Love Is All Its Cracked Up To Be

Real love is worth waiting for

Photo by Christiana Rivers on Unsplash

“Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”- Erica Jong, Fear of Flying

Love is the meaning of life. At least it is of mine.

I met my now boyfriend of two years ago on a Tinder date. He is everything its cracked up to be.

He was my first serious boyfriend. Before him, I had short flings and went on dates but nothing lasted longer than about 2 months. I never introduced anyone to my friends and family. No one was ever serious about me.

I had no idea what real love felt like. There were guys I was ‘falling’ for but in hindsight, it was not the beginning of love. I mistook anxiety for feelings. I thought if you liked someone you made them wait and played games with them. You kept them guessing. You did not reveal your true intentions or feelings. And you were cold and distant and then warm and funny. You gave false hope and your actions did not match your intentions. I thought all of that was the beginning of love. The sick feeling of anxiety in your stomach.

Love is meant to hurt isn’t? Well, that’s what they tell you in the movies. But they are wrong.

Love is not pain. Love is the opposite of pain. It is safe. It is home. It is brave.

Love should never make you feel anxious or unsure. It should not keep you guessing. It should not be a game of ‘who cares less’. Love should never make you feel bad about yourself or insecure. Love should not point out your flaws.

Real love feels amazing and when you find it will be clear. There will be no second-guessing.

On our first date, I had no idea that he was going to be the ‘one.’ There was no romantic music playing or crash of thunder. At the time I had been on a number of dates and was deliberately keeping expectations low. We had a nice dinner. We chatted and then had a glass of wine at my place.

The more I got to know and spend time with him the more I fell in love with him. The more it became clearer that this was real. I always felt safe with him. I never felt like I had to be someone else or play a part or impress any of his friends. He loves me as I am and accepts all my flaws.

He is the reason I love coming home.

Love is not confusing

I accepted treatment from guys because I thought it was going to be love. I accepted being messed around and manipulated. I accepted half-hearted answers and confusing tales. All because I thought love was meant to be hard. It was meant to be difficult. It was not meant to be easy. It was meant to cause pain and suffering and make me cry long into the night while agonising over why we couldn’t just be together.

Don’t ever let someone tell you there are circumstances that have developed which resulted in you not being able to be together. Don’t believe that bullshit. If they want to be with you, they will make it happen. They will let you know. They will declare it loud enough for everyone to hear. They will not be afraid of commitment. No one is a vampire who can’t be with you because they may suck your blood. And even Edward Cullen found a way.

One guy I dated, said he wanted to be with me and had ‘feelings’ for me but he could not be with me. His reason; he wanted to move overseas. That was about 3 years ago and he still hasn’t moved. It was a weak reason. It was not the real reason. I would have appreciated it if he was honest with me and told me the truth:

He didn’t want to be with me.

It would have saved me hours of agonising over how ‘unfair’ the situation was or how he was such a wonderful guy and I wished we could be together. He was not a wonderful guy. He was not honest with me. He wasn’t the good guy by making up an excuse. If he really had ‘feelings’ he would have made it work. Because love works.

It's not meant to be something you push through or have to work on, especially in the beginning. It should feel right because if it doesn’t then it's not right.

Love is not an either/or. Love does not give ultimatums, “Either you marry or else.” Or else what? It should not be a choice between two extremes. “Either we get married or we break up.” If breaking up is an option, maybe you should break up.

Love is not an act of divine intervention or a cupid’s arrow. It does not happen when you get struck by lightning with feelings and suddenly you have to be with that person even if they treat you terribly. Love is a choice. We choose who we love, whether we want to believe it or not. We choose the love we think we deserve not the love we have no choice over.

I often look at couples who seem so unhappy and yet stay together and wonder why. I once asked a friend:

“Why are you still together?”

“Because I love him.”

“If he treats you badly, break up with him.”

“It's not that simple.”

But it is that simple. Loving someone does not mean treating them badly.

Love is not a catch-all phrase that sweeps all manners of evil under the rug. Loving someone does not make them the right person.

You can leave someone that is not treating you badly even if you love them. And maybe once you leave them you may find what you thought was love was not love at all.

Love is

Finding my partner, was like finding a home. I feel like I have known him for years. I was waiting for him. I never have to guess how he feels about me or feel anxious if he does not reply to my text within 5 minutes. Love should never make you sick. It should be constant in your life and it should make you feel good.

Shakespeare wrote sonnets on love and this is my favourite, “Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds or bends with the remover to remove. O no! it is an ever-fixed mark.”

I am a Lawyer, Writer, Reader and Traveller. From Johannesburg, South Africa. I am writing to find my voice. Fortune favours the brave.

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