Well before The Guns and I started dating I had a long-distance, on-again, off-again boyfriend. We were like totally in love for about 6 months and then we had our first (of many more than I’d like to admit) break-up. And it was my first real, serious relationship break-up, though I’d had lots of almost and sort-of boyfriends that resulted in pre-emptive break-ups (read: there was nothing official to break up, but it still felt like a break-up), but since this had been a real and serious (read: actual) relationship, this break-up was extra hard for me.
And I felt so lame, because I was so not that girl who could not function because of a BOY!
But OMG ya’ll, I so WAS that girl. I think because I’d actually worked on this relationship. Like really worked (anybody done long distance? ahem, it’s work). And beyond that whole attachment thing, this was something that I’d worked on for awhile and was failing. This was the person I was closest to telling me that he did not want to be so close any more.
And it really doesn’t matter the reason, when you look at it that way. And so I cried a lot, and I made an abnormal call to my father (note: I love my dad to pieces, but we are just not phone people. We should probably communicate more often, but it’s working doing the occasional e-mail thing, perhaps because we also communicate telepathically? And by “telepathically” I mean “my mom tells him everything I say”) to ask him how in the world I’m supposed to get over this break-up.
And my dad told me that love is a decision.
That love is a lot of things, like a feeling, and yes, you can “fall” in love, but really at some point you actually decide to let yourself love someone, and then, yeah, maybe you fall, and things seem to be out of your control but at some point with a little bit of work you can decide not to love someone too. And that is how you can be ok.
It doesn’t sound romantic does it? That you can love someone based on a decision, very much like you can invest in an IRA based on a decision? Or decide that you should really add more fiber to your diet?
But I think it can be romantic… but first who cares if it’s romantic, if it’s TRUE? And it so is. Because I started to drill that into my head and for the next year while the ex and I were on and off and on and off again. I slowly learned that I should decide not to love him any more.
And then he made that decision really easy for me when he told me he wanted to date someone else… that he’d kind of already started dating.
But I digress.
So I decided not to love him any more. But it’s more than that. Because then I started dating The Guns. And at some point I decided to love him. And I wake up everyday and decide to keep loving him.
And yeah, maybe it’s romantic to think about how you can’t possibly live without someone because you just can’t and there’s no logic or reason or decisions behind it. But there’s also something that’s flipping amazing about 2 people spending everyday deciding to love each other in spite of the messes they can be.
Sometimes the decision to love The Guns is easy. So easy. Actually, most of the time it’s cake.
But sometimes it can be hard. Or tiring. Or can involve him wanting me to give him a massage (an actual massage. on his back. don’t be dirty) when I would really rather use my hands to move cake from a plate and into my mouth. And I know it can be hard for him too (some proof of this). But we decide to do it. Our relationship, our marriage, is not a story of how lucky we are to be able to live together, a fluke that two compatible people happened to start dating, or something that magically works (though I am blessed to feel that way sometimes, but it’s a feeling, not the truth). It’s a decision we make daily. And I think that’s the only way it works.
What do you think? Is love a decision?