“We accept the love we think we deserve.” –The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The entire ride there we talked about our aspirations, our fears, and everything in between.  And when I talked, you listened.  You replied – not to hear your own opinions, but to engage with me because you cared about what I had to say.  I think that’s the problem with relationships these days.  One person talks and the other person thinks about their reply – there is no listening, no consideration for other opinions, no openness or acceptance of what’s being said.  It was then that you became my confidant.

Then we got there.  I put the old sneakers and puffy jacket on from my trunk and skipped away from the car.  You smiled.   Often when people look at others they are looking for something wrong – they are picking apart pieces of the person to maintain a position of power in their own mind.  That turns relationships into a sort of “contest” – a constant competition to see which person is better than the other.  But instead, you smiled.  Then, you became my best friend. 

We made it to my favorite spot.  The sun was setting, a train was passing, and the snow was glistening.  We stood there in complete silence, my back to your chest.  This has been the largest moment of peace I think I have ever experienced in my life.  Moments like this have been facilitated in my life, and I have had the opportunity to engage in them, but my head has never been 110% in the moment.  When you are not with the right person, your head always seems clouded, it feels like there is always something missing, and what you have just isn’t enough.  Then you start to compare, think about how much better it could be, and resentment storms.  I had known you for maybe 2 months, and I had nothing going through my head but my unimaginable amount of love for this moment.  Then, I fell in love.

And so why am I writing this?

I’m not trying to rewrite Taylor’s “You are in Love”, and I’m not trying to boast about the most amazing man in the world. 

I’m writing this because I never believed I deserved this. 

When you really think about it, we can make this whole “love” thing work with anyone – we become trained, wrapped in habit and partnership, and we eventually label it “love”.  We may have bouts of emotional intensity here and there, and that’s enough of a reason to maintain the relationship. 

But I’m challenging you to take a step back, to really think about the person you are with, consider your relationship in its more real form, without the fluffy dates and expensive gifts:

Do you believe that by being with this person you are allowing yourself to experience the amount of love you deserve?

If the feeling isn’t overwhelming, if it isn’t all consuming, and if there is an ounce of hesitation, I would argue that you are not.  And these qualities – overwhelming and all consuming – they sound so negative, so engulfing, but they are the exact opposite:

I used to have my life compartmentalized, with love in a singular compartment, never spread throughout.  But now, love overwhelms my life, it fills all of the cracks and crevices in between my achievement and my struggles, and it consumes my heart leaving me with the desire to spread this love to other people.

I realize now what I deserve.

I deserve to be listened to, to be admired and enjoyed, and to be in awe that a moment spend with the right person can be so entangling and unforgettable. 

Love is not a re-orientation, it is not a change in trajectory.  It is not meant to hold you up or keep all your pieces together. 

Love is a state of peace and compassion, of trust, faith, and loyalty. 

And most importantly, love is companionship. 

It is hearing him say, “I’m going wherever you’re going because I want to be there for you.” 

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