love and what it’s not about

I took a very nice and very short trip to NYC today just because.

Because sometimes you just have to get on a bus with your favorite kid and go to New York and visit your favorite New Yorkers (even if they are transplants and even if you don’t actually get to see them) and eat vegan food in an all vegan cafe and walk around the city when it’s cold with hot tea just because it’s hot then throw it out when it’s cold because you didn’t really drink it all, even if it was delicious. It was hot.

Sometimes you have to walk in to the Empire State Building with said child and not go up to the observatory because you can’t really afford it, but pretend like you are, then go outside and look up—-wayyyy way up to the top and see just how high it is.

Sometimes you have to buy an “I ❤ NY” pen and wallet because the kid needs something to put his money in and you need something to write with and gosh darnit those lil’ gift shops get you every time.

Anyway, that’s now what this post is about, but what’s what I did today and it was lovely.

It got me thinking about lovely things. Like love.

Well, honestly this entire week, especially since Thursday was Valentine’s Day, made me think about love.

Yes, I’m still single and no there aren’t any potential beau’s in my life, but I’ve been witnessing a lot of relationships around me.. good and bad… and it only makes me feel….


I know some people who are in love. They’re so happy, but it’s not that sickening and annoying happy where you want to punch them in the face so they’d stop talking about how “so and so does this” and “so and so does that”, etc. They’re the kind of happy where they just.. smile.. and they’re content and peaceful and hopeful. That’s love, I think.

I know some people who wish they were in love. These people who have so much love in their hearts and long to give it to someone so deeply that they forget that they can give it to just about anyone, including themselves, and (above all) Jesus, and though they might not get someone to cuddle with at the end of the night–they can still be happy.

I know some people who think they’re in love. But are they?  I can’t really say for sure because I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, but you know… sometimes people just get together because they think they’re supposed to.  Sometimes people settle for relationships that may not be ideal for them just because they want a relationship so bad.

This is all pretty elementary stuff. Everyone knows it. Everyone says it to themselves no matter which pair of pants they’re wearing.  Everyone says they’d rather be alone than in a loveless relationship.  Everyone says they have standards. Then what?

I don’t like saying that I’m single “by choice”. But I don’t like to make it sound like I’m not okay with being single, either. It took me a long time, a few years, to understand that I’m actually pretty happy on my own. Sometimes I worry that I’m so happy on my own that I will stop looking for someone else, but I know that’s not true because I’m still very much attracted to certain types of guys (usually those guys are no good for me, hence–single) and I still very much so want to get married again. About two years ago I would say that I’ve “given up” on dating or I’m “not looking” whereas now I just feel like.. I’m actively waiting. I’m not sure if that sounds better or worse, but here’s what it is:  I know the right guy will come along so I don’t have to look for him, I don’t have to “wait” for him, or search the internet or go guy hunting at bars, even though that stuff can be fun at times.  I’m waiting for the right guy, but in the meantime I’m living my life and I’m doing what makes me happy.

What I’m trying to get at, in all my rambling, is that love doesn’t force you to change who you are. Love doesn’t test your resolves, doesn’t make you feel like you’re not good enough.  You should never have to prove yourself to the person you “love”. They should never make you feel like you’re a burden, or that you’re insignificant, unintelligent, or that their needs are more important than your own.

I think sometimes we get so caught up in trying to prove ourselves to someone that we lose sight of the fact that that person doesn’t even make us happy to begin with.  Abusive relationships are like that, but even if a relationship isn’t abusive it doesn’t mean that it’s good.

I loved my ex-husband as much as I could have, but I didn’t understand what love was supposed to be like. Neither did he and that’s why it didn’t work out. I sacrificed who I was to make him happy and I resented him for it.  He pretended to be someone he was not and buried his problems under piles of distractions until he eventually cracked.  It’s just better if you know who you are and live your life to the fullest, then you’ll find a match who compliments your life. Someone who you can grow with. Not someone who is constantly pulling you away from yourself.

Most of my friends don’t understand what it’s supposed to be like either, unless they’ve found it.  I’m lucky to have friends who have found it. It makes me happy to see them happy and it gives me encouragement.

True love is out there and it’s everything you ever hoped it could be. Healthy relationships exist and you don’t have to sacrifice who you are in order to have them.

This is true:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

I could reverse it like this:

Love won’t rush you. Love won’t make you feel bad about yourself. Love doesn’t get jealous when you have success in your career or personal relationships with friends and family. Love doesn’t show you off to their friends or make you feel like they own you or that they’re better than you. Love doesn’t only love you when they need something from you. Love does things for you and doesn’t expect anything in return. Love doesn’t keep track of how many times you upset them or make you feel bad for things you did in the past that you may or may not have any control over, even after you’ve apologized profusely. Love doesn’t feel good and secure because you’ve failed and you need them. Love will always wants what’s best for you, will always be there for you when you need them most, and will always be the last one standing beside you.

Love never fails.

Don’t settle for anything less.