Love, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder
That butterflies-in-stomach feeling, the expecting of that call or that message, the thinking of that person all day, or that I-cannot-live-without-you feeling; are some of the things that are constantly being related or attributed to love. Some people relate these to love, some use them to describe love. I did, once, use to relate all those things to love. However, I had come to realize that love is not what I thought it was. Maybe, I am getting older and wiser from the experiences I had in life. Maybe, I gained some knowledge from books I had read, or conversations I have had. Maybe, it is a combination of all. Ultimately, I think that love, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
I met the love of my life, my husband, online. Yes, in one of those online dating apps. I tried many apps and even paid for one. After paying for one, and having not worked for me, I went back to an app I had tried before. It was free, but you could upgrade to the paid version and pay a few dollars a month. I did not. I refused to pay again for a dating app! I was online dating for two years. Why? Well, I did not go out as much anymore, and if I did go out to dance, it was not with the expectation to meet “the love of my life” there (although that would have assured me that he was a dancer or at least loved to dance just like I do). So just when I was getting tired of reading profiles, and sometimes going out to meet someone; I swear I was like “this is not for me, I am going to delete this app, I guess I will just meet the love of my life at the grocery store” (since that was the place I used to go often) I saw his profile. I noticed he looked at my profile and “liked” it and swiped to the “would like to meet” side. I read his profile thoroughly, and I liked what I read. We met in person after a month of just messaging. The chemistry, attraction, or whatever you may call it, was great! We moved in together after four months, and I got pregnant two months after that. Then we got married two years after.
In the beginning, I thought it was kind of fast how everything happened. I always questioned myself, “Is he the right one? what if he is not? what if what we feel is not for the long run?” Even after I got pregnant, I still questioned myself because I could still be a single mom. After all, I was a single mom for 8 years before I met him. I asked God, the universe, for signs and I got them. I was certain that this man was the one I was meant to be with. We talked about how fast everything happened, and we agreed that what we felt at the beginning was something that neither of us had felt before. We can happily say we are soulmates.
I always knew I was going to find that man with whom I was going to share the rest of my life. However, in the back of my mind, I was doubting if what I was feeling was real love. The main reason why I was doubting was because I had no previous reference to what real, healthy love was before him. The love I was feeling for him was different from what I had felt in the past. What I discovered was that, whatever I had felt before, was not real love. What I had felt before was a form of enchanted love. It was something I thought love was because of the songs I had heard or the movies I had watched. The love I was feeling was unconditional, unselfish, and definitely not possessive. I had never experienced the type of love where I could decide to leave the other person if our relationship was not doing him any good. I had always thought love was to fight (not the person, ha!) to have the best relationship. I always thought that I had to make up excuses for why the other person was acting a certain way; for instance, being possessive or jealous. I learned that if we suffer, it is not because of love. We are not supposed to fight for someone. We are not supposed to fight for love. Love just is, it just comes naturally, not forced.
Our love came so naturally that, of course, that was one of the reasons why I questioned myself. I felt I could love him no matter what. Even when he was drinking, I loved him unconditionally because I knew he was more than that. I never considered myself co-dependent of him drinking; but, I did think of leaving him because I thought he was going to be better off without us. Somehow I thought we (me, my teen, and our daughter) were adding to his stress levels. I did not leave because I love him unconditionally, and somehow I knew he was going to get through that. I never told him to quit drinking, I just asked if he could slow down, but he could not do that. It was really hard for him, and I was just there by his side, never enabling him, just supporting him, knowing that at the right time he would quit. After he quit, I thought that our relationship was going to change, or maybe our feelings were not going to be the same, but we were still in love. We still love each other, and I do not question myself anymore if this is love because to me, to us, this is love.