Well, that’s a mouthful.
The idea of describing love became an obsession of mine. I consider this funny coming from someone who self-diagnosed herself with OCD through WebMD. How does anybody describe love? People have been writing about the topic since hieroglyphics were discernible.
“Knowing that a person will do anything in the world for you, and never asking them to do it.”
“This depends on where you are in your love LIFE.”
“Love means that the other person is more important than you…but they think the same thing”
“I have thought about this since I first saw the post yesterday, and still am not finding an appropriate way to say what love is to me. It’s indescribable with words. But I know how it feels – and that’s what makes this place worth being in.”
I met my husband where I used to work. We were colleagues at our organization and we also had the opportunity to cube together. This provided us with the rare occasion–in between me yelling at vendors, and Dave having to thwart off people who meandered into our cube for a, “do-you-have-a-minute?” question–to discuss mundane, gray matter. You know–everyday crap.
We soon discovered our mundane gray matter was hysterical.
People would actually congregate into our cube at any unannounced hour to just let off some steam, or start talking about a topic to one of us; eventually engaging both of us–which in turn–exploded into a full combat war of sarcastic words. This would result in a round of applause, or a resounding, “Oooooh!”
When the boss of our department showed up on many occasions, you know our banter had to be that good. Soon, we had upwards of a dozen people sitting in our cube, including our boss, just laughing about mundane, gray matter. God forbid, we started talking about office politics.
We should have sold tickets.
Dave was funny and extremely smart. He was an eloquent speaker, witty, oh-so-charming, and extremely handsome.
I think I just described the Ken Doll; if Ken dolls talked. Or, because Ken is a guy he’s not actually a “doll,” but an action figure? Not sure about that one.
But, that’s all I really knew about Dave. I didn’t know anything underneath the surface; his temperament (although he knew mine!), his family; all of those personal things that would make you want to get to know a person on a more exclusive level.
When September 11, 2001 happened, Dave left the building. No letter. No note. He just left. We all suspected due to his rank in the military at that time (Major), and the expertise he had with intelligence and counter-intelligence communities, he was obviously called back into active duty.
I missed my cube-mate. I missed our every day back-and-forth banter. I missed our discussions on mundane, gray matter–all the stupid stuff that makes life hilarious.
I missed my friend. I didn’t even call him a friend until he left. But, like they say, you don’t really know what you miss until it’s gone.
In hindsight, what I missed was our friendship. I missed having him around to make fun of me.
I’ve dated my fair share of men, trust me. When I got divorced in 2000, I pretty much thought men sucked–all of them. I went on a anti-men campaign reading self-help books, concentrating on keeping my son on the straight and narrow, and focusing on increasing my job skills so I could make more money to pay for my son’s summer camp, baseball and football fees.
I had the displeasure of dating a mama’s boy. Set up by my sister, (thanks a lot), it was a blind date. When I greeted him at my door, he was a foot shorter than me. One of the things I have maintained my entire life in any relationship I was in, was the requirement that the man had to be taller than me. They also shouldn’t expect me to help them move and help unpack all their crap into their new, big, magnificent home; especially right after meeting him. This guy was my first date after being married for over fifteen years. I dumped him after three months.
Perhaps I got off on the wrong foot with this whole dating thing. I mean, I was a little rusty at it, and a little bruised after being beat up from my divorce. At that point in my life, I don’t think I knew how to describe love because it had been absent in my life for a very long time. Looking back at my first marriage, what I thought was love really wasn’t love at all; it was a search and rescue mission.
I’ve dated guys who were void of the ability to love, but they certainly wanted sex. There were the guys who were experimental–I’ll let you think about that one on your own–and after a while, weird; at least for me.
During my five years of being divorced, nobody was to my liking except for the one guy who made things a little weird. The amount of perfectionism on his part just wanted to make me punch in him the throat. He also had the uncanny ability to lose focus within ten seconds. If all of us were in the car ready to head off somewhere, he would get out of the car and say, “Oh, I forgot to check the mail.” This turned into ten minutes of “checking the mail” because he got so caught up on what was in the mailbox, he forgot there were a few kids in the car, and me, waiting for him so we can go someplace. He was always right and I was always wrong. He didn’t understand the concept of the word, compromise, in a relationship. Maybe that’s why he was married three times before.
All of the relationships I had after my divorce always taught me what love wasn’t. Those relationships proved to be valuable lessons for me.
As always, Dave’s timing couldn’t be more perfect. After four years of not seeing, hearing, and faintly forgetting about him, I received a cryptic email at work one day.
Are you still there?
We had decided to meet for dinner and catch up on each other’s lives. I was seeing my old friend again! When we saw each other on that warm October night in 2005, it was the beginning–or maybe I should say–the start of starting-where-we-left-off in our relationship.
To me, love starts out as friendship. It’s a bond between the two of you and nobody else; you just get one another. You seem to understand one another’s quirks, what they are thinking just by looking at them in their eyes, or if you both see something or someone and say the same thing out loud.
You are simpatico. There isn’t any effort involved to claim this trait–it just happens. Physical attraction is also important. But to me, this should naturally fall into place. In my mind, physical love is just an extension of loving the person for who they are as a human being on the inside; after all, this is what I fell in love with first.
Love is definitely in sickness and in health. It’s being there for the other person when they need you at the most critical and joyful moments in their life. It’s providing them things that they wouldn’t get or do for themselves, yet they would get or do for you without question. This is being unselfish and kind.
Love, to me, is respect. Respect for understanding boundaries, not to push “the buttons” just because you want to pick a fight, and always, ALWAYS telling them you love them.
Every. Single. Day.
So, I suppose in my mind I would describe love as being friends first. If there is absolutely no effort involved to being friends with one another, the other stuff–physical attraction, unselfishness, kindness, and respect–all falls naturally into place.