When talking about my feelings towards other people and my affections towards them I tend to talk about crushes more than any actual real feelings. There’s a reason for that and I suppose it’s probably because I have more experience with crushes. A lot more experience. Sure, I’ve been in a few “relationships.” I’m still undecided on what I should call any of these past relationships I’ve had or if I should even count any of them. Maybe there’s only two I would count as real just because what I felt for that person was definitely real to me even if the other person might not have genuinely felt the same way or if it was cut short before one of us (me most likely) fucked it up. So, I don’t think I have all that great of a grasp and understanding of what having these real feelings are like. There’s probably only one time in my life where I felt that I had actually loved someone, I mean romantically. Everybody describes love differently so it’s really difficult to know if what you’ve felt was actually that or just a strong infatuation especially when previously all you knew were varying levels of infatuation. Is there even like an actual feeling of love? Or is it just this label we give to understand this weird response and the contradicting feelings we get when we think about someone we trust and have a deep affection for. It has to be more than that, right? I mean if people are falling in love every day there’s gotta be some aspect to it that you just instinctively know, “Oh my god. I’m in love with this person.” That’s how I felt with this person. There was just that moment of clarity where before I was asking myself what this is and then I just knew. However I know everybody talks about how when they do later find “the one” they come to realize that that previous love they thought they knew they really didn’t actually, so who knows? For now I’ll believe that that was love, if not only because I genuinely felt it was then. God I hate still constantly thinking (after not doing so for a while) about that one person even now, but that’s a whole other issue for another post/late-night rants to one of my close friends.

I think I’m more in love with the idea of being in love than anything when I really think about it. I grew up with nothing but love stories and coming of age movies to learn about what love was and unfortunately what growing up was too. I didn’t really have many real life references to learn from and to help me understand it. My parents absolutely loathed each other and my “stepmom’s” relationship with my dad was filled with so much hostility that I refused to believe that that’s what love was. Even as a kid. So I had movies to watch and to see that this is how people fall in love, this is how being in love is like, and this is what I have to look forward too. My ideas and my beliefs of what love was like was very obviously wrong. Problems aren’t usually so cleanly wrapped up, in fact most of them aggregate before I’m even aware there was the first one to begin with. I also learned you can’t guarantee (at least with new-ish relationships) that you’ll feel the same way about the person the next morning, or that they won’t feel the same way about you. Love’s not as great as the movies make it out to be. All that being said… I just recently finished the last season of “Love” on Netflix and I can’t even begin to describe my love for this show. Normally I see shows about love and couples and I only look at it with this feeling of longing, but this time I actually went hey yeah this is a lot like what I went through, at least emotionally, and it was really easy to relate to it. Love’s messy and neither of us are perfect. Sometimes some of us are deeply flawed. We do things that are selfish and hurt each other and we’re not always upfront or honest and we often have our own legitimate reasons for not being so direct. Gus Cruikshank (portrayed by Paul Rust) is this awkward, people-pleasing, and kind of an asshole of a character. I hate to say it but I completely related to this character and saw myself in him. Even the bad parts, like Gus was called by his then girlfriend in the very first episode.. I’m fake nice. I act nice because it’s easier than speaking up and it’s easier to victimize myself when I’m the one who’s been “nice” the whole time. Easier for me to antagonize them when a problem comes up and not accept the blame I also might have had in it and makes it easier for me to not accept the fact that I’m just as much of a selfish asshole as anybody else, if not more. Still, within the span of the show he came to confront his flaws and grow as a person. In fact I like how the show ended, which was in a way that wasn’t entirely definitive. The show ended yeah, but these characters growth and their relationship still has a lot of work and there’s really no guarantee that it will last but they’re trying it anyway. I think that’s a nice sentiment to take away from it. Life is a continuous cycle of growth and subsequent phases of failures and relapses, and relationships are similar. They’ll be fractured, they’ll be rebuilt. They’ll end and begin again and sometimes just end. All you really can do is just put in the effort to make it as good as you can, and hope other factors out of your control don’t fuck that up but still accept that sometimes they will. That’s life and that’s love.

Anyway, I said I didn’t really have many good examples of what love was like in real life but that isn’t really the case anymore. My brother proposed to his girlfriend this past weekend and after hearing his speech and seeing the way they looked at each other I knew what I was looking at was two people who did love each other. They were best friends and I have never seen either of them happier than that moment and just want to end this post on a positive note I guess so I just wanted to say I’m so proud of you. Feels weird to say that as the little brother, but really. I’ve always looked up to you and I always will and I can be just a fraction of the man you are/have become than I’d count that as a success. I love him and I love her and I just wish the very best for them. Who knows what the next few years will bring us? But I will hope they bring happiness and love to them, to my family, and to all my loved ones and friends who I care about very much. I’m tired of seeing and experiencing so much hurt.

Here’s to love,