Love: A Learning Experience

As you grow up, you have connections with people along the way. You find yourself moving from playful games of chase at recess to picking on the one you like to sweaty palms and not knowing what to say. You find yourself in various states of emotions, you question everything. You find yourself constantly thinking about them until you don’t know what you would do without them.

It’s that look in their eyes, the smile that creeps onto your face that tells you everything that you need to know – you have a crush.

But, liking someone isn’t all it is cracked up to be. There are so many ups and downs. It becomes this constant roller coaster ride that we never really get off of. This ride that we are on only gets more intense as we age, and before you know it, you’re fucked. You’ve fallen in love, and wowie, you would do anything for that other human and it is a scary concept to grasp.

If I could tell you anything about love, it is this: All love with hurt you. Even the love that you thought would stick around; even the love that does stick around. Love is not meant to be all glitter and sunshine.

Love is work.
Love is understanding.
Love is choice.
Love is patient.
Love is…

When you are little, you find that one who makes you laugh. That human, the one that chases you around at recess, the one that calls you names, the one that plays hard to get; probably won’t be the human that you end up marrying at the end of the day. This human won’t be one that you call your boy/girlfriend because you’re not allowed to date. This is the human that you call and hang up on. This is the human that you will always remember but will laugh about later because of how silly it was.

As you get older, the physical attraction starts to creep in, and truly, it’s the beginning and end of any sort of rational thought. That innocent sort of love that you have become accustomed to has now changed into something resembling lust, and all you want to do is be, well, physical.

At this point, you don’t understand what love really is. There are so many misunderstandings, blurred lines, and simply just not having enough understanding of the world – the relationships will fail more than they will succeed. You will still see them in the hallways, you will glance at each other and it will mean less and less as time goes on. You’ll both leave scars, scars that you will remember years from now – silent lessons that you will take from one relationship to the next.

Because, puppy love is still love. It will teach you that listening to your parents isn’t always a bad thing – they were young once too. Puppy love will teach you that people don’t always have the best intentions, and truly, aren’t that nice. It will teach to you that friendship is golden, true ties will always bypass the troubles that you had in your early school years.

First love, can you remember yours? This will be the first human you picture as your partner down the line. They will be the person you group up with because as tender as this age is, life is only just beginning. They will say that they will wait for you while you finish university (and some will, don’t get me wrong).

First love will send you flowers and bring you to nice dinners. They will take you to meet their family and you will share all the inside jokes. You will hang out with mostly all of the same people because you all grew up together. They will comfort you during all the nights that you are apart, and reassure you of the love that you both have for each other.

But, life doesn’t always roll the way you want it too – at that age, so many things strain a relationship. First love will teach you that sometimes the best, and only, answer in life is to get no answer at all. First love will teach you that the best way to get over someone is to see them with someone else.

First love will always hold a special place in your heart, even after all the hurt they will cause.

Think about your best friend, the one that will be there for everything and anything. Think of a dynamic duo like Rey and Finn or Gordon and Lizzie. It’s the notion that what you have been searching for is right in front of you. You will find comfort in their words, feel at home in their arms. But, it is strictly platonic.

You will find yourself in some of the same situations, the same social circles, and see one another everywhere. They will make you laugh, they will be the person your significant other is jealous of. Everything you ever wanted in a partner is right there. And, sometimes things align, the “what ifs” are there, maybe you get a chance.

But, you still don’t want to ruin whatever friendship that you have. You enjoy so many things about one another but you just can’t have things move past that. The friendship will prance on blurred lines and you won’t know what to make of it. You will question the emotions that surround actions.

See, there are consequences there too. Sometimes it gets to be too much, for either party. if more feelings arise and they are not met with the same amount of ferocity. This will cause the loss of a friendship or a strain in it.

The love that you have for your best friend will teach you that you will have to live with the consequences of your mistakes. It will teach you that forgiveness is a road full of struggles and sometimes doesn’t come. It will also teach you that sometimes in order to keep someone in your life, you have to learn to accept the way things are. If they are truly your best friend, they will stick around and ignore the what ifs.

Darling, have you ever loved someone but just didn’t reciprocate the romantic love that they were putting out? This will be the person who would give up their own happiness for yours. This one-sided love will help you finish projects, stick up for you when no one else does, and find you when you are at your lowest. They will help you when you can’t do it yourself. They won’t care about the places you go to as long as you are there.

This love will be something you dreamed of, but you just can’t give it back.

It’s not that you don’t want to, but feelings can’t be forced and even if they love you with all they have, it’s not fair. This relationship will be fucking shitty. You will question everything, and still you will feel the disconnect in your chest.

In addition to all of this, they will have different views on life with you. You will have arguments. You will feel emotionally drained or annoyed by everything that is happening because you don’t understand why things just can’t stay how they are. You will get tired.

One-sided love will teach you all about guilt. It will teach you that time will heal this wound but it doesn’t let love grow if there wasn’t much there in the first place.

It will teach you that good guys exist but it will also teach you that sometimes it’s surrounded in either good intentions or ulterior motives. This love will teach you that you’re capable of hurting others tremendously, not just the other way around.

There isn’t perfection within life but there will be the imperfectly perfect human for you. This human will show you all of their colours and you will still find them witty and charming. You will look past all of the exaggerated narratives, the dark sense of humour. This human will be everything you ever wanted – funny, kind, patient, and everything good. They won’t have to convince you that this is love, you will just know.

You will make promises, talk about the future. You will spend the days cooking, binging movies and TV shows, taking cute pictures, and going on any sort of adventure you want to. You will put each others needs before your own because that is what love does. It will be the perfect story to tell.

At times you will think it is too good to be true, and you might be right.

In time, the daily phone calls and goodnight messages will fade. The sparkle will start to fade, the relationship will spiral. You will find out the promises were tied to empty cans that were kicked to the side. You will find that they will take back all their words and leave you with another sob story.

This seemingly perfect love will teach you that there is no such thing as the perfect love.

There are imperfections in every relationship and it takes a lot of work to keep it. Perfect love will teach you that you need to put your needs before anyone else’s and to not be controlled by all of your emotions. Perfect love will teach you that sweet words are like popsicles on hot summer days; they will melt under the sun. They disappear in the heat.

But, don’t fear, your BIG love will come. Everything that you learned along the way will only prepare you for this love.

I don’t want to ruin it but this love, this love will turn your world upside down and you won’t know what hit you.

You’ll find it.
When you least expect it.


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