“I apologize that once again I’m not in love, but it’s not as if I mind that your heart ain’t exactly breaking. It’s just a thought, only a thought.” ~Dido
What is being in love? Is it the butterflies you get when you first meet “the one?” Is it the disconnect between heart and mind that raises one up while it shuts out the other? Is it the silences that stretch for an eternity without being uncomfortable? Or is it some amalgamation of all the above, with a little bit of libido thrown in?
Love is what we make of it. That’s what I think. You can convince yourself you’re in love if you strive desperately enough to make it real. You can give yourself heart and soul to another person and hope that it’s enough. You can wish for it, pray for it, BEG for it like kids beg for that perfect toy at Christmas and think you got just what you wanted. But you can’t make love blossom for anyone else. You can’t convince them of it when they’re not sold on what you’re selling.
Like Dido said, “It’s not as if I mind that your heart ain’t exactly breaking.” Too often people stay together because they convince themselves it’s love. They fight through their own reticence and force themselves into the glass slipper that hurts like hell every single time. They sacrifice because everyone knows that giving up something is the surest sign of love. They have all the outward trappings, but their hearts aren’t part of it; they’re separate and alone.
So I don’t mind that your heart isn’t exactly breaking. It doesn’t bother me that you’re not in love with me, because I’m not in love with you either. It was just some kind of infatuation born of proximity and a mutual love of Greek food. Or whatever. But it was never love, and the sooner we admit that the better off the both of us will be. We can be free to search for what we’ve been missing.
Because being in love isn’t manning up and doing the “right thing.” It isn’t the butterflies, but the caterpillars instead who are just so delighted when they wrap themselves in those cocoons that keep them safe until the transformation is finished. Because love is that transformation. It’s in the way we shift and change for the better when we’re with that other person. It’s in the give and take that might not always be pleasant, but is always preferred, because we know what soothes our souls.
“If my life is for rent, and I don’t learn to buy, well I deserve nothing more than I get. ‘Cause nothing I have is truly mine.”
When we’re in love we have to dive in. We have to throw caution into the breeze and hope it returns to us unscathed. We have to engage others and let them engage us. We have to live with expectation and not let the world get us down. Because it will if we let it. It will chew up our bones and spit them out. It will break our hearts and then stomp all over them for good measure. But it’s worth it if in the end we aren’t saying “I don’t love you, and I never have,” if we aren’t only honest when it doesn’t even really matter anymore.
Make it yours. Don’t settle for someone who you don’t love just for the sake of being with somebody. You’ll save yourself a world of heartache in the end, and maybe them too.