I used to think I knew quite a bit about love. Turns out I don’t know as much as I thought I did.
I used to think that a first love had the most staying power. Its innocence, gut-wrenching yearning and raw, stinging pain when things went sideways were, I assumed, indicators of its depth. Instead, they were emotions new to my young heart – emotions that weren’t governed by rational thought or any sort of prior experience. Emotions that I struggled to make sense of.
Years later, post first love, I remember sitting in my apartment with a new love. We were sitting quietly, maybe talking, and I started to quietly cry. The tears caught me off-guard, as they were incredibly happy, peaceful and content tears. I thought for sure they were a sign of the relationship’s longevity. They were not, as the tide shifted and things ended a year later.
Months after that, I can recall walking into a meeting and seeing someone who made my world stand still. Every sound was silenced, all thoughts were paralyzed and I was instantly convinced that my last relationship had ended to make room for this one. This must, I thought to myself, be what love at first sight was all about. While reciprocated, things never clicked. Timing was off. He’d go in one direction, I’d go in another. We tried to dance the dance, but the steps didn’t come easily; between the two of us, it was like we had four left feet. I’ve wondered occasionally since then whether my world will be stopped by someone, and if it is, what it will mean.
Those unforgettable moments in love have a funny way of getting under your skin and making you wonder why they happened with the people who didn’t last. They make you wonder if they’ll be felt again. And assuming they will, they make you wonder how far into a new relationship it’ll be before they make an appearance.
I suppose the point of them isn’t to wonder when they’ll return, but instead they’re meant to be bottled up and put on a pedestal, brought down only to be compared to the one you’re about to exchange vows with. Someone to whom you’re saying “I do” is someone you deserve to have time stand still with, who inspires tears of contentment and who creates a yearning like no other. And for feeling these things before, I am thankful – since it’s only a matter of time before they come around again. I may not know much about love, but I know enough to be patient and let it come in its own time.