The Language of Love

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Older pic of me and the wife

Let’s just put it out there: yes, I’m only 21. And I admit, I have only had one relationship (and even that one I’m not confident enough to call a relationship). That doesn’t stop me from formulating some ideas about love and its workings. As Dickens said, “A loving heart is the truest wisdom”.

It was a big problem for the other in my previous relationship, the fact that he was the “first”. Yet I cannot understand why. I think one’s ability to love is not connected to relationship experience. We learn to love our family, our friends, so we can pick up what love is without being with someone in a relationship of that sort. I do not deny that through relationships we manage to grow and understand more, but that happens in any sort of relationships: sexual or not.

I also believe that one can experience love through books and movies. Yes, I am that kind of person, with such credulous belief that you can actually live through fictional characters. Sue me. Even more, I believe you can live and learn through the people around you. All you need is to have an open mind and a playful eye.

Needless to say that having previous relationships can actually harm your ability to love – emotional baggage seems abundant in so many people.

Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I have loved, I had not said so. (David Grayson)

One of my problems was the fact that I constantly had to start a discussion called “what exactly are we?”. Now, for much time the other would accuse me of being pushy, but he would never actually respond to the question. I was not searching for a particular answer, just an answer. Especially in my world, where the existence of a fuck buddy is less about movies and fictional characters, I needed to know how much I should invest myself. I like visualizing, strategizing. I like to know where I stand.

This being said, I hate having such discussions. I think it kills a lot of the romanticism. Whilst all psychologists explain how any healthy relationship needs a lot of communication about everyone’s needs, I think that comes later. I think the beauty in the beginning is not knowing, is the hunt, is the slow discovery of the fact that the other one loves you. Certainly less efficient, but the romantic in me cannot but wish to see, how, day by day, the other person is trying to show me how much he cares. It might be because I think words are cheap, that I prefer actions.

Gestures, in love, are incomparably more attractive, effective and valuable than words. (Francois Rabelais)

For many that know me, they know that I am not a very physical person; until recently, I did not permit others to hug me much, or to show me too much physical affection, whether lovers or not. It exists now as well: for example, I generally find excuses to send people I sleep over home (if they can go home. I am too kind it seems to throw out people in the middle of the night). I do not cuddle, if I/they sleep over – I tell them I like sleeping alone. It’s not necessarily true. Sure, partly it is because I do not feel comfortable with strangers being so intimate with me (though we had sex). But it’s more than that, it’s because I only want to let people that I really like cuddle and hug me.

When I do like someone – love is a strong word – I enjoy doing all that I can to make them happy. Like baking them cakes, running around to find their lost phone, buying them that (rare) (expensive) record they didn’t manage to buy because they didn’t wake up early enough to queue for it. I do not expect the same; I don’t do it because I want something, I do it because it makes them happy.

Also, as the days go by, I begin to understand – with a little bit of sadness – that relationships and love is much more complicated than it seems. That there are no rules like “if you ever cheat on me I will chop of your nuts and choke you with them”. That sometimes people hurt you by mistake. That some people love in a different way. A blogger I follow has questioned whether monogamy is a natural state of being.

Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit. (Peter Ustinov)

As I responded, I do think there is a thing called “context”. I think some people are built to lust after other even when there is a lover in their life. I am not one of those: when I like someone, everyone else is not good enough because it is not him. I feel no desire to have sex with them. But I accept that not everyone is like that. And the only thing I would ask for them is that they control their lust, because they do not want me to be hurt. And if they fail to do that, then they should not tell me unless they think I would find out otherwise. It might seem strange, right, that I would think it better for the secret to remain hidden. That is because I am quite sure people tell the other half that they had cheated not because it would do them good, but because of guilt. So live with that guilt, for me. Certainly, sometimes honesty can be good. Sometimes, I might like to know how you slept with that greek trainer and not make up excuses after your flatmate has already slipped about it.

The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple. (Oscar Wilde)

All I need is a lover to hold me in his (strong, manly) arms and tell me how he missed me all day long. Someone who would juggle his time so that he sees me as often as possible. Someone, who, from time to time, might even put something up on Facebook about me. Not because Facebook is relevant, but because it shows that one cares so much about the other that he wants others to know.

Already this post is too long. So let me finish by saying that I do not crave love – I think there’s something wrong and weak in people begging for relationships. But it would be nice for someone to come across my path in life. I also do not believe in open-relationships. Just so we’re clear on that.

One last thing actually. Never love half-heartedly. Never do anything you would know hurts your other. And for the love of all that is precious in this world, never find excuses not to be with the one you love. For you see, distance exists only in space (as a good friend of mine said). And time is nothing but the flutter of a butterfly.

You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back. (Barbara de Angelis)

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4 Comments

  1. You started with your age, so my comment will as well– I can’t believe you’re 21. I generally don’t believe age is a deciding factor for mist things, and your actual age proves that. Almost everything you said here, and in other posts, are so relatable, and 21 was some time ago.

    This post gets to the heart of it (no pun intended really). I agree with you, and that quote from Rabelais, that love is about actions, not words. (That’s about all I do know on the subject.)

    Do you know the jazz song, “The Man I Love?” It’d be perfect for you.

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