Remember when romantic love was simple? The boy who pulled your ponytails in class or the little girl who mercilessly followed you on the playground, obviously liked you. But being only six-years-old, they didn’t have the emotional maturity to express it. The best they could do was to get your attention. Albeit, it was negative attention, but at that age even negative attention was better than none at all.
Fast forward to adolescence. That awkward time when you liked someone but would rather die than admit it. So, what did you do? You vehemently denied your feelings to your classmates and publicly mocked the object of your affection. Then you’d ponder why your “secret” love wouldn’t even speak to you.
Then there was the teenage angst of first love. Sometimes called puppy love, it usually came on fast and eventually brought pain as you discovered not all love was meant to last or is even returned. At the end of it, only Father Time could heal the heart, and you begrudgingly moved on, sadder, but wiser.
In adulthood, we discovered loves’ multi-layered complexity as each person brought their romantic pasts, values, expectations, and sometimes their children into the relationship. Its success dependent on whether two hearts were compatible enough to build a life.
In between we experienced crazy love, unrealistic love, enabling love, one-sided love, hurts so good love, forbidden love, lost love, pay my bills love, stalker love, and if we’re lucky, true love.
Now that I think about it. Love was never simple, and I suspect it never will be. But we pursue it, anyway despite its potential for heartache, because the right kind of love adds exponentially to the quality of life.
(Insert champagne toast here.)
Here’s hoping the right kind of love finds you this Valentine’s Day.