Friday, January 6, 2012

I love you, socks.

It seems like in the past ten years or so people throw out the words "I love you" way too soon.  I feel like the legitimate meaning of the word has almost been lost.  I'm not saying I have not been known to say those three words early in a relationship, I actually have quite often, but now that I've gotten older I've learned to really appreciate the full meaning of those words and wonder why the world has become so folly in the expression of them.  It is as if a relationship is validated when someone spits out these words, and yet while the person may feel like they do love the person, I highly doubt they really do. 

Some people run from it.  I know a girl who started dating this guy, and within three days of their relationship, he wrote "I love you" on her facebook wall (which of course makes it official), and she broke up with him.  I don't think she broke up with him because the fact that he loved her overwhelmed him, but instead, because she thought he was moving way too fast, and didn't really love her.

So what is it about these words?  Why do people feel the need to say they love someone within the first month of their relationship?  Is it a way of staking a claim?  "Hello you, I love you, so now my heart is really on the line and you can't break my heart or I'll be absolutely devastated"  may be the true subtext.  I'm not sure.  Usually when I enter into a relationship, I have had deep conversations with the person before even starting to date them, and feel I know them on a pretty personal level.  This justification used to lead me to feel confident in my reasoning for why I have said "I love you" early in a relationship.  Some people have known the person for months or years before dating them, so when they finally have the person in a relationship, they feel so overwhelmed by the beginning butterflies that they feel they are in love, and feel the need to express it.  But do they really?

Over time I have found that those beginning butterflies do not equate to love.  Yes when you first begin to fall for someone, they make you want to dance, you smile for seemingly no reason other than the thought of them, you go to sleep thinking about them, wake up thinking about them, and all the moments in between you think about them.  This is not love.  Perhaps it is love for the idea of things to come.  You are in love with the idea of being in love, but you do not love that person.

Love happens later, much later, when you can overlook all of that persons flaws, not because you haven't seen them yet, but because there is so many better things for you to care about.  Their flaws seem insignificant because of how you feel about them in the bigger picture.  Loving someone is loving not just who they are, but how they make you, and how you make them.  Loving someone is about being confident that they will always be there for you, you will always be there for them, and you can conquer anything together.  I'm not saying that people don't often feel this way in the beginning of a relationship.  In fact, the majority of people do feel that way in the beginning.  But in the beginning, things are still fresh.  People are eager to please and so they present themselves in a manner worthy of the other person's affections.  The relationship is not real yet, it is ethereal.  It is not until you strip down the relationship, take away that desperation to please and find acceptance, and truly become comfortable and act yourself, that you can be able to be loved.  The other person must do the same in order to be loved by you.  In the beginning you are shaded portrayals of yourself, and so if someone claims they love you, they don't really love you. 

It's like a pair of socks.  When you first buy a pair of socks, they are comfortable and soft and fit on your feet perfectly, and you may seem to love your socks.  But after time wearing them, and a few times run through the washer, they may lose that appeal.  If not, then yeah, sure, you love your socks, I suppose.  However, most of the time, they stretch and don't fit your feet so well, or they get that dirty stain even though you've run them through the washer with bleach. (So annoying). It's very rare to find socks that no matter what they go through, will still give you that same, new feeling when you put them on.  That is love.  When no matter what has been thrown at you (because yes, people, real love has obstacles and is not easy), you still get that same feeling of comfort with that person at the end of the day.  Love takes time.  Sad to say, over time, people have begun to blurt out the words at every turn.  I love you, man.  I love my new phone.  I love this, I love that.  Do you really?  Let's take a step back and really evaluate what we feel the word means.  Take a minute, or an hour, or a day, or maybe even a freaking year to reevaluate the true power of love, and the true meaning behind it.  Stop throwing the word out there like it is any other word like "and".  Say it because you mean it at that moment, and not simply because they said it and you feel like saying it back.  Don't say it because you're getting off the phone and it feels as easy to say as goodbye.  Every single moment you say those words, make sure you feel it in your heart, soul, deep down.  Then we'll take back the words "I love you".  We'll give them real meaning.

Anyone can say a word.  Here you go, "Blagspotiffbooger".  It means nothing, except a silly word until you give it meaning.  The meaning has to be significant.  You have to feel it.

I love you, socks. 

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