Monday, July 13, 2009

What is love, exactly?

Prof asked me yesterday if I had loved BB.

I didn't really know how to answer. Not because I wasn't willing to share my feelings on that particular matter, but because I no longer know what the answer is. If you had asked me that question in December, I would have unequivocally said "Yes. I love BB more than the sun, the stars, chocolate, coffee and beer. Combined." But, I'm not so sure that was really the case.

I thought that because I was willing to give up so much to be with him, that it must be love. My free time, my individuality, my friends, family, the outdoors - all were sacrificed in the name of this thing that I thought had to be love. What else could explain the crazy feelings I had? The out of control, crazy, unrequited feelings that I had?

Now, I can tell you what else could explain those feelings. Desire. Desire and desperation. Addiction.

I would have moved across the country for him. I would have thrown myself under a bus - to save him, but also to get him to notice me and to pay attention to me. Well, shit. Who notices the girl under the bus? That's a pretty difficult place to be seen. Unless you want to be seen by your fellow roadkill.

So, what the hell is love? Have I ever been in it? I love a lot of people; and have no problems telling them so. But romantic love? With a boy? What is that supposed to feel like? I thought it was the out-of-control, I'd do anything for you feeling. But its not that. That feeling is crazy and unsustainable. That feeling made me crazy and unsustainable.

What I have with Prof is the complete opposite of BB. Its quiet. Supportive. Easy. If I need him, he's there. If I need him to not be there, he's gone. But those out of control, raging hormonal and desperate feelings aren't there and it confuses me. Shouldn't I think about prof every second of every day? If I don't, does that mean I don't care about him enough? Shouldn't I give up kayaking weekends so I can spend time with him? I would if it were BB, but I don't for Prof. I'm not desperate for the love of the Prof. I know I have it, in some form (no, there has been NONE of the love talk. We are both way too broken to be that vulnerable). And I know this for many reasons, but mostly because he encourages me to do the things that make me happy, even when they don't include him.

BB and I burned brightly for a millisecond. I thought it was love, but clearly, it wasn't. Prof and I don't burn anything (except maybe tofu-dogs) and I wonder if I will love him. Or if I already do. Or if I should. Or if I can.

But, seeing as I don't know what this love is, I'm going to have a hell of a time knowing whether I'm in it. And I feel like the "I love you" clock is ticking...


Ms Behaviour said...

Seriously, it's like you're writing from inside my brain. Hey, are you one of my voices?!

Elena said...

Why are you talking about BB to the prof? And to answer your question, no, you weren't in love with BB.

Just as he wants you to be nice to him, he also doesn't want to think you are comparing him to your ex's. Obviously, you've already brought it up, so now move on. As far as the prof is concerned, he is the only man you could ever love/ have never felt this way before/ are more comfortable with him than any other guy you've been with etc.

And come on now, Ms. Love Cynicism, isn't that all true anyway?

You have to be completely vulnerable to someone and trust they wouldn't do anything to violate that trust before you can ever truly know what love is.

Janet said...

"If I need him, he's there. If I need him to not be there, he's gone." This right here sounds like a perfect relationship to me! But I too struggle with wanting the crazy feelings, yet knowing that isn't "real" and won't last.

erin said...

Hmmm, so this is very interesting. Uh, but I have no advice. Sorry. I say it's interesting because I have been wondering what it will be like to fall for someone again after my BB-like relationship with the desperation and the crazy-love. These days I'm far more comfortable being me and I like my space... I suspect being with someone new will be a completely different relationship experience this time around.

I also suspect that is what you are experiencing with Prof. You're cool being you, you like being you and he respects that. He lets you be you, he's not trying to control or manipulate you, he's not making you feel desperate. I hope that's how I feel in my next relationship, I think what you're describing is a good thing.

kristen said...

by the way, a relationship expert should know better than to ask things about your past relationships like that... it rarely leads to anything positive...

there is not any good reason to discuss him in anything other than facts - fact, he was my ex. fact, he was a dick. fact, he broke me for a little while.

no feelings, just facts.

ISA Brokers said...

I concur with Elena~ Why are you talking about BB to the Prof? STOP THAT!

i like cheese said...

I don't think that the love clock is ticking...everyone feels love for another in their own way and on their own time. You guys have been dating for a few months...if even that. I've said the L word after a month, I've also said the L word after six months...when you feel it, you know it. Simple as that. If you have to ask yourself if you do, then maybe it's not time for you to feel that way. Yet.

Unknown said...

I think it's easy to second guess love after the fact. Who knows if it was love? It felt like love at the time, but it didn't work out. Not sure it matters.

What matters right here, right now, is what you're feeling toward the prof. Not the past.

Too many people spend *way* too much time thinking about the past (speaking as one of those poor sods at one time). Learn from it, but leave it behind you, where it belongs, in the past.