A friend of mine asked this amazing question the other day. “Can you choose to love someone?”
So I’ll tell you my situation, which all the fine print is: it’s just mine, it’s not everyone.
On September 30th my ex left my key on my doorstep. I chose to love him for four years. No matter what he said, did, anything. I just kept pressing, pressing, telling myself, “it’s gonna work darn it”. (in retrospect, it so so so so didn’t work, why I didn’t stand up for myself and my needs earlier is beyond me.)
On October 1st, I finally threw my hands up, signed on to Match.com, after months of my mother’s nagging to do so, and that afternoon, I had an email from what would become my husband. I didn’t know it at the time, I was broken up with, over emotions, tired of dating.
Then I met Ray.
(cue the sap music, and then scratch that record, because seriously, this isn’t lovey dovey flowery bs truth, it’s the honest, gritty, truth)
It JUST happens.
I didn’t ever talk about love or marriage with Ray. In fact, I told him I loved him first. and he answered walking out the door (I told him after he was leaving for work and was being a wussy by just “throwing into the goodbye)…and his response was “mmHhhmm.”
I remember as the door shut my whole heart CAME.OUT.OF.ME.
MHHMMM!?!? What on EARTH?
all day, friends and I commiserated that it was all over, I had committed a relationship sin, and there goes everything, despite how perfect it had been.
But then he got home that evening, and against all friend’s advice to shut up if I wanted to save things and pretend nothing happened, I sat down and said, “Yeah, I said I loved you this morning, and you didn’t, so what’s up with that?”
Ray didn’t act shocked. He just said, “Lesley, that mmhmm, means Me Too. I figured you knew I loved you a long time ago.” Despite all my esteem issues and never-wanting-too-assume attitude, he was right, basically from day one, he acted like he loved me, and treated me as such.
That lesson has stuck with me forever. Not that it has to happen from day one, but it does have to happen fairly quick. and the lesson of it all is, if you’re acting like you love them, and it’s just assumed – no matter how good or bad or critical the situation is – then it’s love.
If you have to constantly feel like you have to entertain someone, show them your talents, make sure they know your’e in the room, try to accept who they are, try and like what they like, constantly stress about whether or not it’s working —
then it’s not working. and it’s not love.
You do not choose to love someone. You love someone you have chosen to spend your life with. Ray and I have both said that we could have ended up with other people, it’s entirely possible to love other folks in a lifetime. But, the time you have, that’s finite, and you have to spend it wisely. So when you’re choosing who to spend your time with, then you need to be with people you love.
I can’t explain properly how I just knew, or how love was really, truly love when I met Ray, and that it makes me think I never knew what it was all along. So I’ll skip the romantic equation, and just say, it made sense, it never caused work, I just looked up one day and I was here and we were married. Neither one of us ever questioned if this was it. It just was.
So, I’m Anti Pro Choice love, I’m Pro Life Happens.