I used to think that love was supposed to feel like a boat in a tempest on the ocean. If it didn’t feel like an oasis, what was the point of love? If you didn’t feel like you were on fire, how would you know you were burning with passion? The phrase had to exist for a reason.
Love isn’t like that, not for me. Love is like my favorite pair of jeans – they are the best color for me, and they make my butt look great. They’re well-worn, soft, flattering, and comfortable. I wouldn’t want my love to be any other way.
The idea I had of love was influenced by television shows, and movies, and books. It was unrealistic, but it was the best example I had. If it wasn’t all-consuming and maybe a bit destructive, how would you know the other person loved you? If your partner wasn’t willing to go to extremes for you, how would you sense the commitment?
I never go looking for grand romantic gestures anymore. My partner and I are far too open for the secrets that necessitate planning gestures like that. The longer we’ve been together, the more I see love in the smallest gestures. I see love in the anti-virus software that was installed onto my computer to make it work faster because I accidentally have downloaded viruses onto my computer too many times. I see love in letting me pick the music during the road trips, and I see love in him listening to five David Bowie songs before requesting something different, because he knows I love David Bowie, even though we disagree about the status of David Bowie as road trip music. I see love in him telling me to text him when I wake up in the morning and love in him texting me goodnight.
Love is comfortable for me. That isn’t to say I don’t still feel the best parts of falling in love anymore. I still get rushes of emotion, of gratitude, of thankfulness, of peace. The fact that I found someone I consider my partner in all things so early on in my life is amazing to me. I have a person who listens to me, who makes me laugh, who completely understands where I am while still challenging me to become better than I was the day before. And I found them at seventeen!
But I did. And I still am. Generally, I am not one for wild public displays of affection. Neither is he. But we’ll have been together for four years in March 2017, and that, to me, is an accomplishment.
We’ve weathered being in different high schools, going to different colleges 500 miles apart, and now we are working on a six-hour time difference for four months. We have continuously worked on being together, and I know that the future holds only good things for us. That, to me, is the best feeling that love provides – the knowledge that I have a partner in whatever I undertake in this world. And I am incredibly grateful to him for that.