Over the past few days the topic of love has been brought up to me by several people. One of my best friends in Ft. Lauderdale has been going through some stuff with his boyfriend and has begun to question his idea of love. Even I have been questioning it a great deal lately, because the person I am interested in has been MIA (missing in action). Then there is my friend Tony in Atlanta that I have been thinking about and the conversations we had while I was visiting up there last month. All of these discussions have prompted me to look a little closer at love, and what I really know about it.
See I am not a typical gay person, until recently I have always been in a long term relationships. In a way I have been in one relationship after another for the first 30 years of my life. After my relationship with Joe ended I seem to have had a series of short term relationships ranging from a couple of months to three years, but even though I have been in relationships and been with men all of my life, I wonder if I have ever truly been in love.
See, love is suppose to make things easy between two people and bring them from separate individuals into a couple. It is supposed to make them stronger, bring them closer together, unite them. When two people are truly in love with one another it is almost like a drug, they are intoxicated by each others presence and hate to be alone. The couple ignore the flaws and faults of the other, they accept them for themselves. They enjoy spending time together and talking about everything. There are no secrets between them and they trust each other completely. They want only the best for their partner and wish them good fortune and happiness at every turn. They love doing little things and creating surprises, they bring out the best in each other and push them to reach their limits. Love creates a patient understanding between the two of them and conflict is less because they fit together so well.
Since I have been in good relationships and bad relationships and have stayed with people way longer than I should have, I think I have a good handle on what relationships entail. But, still I wonder if any of the relationships I have been in really were based on love, or were they more a partnership? Or a joining of forces to reach the next level or step in life? To be honest, I think that maybe the reason why those relationships of the past didn't last forever was because they weren't based on love, but more a joining of partners like a business partnership. Maybe I am still waiting for the right person to come along, my soulmate so to speak. Who honestly knows at this point!
This is what I know about love: Love is kind, considerate, never boastful, it is trusting, full of compassion and understanding, it is patient and kind, giving and most of all it is forgiving. Love allows us to accept ourselves and others, including their likes, dislikes, their goodness and their faults. Love is never envious, it is always gentle, yet when it needs to be it can be firm. Love doesn't judge or find fault, it is unconditionally given and is always greatest when it is shared. Love is a seed that is planted, tended patiently and blooms with spectacular colors and passions. It unites us and binds us, it gives us hope for the future, and strength to overcome any obstacle. Love has the ability to span time and distance, bridge gaps in cultures, ethnicities and social barriers. Yet love also blinds us to the frailties of the spirit, but uplifts us and gives us the ability to overcome disabilities, limitations and stigmas.
Love isn't hard, it doesn't hurt and if it does there is something extremely wrong. Love unites, never separates, it doesn't thrive in strife and anger, it withers and grows thorns. There is a fine line between love and hate they say and if your aren't careful you can cross that line. Yet, somehow I don't believe that is honestly true, because if there is love in your heart, and you look through compassionate eyes, there can be no hate. Love counters hate, it is a light that guides us, it is what make a house feel like home, it makes our partner feel like part of us, that where one of us ends the other begins, it is a circle and the ring that is used to symbolize love and the union of a couple is symbolic of the circle. You can forgive anything through love, but you should never forget, because forgetting could possibly lead to you to make the same mistakes again.
What I am trying to say is this, if you find yourself questioning the one you love, look at the circumstances that you find yourselves in. Maybe it isn't the person that you are doubting, but the actions and choices that have brought you to that point. Only you can know what is in your heart and mind, and if you aren't honest with yourself you can never truly be honest with your partner. That my friend isn't love, it is a deception, a lie that you tell yourself so you can sleep at night. See, we can never truly know what another is thinking, their motivations, the forces that are acting upon them, the deceit and deceptions they are playing on themselves and you. But, what we can see and feel is their heart, their intentions may be hidden from us, but their heart is what will give them away, because the actions that follow will be clear. I keep telling others that actions speak louder than words, that the small things you do for each other give clues to the seriousness of their love. See, it is the little things that make it all worthwhile, the little note in their lunch that says "I love You". The unexpected surprise gift, the little note left on the mirror that tells them to smile. The little romantic gestures that seem silly and mundane to the rest of the world but mean so much to you and your partner, those are the tell tale signs of love.
Anyone can utter the words I love you, but do their actions, eyes, and heart show that they do? That is only something you can find out and answer. There really is someone out there for everyone, and we have to find that person, make the connection and when you do it will be awesome and everything you dreamed of. You will know in your heart that they are the one. I don't know how, but I know it is true. I have seen people in love, and felt the warmth radiate from them, I have noticed the gleam in their eye, and I have felt the joy and happiness that they contain, so yes my friends I know that love exists. It isn't some chemical balance that is released into your bloodstream. It is a connection of the soul a binding of the spirit, it is so much more than just two people coming together and muttering words of love. Those types of relationships tend to fail. Love comes from really knowing someone, trusting them completely, it isn't something that just happens, it is a deep an inner connection that grows over time.
Don't fret my friend if you haven't gotten there yet, it will come, just be patient. Oh and one more thing, the strongest and most lasting relationships usually start out as friendships. So don't be fooled when someone tells you they care about you, but they don't want to ruin the friendship, because guess what if that is what they think then they aren't the right one. Because anyone knows that you can't ever truly ruin a friendship, you can make it stronger with love, but see friendships are everlasting, they also require work, but a friend gets over the pain of mistakes and they can work through anything. I have had several blowouts with some of my best friends over the years and I can honestly tell you that no matter what time has healed those wounds and we have always managed to work through our issues and problems and have always come back together. So take it from me, you may have found your love, they could be one of your friends and you both just don't know it yet, because like I said earlier it is a seed that once planted takes time to grow, and when it does you will definitely know.
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,