What I Thought Love Was

Posted: 6th December 2011 by Duality in Dynamics

If I had a time machine and could go back in time and meet myself, I think the one thing I’d try to explain to the younger me, besides which stocks he should really buy or what sports teams to bet on, is what love really is.  We really don’t learn what love truly is until later in life.  The fortunate are the ones who wake up one day and realize that the person they married when they were young and naive turned out to be the very person they needed in their life all along.  The unfortunates?  Well, there’s a reason the divorce rate is so high.  Though I have a thought on that particular subject and I’ll probably write that up at some point.  Anyway, we all think we know what love is in our teenage years, don’t we?  A teenager screaming at their parent, “You don’t understand!” has got to be one of the most cliche things ever, and its something that actually happens quite a lot.  But we’re the ones who didn’t understand.  It all seemed so important at the time and now, with age and some serious relationship fuck ups, I can look back on my younger self and say, “You were an idiot who knew nothing”.  For the record, I never screamed “You don’t understand” at my parents.  Though there were times I wanted to.

What I thought love was, exactly, was rather unformed.  It was all about ideals, I guess.  But it was all very superficial.  A lot of that is because we’re still becoming people as teenagers.  We aren’t there yet.  We’re still forming.  Its hard to really get to know someone when they can change so drastically from week to week.  You think you know someone one day and the next they have read Kurt Vonnegut and their world view has dramatically shifted.  That’s the thing with young relationships.  You have to grow together, or you’re going to grow apart.  And though our teen years are filled with angst, we really have no concept as to just how harsh the world is going to be.  We have no concept as to how we are going to react to those harsh conditions and neither do our partners.  In short, if you don’t know who you are yet, how can you know if you are going to be attracted to someone for the long haul because you’re going to change.  Add into that the fact that they don’t know who they are yet either and what you have is a mess.

So, what is love?  Love, to me, is finding that person who completes who you are.  They offset your weaknesses, they challenge you, they stimulate your mind and body, and have empathy with you.  You feel each other’s pain and know when that pain is there.  You are stronger with that person and even stronger for that person.  And you absolutely have to be able to laugh with that person.  They have to get you and your specific brand of humor.  If you aren’t having fun, what’s the point?  Really, that’s it for me.  It doesn’t sound like much, but there was a point in my life where I honestly didn’t think I would ever find that person.  Fortunately for me the right person had been chasing me for a couple of years and I finally got it through my overly thick cranium that she was the one.

But how would I explain that to a younger me?  That’s a tough one.  The only thing that comes to mind is just explaining that everything that he thinks is important isn’t.  That though my parents married right out of high school, they’re success is the exception to the rule and to stop thinking it was the rule.  And I’d explain that he has some rough times coming ahead.  Don’t worry about relationships now because you are going to find out so much about yourself in the next 10 years or so that its not funny.  Love, real love, is worth waiting for.  And finding out what love isn’t is probably the best thing he can be learning right now.  Date.  Ask lot of different girls out and try not to lock onto any of them.  Sex is okay to do without falling in love with the person you’re having it with.

And oh yeah, in 2002 go to this website, look for this screen name, and get to know that person.  You’ll be ecstatic you did.  Oh, and here’s a list of interesting websites to look at once they are invented.  Congrats, you’re a kinky son of a bitch.

  1. Conina says:

    One of the funniest parts of being an adult is hearing my mom’s stories from her own escapades and realizing that she did, in fact, understand.

    She let me do things I never would have thought she would, but I guess she figured I was a grown woman and if she fought me on it she’d lose me.