When the two people who thus discover that they are on the same secret road are of different sexes, the friendship which arises between them will very easily pass – may pass in the first half hour – into erotic love. Indeed, unless they are physically repulsive to each other or unless one or both already loves elsewhere, it is almost certain to do so sooner or later. And conversely, erotic love may lead to Friendship between the lovers. But this, so far from obliterating the distinction between the two loves, puts it in a clearer light. If one who was first, in the deep and full sense, your Friend, is then gradually or suddenly revealed as also your lover you will certainly not want to share the Beloved’s erotic love with any third. But you will have no jealousy at all about sharing the Friendship. Nothing so enriches an erotic love as the discovery that the Beloved can deeply, truly and spontaneously enter into Friendship with the Friends you already had; to feel that not only are we two united by erotic love but we three or four or five are all travelers on the same quest, have all a common vision.
I always wondered what love was supposed to feel like.
I never got the chance to experience it through my mother’s eyes, because she left before I was old enough to even understand what cooties were.
And my poor father worked until nightfall everyday. God knows that he barely had the energy to drive home afterward.
So I had to learn the hard way.
I learned through fictional books, old movies, and even infatuated strangers. I mean, didn’t we all wish we could have been Cinderella or Prince Charming? And God forbid we ever had to be Romeo or Juliet.
But I had to get a taste of the best and worst of both worlds to learn that love is a punch to the stomach that brings you to your knees, only to become the hand that helps you back up again.
Love is a beautiful sunset that soon leaves you in the dark, only to remind you that it will rise shortly after.
Love is nearly drowning in the ocean, only for you to remember that you’re just inches away from the surface.
Love is being in the middle of a war zone, only for you to realize that you’re the last one standing.
Love is flatlining on a hospital bed, only for a miracle waiting to happen moments after.
Love isn’t always patient.
And love certainly isn’t always kind.
But love is a lesson that I had to learn to ever realize that my heart was, indeed, still beating.
The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.