Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How you know

Someone asked me this question the other day:

‘How do you know that you're in love?’

Great question.

I told her if she’d asked me 20 years ago, my answer would’ve been way different than today, but beyond that I’d have to think about it.

It’s been a few days and here’s my answer:

Beyond all the flowery crap, being in love comes down to two things: How you feel about what the two of you have in common and how you feel about the things you don’t have in common.
It's September. Nineteen years ago. And I'm deeply in love (the first time) with Jim.

It's a lazy Saturday afternoon and we're making out on the couch at a condo I share with two roommates. I can’t recall why we weren’t upstairs naked and abusing each other in all sorts of amusing ways, but anyhow.

“Look at that,” I say, coming up for air. “You have three moles in a triangle on your arm.”

“Yep,” he says.

“Look. So do I.”

This odd coincidence gets added to the short but growing list of things we were discovering that we had in common – right after a love of fast cars and out-of-the-way beer gardens and the raw, sinfully sarcastic humor of Sam Kinison.

The point is, back then we were looking for things that we had in common to reinforce the rather uncontrollable and irrational feelings we had for each other.

It was fucking hot. It was love.
At some point in the relationship, however, you begin to notice the differences again.

It happens right about the time the guy you love and share the odd polygonal birthmark with says he’s going to come over after a golf outing but decides to stay out partying with his buddies then shows up at your door at midnight wielding his whiskey dick.

The fact is, it happens.

You begin to come out of that initial euphoria and throttle back on noticing the things you have in common and start noticing the differences again.

If you’re self aware and not needy and/or co-dependant, you quickly realize either a) There are too many things that you don’t have in common for the relationship to survive or, hopefully, b) There are just enough things that you don’t have in common to keep things interesting for a whole lifetime.

That’s the extremely cool moment when you and your partner go from arguing about your differences, to laughing about them. It's when you go from loving all the things you have in common to loving all the things you don't have in common.

Then you’re in love all over again, only better.

Make sense?
I am listening to: Bad Things – Jace Everett
I am reading: Neil Steinberg at the Sun-Times
I am: Still here


Susan said...

Hedy –
Now everything is starting to make sense...Jim loves Robot from Lost In Space; you both have the three-mole-alien markings; Gromit is the world’s smartest dog - because he is not of this, little pods will start hatching in your "Tiki Lounge"!!

I am forgetting about finding true love - instead I am going to start building a rocketship to escape Planet Earth when it gets overtaken.

i'm a shakin

Moe Wanchuk said...

In College....I always thought it was whenever I got "wood"
But....I guess nothing's changed...cuz she still gives me "wood"

Posolxstvo I said...

I knew I was in love with Mrs. P the instant that she told me that I was :).

Dave said...

That's it? Love - common and uncommon? I want to say something funny; but, I guess I need to think about what you said.

Ah! There are really three parts to romantic love. You mentioned the third in your eighth paragraph.