I’m watching the Wedding Planner. Total fluff, I know I know, but Matthew McConaughey is the future Mr. 2N and I love love love this movie.
Between my future husband cancelling his wedding on the day of, and Jennifer Lopez walking out on the kid that eats mud, it brings to mind a question I have been asking myself for a while now: how do you know when you love someone?
I mean, REALLY love them.
Love is a word we use a lot. I think T Brad wrote a blog about this sometime last year, and then I did a followup, and it’s true – we say “I love…” a lot. I tell my friends I love them all the time. I love lots of things…but at what point is the love you feel the kind of love that means you can see yourself spending a lifetime with that person? How do you know you’re IN LOVE as opposed to loving someone? And how much time do you spend with someone before giving up on them being The One? Can someone become The One over time? Is it possible to know right away? HOW?
I read a blog a while back by Dating Tips For Men that was about how men can tell when they’re in love. One of the comments on the blog has stuck in my head ever since. It was from this blog and this is the comment:
Remove all emotion from your mind when you think of her. Picture someone better (i.e. the same as her without any flaws). Look objectively at your life and her life and the past interactions (good and bad) – remember…no emotion…picture it as if it’s a friend and you’re evaluating his picker to see if it’s broken. Now picture her at the absolute worst possible in life – out of shape, ugly, distraught, etc. Then picture her to perfection. Then pretend you’re explaining to someone “who she is” in-depth. Prove to yourself how well you know her. Say to yourself “she’s wonderful, but…” and see if anything instantly pops to mind (if it does – even if you love her you’d be making a mistake).
After all that (and spend some serious soul-searching time with each one)…is she what you want in ALL of those situations, then ask yourself one question and be brutally honest:
Are you SURE? Absolutely, positively SURE?
If it’s really love, you’ll KNOW. If you don’t KNOW for an absolute fact, it’s NOT love. It might be heading there, but it’s not there yet.
I thought this was interesting because the same man goes on to say that love is not an accident, it’s a choice. You choose to fall in love with someone.
If that’s so, how does one choose NOT to fall in love? That seems awfully hard. And how do you know when you love someone versus being IN LOVE with someone? I hear that a lot, and have thought I have felt it before…”I love them but I’m not IN LOVE with them.” Thinking about the things the guy said in the comment makes a lot of sense – how many of us really think about the people we love like that? I don’t know if I could describe many of the people I love like he says to.
It’s really easy to say you should but really hard to actually walk away from someone when you first think…this person isn’t The One, though. Walking away from someone at any time when the only problem you can discern is that the person just isn’t The One is difficult, I think.
I mean, seriously – when someone does you really really wrong, it’s pretty easy to justify breaking up with that person. The catalyst is pretty clearly defined. It’s not as easy though when all you have is a gut feeling and not much else.
I always end up asking myself, “Well what if they’re just not The One YET? What if time will tell?” We all know where that leads. It’s equally hard to tell someone that they’re not The One for you. And what if you suspect that you’re not The One for them? There’s times I’ve thought that, that I wasn’t the best person for the job, no matter how much I wished I was. How do you make THAT the basis for a breakup without sounding like you’re making all the decisions for the other person?
So many questions, so few answers. I know, I know, such is the way of the world, but it’s still frustrating. You’d think at 32 years of age I’d at least have a little more of a clue than I did twenty years ago but I guess that’s not the case.
PS: You know when you get a call from a number you don’t recognize so you don’t answer it thinking that if it’s someone you know, they will leave a message? If they don’t, you think it is a wrong number? That’s probably mostly true, except SOMETIMES it’s your drunked lawn boy and he’s asking if you have a boyfriend, apologizing profusely, saying things you can barely understand and wondering if now would be a good time to practice his English. Awkward.