What I’ve Learned About Love

Love fucking sucks. Why do I say that?

Well, don’t get me wrong, love is amazing, it all its forms. The love I feel for my daughter is like a space heater for my heart. The love I feel for my friends is a commonplace, secure, peaceful sort of feeling that will last until the day I die. The love I feel for my sister is chummy, sweet, and sometimes frustrating.

The one thing all these loves have in common is that while the day-to-day aspects of love are rather dull, and I feel content rather than excited to see most of these people, I would put myself as risk to make sure they were safe. No matter what your relationship is, it’s some kind of love if you would die to protect somebody.

This is also the case with romantic love, of course.

It’s easy to say you’d die for someone, to convince yourself it’s really love that you’re feeling. But would you really? Before you tell someone you love them, give yourself the following three quizzes.

1) You’re a happily married man, lying in bed next to your wife, and you hear someone breaking in through the window. The intruder pushes you off the bed, waking your wife. She tries to scream but the intruder grabs your pillow and starts suffocating your wife while simultaneously having his way with her. He points a gun at you, swearing he’ll shoot if you don’t shut up, sit still, and watch. Do you fight him off, risking getting killed?

Okay, that one’s a bit dramatic and easy to say yes to. Let’s go more realistic here.

2) The guy you love has a nasty ear infection. It’s gross. He has to lay down on one side and let the disgusting combination of excess wax, medicine drops, and blood leak from his ear. The mess gets everywhere, and he has to sleep on paper towels. Do you change the paper towels out for him as he sleeps, to make sure his pillow survives the ordeal? After his ear is healed up, are you still interested in having sex with the guy?

One last, fairly basic one.

3) He’s not aging well and can no longer go to the bathroom on his own. Could you wipe up after him?

The fact is, romantic love is not just the fairytale happy ending. There’s everything AFTER that, too. We haven’t had movies yet indoctrinate us with how THAT is supposed to be. With scenarios like these being entirely possible, it’s not hard to see why not. Love has its gross side, its scary side.

But that’s also what makes love so wonderful. Imagine yourself as the wife who’s saved by a husband acting quickly, tackling your attacker and giving you a chance to call the police. Imagine having a painful, gross ear infection and knowing your girlfriend is not only not repulsed by it, but is doing her best to keep you comfortable. Imagine being 85 years old and never having to worry about going to the bathroom, knowing you’ll always have help with things that have become more difficult.

Real love makes a huge difference for the people receiving it. It’s worth finding.

I’m just not sure it’s worth looking for.

Love is beautiful when found, but never try to force it. Life is too short to bother with trying to have a relationship where you’d always fail all 3 of those little litmus tests.

But if you’ve found this person who you’d protect, and they’d watch over you too, hold onto them. One way or another. Do anything and everything in your power to keep them around. They are a treasure.

Thus, in closing, I say… It’s your best friend, the one you trust to take care of you, that you want. Not the exciting hot bad boy, not the slutty hot girl. It’s the boring, average, everyday one that you want. They will never leave you.

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