You know that friend who says she's in love with a new person every six months? The one who declares her feelings within weeks or even days of meeting them?
I'm that friend. Hi.
In 2012, I broke a personal record and waited a whole month before telling my friends I loved the guy I was newly dating. I know. Let's take a moment of silence to appreciate that.
OK, you may roll your eyes, but here's the thing: I know how I feel. I can't predict the future of any relationship, but I know how I feel now. I know perpetually falling in love with someone might look foolish, but it's actually pretty fun—and fulfilling. You should try it sometime. Or, at the very least, just consider the possibility that I've got my head screwed on straight and my feelings are genuine. Hear me out.
1. Yes, I know the thrill of new love can be misleading.
I may believe in love at first sight, or at least first conversation, but I'm not stupid. I'll even admit we may not know each other well. But you know what? Parents don't know their kids all too well when they're born, and we don't tell them they're just infatuated. No matter where the relationship goes or how strong its foundation is, the feeling is real.
2. The fact this could end soon doesn't mean I shouldn't throw my all into it now.
Think of it this way: Do you try not to enjoy your vacations too much since you'll be back on a plane in a week?
3. This is good for me.
When I fall in love with someone, we're superlatively happy together and do sweet things for each other all the time. Is that really such a scary thing? Why are you trying to shield me from that?
4. I know you think it's scary because it could end in heartbreak.
But if everything that could lead to heartbreak were off-limits, nobody would date in the first place. Hell, nobody would ever get a pet they'll inevitably outlive—or even watch a movie about an animal, because everyone knows the horse always dies at the end. A breakup isn't a failure; it's just a sign something wasn't meant to last forever. You've dated, so you know risking heartbreak can be worth it.
5. And what could be more worth my time, energy, and sanity than love?
I mean, I don't have the whole meaning-of-life thing figured out, but don't most religions say love's got something to do with it all? Isn't there a philosopher who said that? The Beatles, maybe? If not, I'm saying it now.
6. I'm not expecting you to love them too.
I know it can be exhausting having a constant stream of guys come in and out of my life—and therefore our conversations—but just because I feel strongly about someone doesn't mean I'm going to force you to spend all your waking moments hanging out with them.
7. Love is just as worthwhile, even if it doesn't end with marriage and two kids and a golden lab.
Or whatever else you're imagining. A month-long romance can mean as much as one that lasts your whole life. The value of a relationship can't be quantified—not in months or in any other way. Life isn't measured by the breaths we take, yada yada.
8. Beyond that, love takes more forms than we usually picture.
Love can be the old man who runs the store down the block and tells me about his life in the province while I pet his cat. Love can be the friend you met at a conference and stayed up all night talking to after you discovered your shared obsession with robots. Love can be the one-night stand you had who made you more comfortable with your sexuality. And, yes, love can be the guy you've only been on three dates with but already care about so deeply. It can be the ex you reconnect with now and then. Love can be the one who got away, and it can be the one you never really had in the first place. Love is beautiful in all its forms, so let's not limit it.
9. Remember when you made fun of me for saying "I love you" to my first college boyfriend after three weeks?
We still love each other as friends. And that relationship you distrusted because I told you, "I think I'm in love," all starry-eyed after a month? If you recall, that lasted two years. I said I was in love with these people because I knew I was in love. And that withstood the test of time.
10. OK, you're right sometimes.
That theater camp counselor I had a crush on when I was 13 who only spoke to me once just to tell me my sandwich looked good...that was probably not as pure of a love as I claimed it was. You can say, "I told you so." But, damn it, I had to figure that one out for myself.
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