild, and complicated, but it is also magic. It will challenge you and change you. It will ask for a fight even when you feel at your weakest.

It doesn’t want your empty promises and fickle decisions. Love wants you to take a risk and have faith. Love never promised to be painless. It will hurt, but it doesn’t mean that it will break you. Love is not sugar coated. It will scar and mark you but leave you looking all the more beautiful. Love requires exploration into its deep and mysterious nature.

Love calls for you to give your whole heart. It requires every bit of you. It doesn’t ask for perfection because it is hardly perfect in itself, but when you finally accept love for what it truly is, one thing does become clear: Love is and always will remain real.

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