Recently, I was asked by one of my best friends what being in love felt like. And I’ll be honest, even though I think I know when I’m in love with someone, it’s so so hard to define. Because of this, once you fall out of love with someone, it can be confusing and make you wonder if you ever really loved them at all.
What is love? A question that probably every single human being has asked themselves (or someone else) since the word came into existence. Because although feelings are hard to describe anyway, love is even more complex than happiness or sadness. Because when we feel those, we *know*. But sometimes people have to realise they are in love, or it grows on them.
I think that I’ve been in love three times in my life so far. And I think that I find it very easy to love, I’m quite open to it. I like being in a relationship and I can be quite trusting (sometimes to my own detriment). But sometimes I do doubt my past loves. Because even though I felt this intense connection to them, they didn’t always make me happy. Sometimes I didn’t like them even while I loved them. And is that even possible? Can you love and dislike someone at the same time?
When I split up with my first boyfriend, who I was with for almost three years, it was very confusing. I knew I still loved him, but we just weren’t compatible as a couple and he upset me a lot. But it made breaking up so much harder because I still had feelings for him. Now, two or so years on, it would be easy to look back and say “I never loved him”. But that would be a discredit to those years we were together. I felt love then, though I no longer feel that way now. My ex however, told me about a month after we split up that he had never loved me. Even now, that kinda hurts.
But it does make my current relationship and partner feel very different – I love him *and* he makes me so happy. There is no part of him that I distrust or dislike or would want to change. And yes, he’s not perfect in that he occasionally makes mistakes, we have to work at our relationship, sometimes we fight, sometimes we disagree. And he has the smelliest farts. But we always make up and apologise and have fun together, and I know I could trust him with my life.
So is that love? I personally think it’s something more than just having fun and trusting someone. A web of feelings and experiences that connect two people together. But it’s hard to explain. And there’s no doubt to me that love isn’t something that can only happen once – we can fall in love multiple times, even if it doesn’t feel that way when a relationship ends.
I guess love is different to every individual. When we say “I love you”, we are saying the same words, even though it means something different to each of us. So I guess it doesn’t really matter what love is, as long as you think you feel it then you do.