Side by Side

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’m sure everyone has love on the brain. Whether you have a valentine, or you’re spending this year solo, you can’t help but get swept away by this Hallmark holiday. Candy and Chocolate fills the displays at every store, and those in a “happy” relationship are flaunting their love on every social accounts.

But, what is real love?

Photo by Akshar Dave on Unsplash

When I think of love.
The first thing that usually comes to mind are butterflies. That ache in your chest that longs for that certain someone.

Or the dramatic notion that you need them. That you can’t breathe without them.

But truth is, love is quiet.
Love is unconditional.

Love isn’t messy.
Love isn’t a crazed belief of need.
Love is boring.

Everything that you read, and sometimes write, paints a picture that without the feeling of infatuation, there is no love. That love requires you to feel emotionally tethered to another individual. That you become “one” or “us” when you fall in love with someone.

As Shakespeare put it, “Love is blind and lovers cannot see.” 
Aristotle, “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”

It’s hard to argue against these two men.
But I’m just stubborn enough to challenge their depictions of love.

Just like many others reading this, I’ve been in this supposed love. I have felt the desire to be one with someone, to always want them near. The need to be their sole confidant. 
But these feelings, this need… it’s a lot of things, but it’s not love.

It’s an infatuation, an obsession, a delusion. It’s passionate, a feeling of desire, lust. It’s possessive thoughts, and separation anxiety.

It is unhealthy.

So instead of choosing this love, let’s choose a new kind of love.

One that brings us fulfillment. Where we don’t need one another, but want each other. Where we speak openly, and share our feelings to eliminate self-concious reactions. Where we respect one another, and chose to breathe, not as one, but as two individuals side by side.

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