They ask me, how do you know?
How do you discover love? How are you sure they are right for you? How, well, how did -you- know? I mean, you’re in love now, yes? So how did you know when it happened?
When what happened? When a bolt of lightning filled with hearts and rainbow glitter struck my body? When Cupid’s arrow pierced my heart? How did I know what? That this was now a person to whom to bind my life with theirs till death do us part? Ummm. I’m not dead yet, thank you very much. I’ll let you know how it goes, I promise.
What does that mean, anyway, when I say that I -know-?
I mean, yes, by now I suspect. I even strongly believe. But do I know? Hmmmm. Love can seem quite elusive, sometimes.
But I don’t believe love is something that you simply know and move on, but rather something you feel and remember and build. Day after day after day. Not a tedious motion, but a soothing and reassuring presence in one’s day. And it doesn’t matter when or where you feel it, because it will come on its own time. And on it’s own terms.
I still, if I’m honest, don’t know if I’m loved. At least some days, I don’t know.
Platonic, familial, romantic, whichever sort of love the person in question and I might share. I still doubt their love for me, especially when they leave my sight. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Do they still love me, I wonder? And then I see them again, we reconnect, perhaps we hug or kiss. Or they excitedly tell me about something they think I’ll love, too. And I remember, yes they love me.
But still…I don’t always know. Even after decades of near daily “proof.” What more do I need, you ask? I couldn’t tell you. But those insecurities push through to my the surface of my conscious, nonetheless.
I ask “my” love, who loved before he met me: How did you know that you loved her? Did you know that you loved her?
You thought you knew that she loved you. You thought you knew how she felt about you. You aren’t easily duped, and, yet, well, here you are. And there she is. And neither the two shall meet.
You thought she loved you, and maybe she thought she loved you, too. Neither you or I will ever know the truth, after all. She won’t tell you now, even if you asked. But you said you loved her, and she said she loved you. And you both told yourselves that you meant it. That you knew. That this was the life you had to lead.
I made the same mistakes when I loved others.
I thought I knew that I loved this person, and that person. I told myself if I didn’t love them, I should move on. So even if I wasn’t in love, I convinced myself I loved them, at least enough. Because otherwise, I would have to leave, and I didn’t want to leave.
But now I don’t remember their names. Was that love after all? Perhaps. I made myself believe I knew it was love, at any rate.
But it wasn’t more real than the love I feel now. Even though I still question that love from you, from others.
Love isn’t more real, you see, simply because you know.
If you ever do. Oh, I know we want it to be true. That we’ll be struck by a wave of overpowering emotion. It’s a nice fantasy, but after all fantasies are rather empty at the end of the day.
So, my loves, I didn’t know you would love me the next day or the next. I read that if you don’t know it’s love in six months, you should move on. Except I didn’t. I still won’t. And here I am. And here you are. And nobody is going anywhere.
I believe you love me now. Even if I don’t know. And that, I think, is all that matters.