In June of 2012, I was having a conversation and seemingly out of nowhere I was asked when I stopped believing in the Fairytale version of love. I can remember the exact moment like it was yesterday. I can remember who asked me, where we were, and what we were doing… and I can remember the shocked look on his face when I answered. “I didn’t stop believing. I never started.” In that moment I realized maybe I’m not normal. I’ve never had a fairytale version of love. I’ve never thought love was a perfect thing between people. I don’t think it’s all rainbows and butterflies. I think love is about being there for the ups and the downs. Love is about knowing all the horrible things about a person and loving them anyway. As the saying goes… “We like someone because, we love someone although.”
It took years and years before I realized this isn’t how most people view love. In fact in my entire life I can probably count on one hand the number of people I know who legitimately view love like this (aside from the love between parents and children). Some say they do, but very few actually do. If people loved like this there wouldn’t be so many heartbreaks, so many divorces, so many breakups. Love wouldn’t be a word just tossed around lightly. It would be a word filled with tremendous thought, feeling, and emotion. It would be something that really meant something, and honestly it would be terrifying.
It really doesn’t sound like a big deal. People love differently, so what? Right? The problem is, loving like this leads to confusion and heartbreak. It leads to lots of questions and people who really just don’t get it. When this is all you know it is hard to understand that other people don’t. I say exactly what I mean, and for some reason I still think other people do the same. I am honest and I trust other people to be as well, and when I love someone I really truly love them.
When you love unconditionally it is a constant battle. People don’t get it. Everyone thinks your crazy. Friends and family try to convince you, and you truly want to listen to them. You hear what everyone is saying. You know you don’t deserve to be hurt. You know that sometimes people aren’t worthy of the type of love you give them, but you can’t stop. You can’t choose to just stop loving someone. You might chose what role they play in your life, you might chose how you act on it, but you can't chose to stop loving them.
On one of the final episodes of How I Met Your Mother, Ted says “"Actually, there is a word for that. It's love. I'm in love with her, okay? If you're looking for the word that means caring for someone beyond all rationality and wanting them to have everything they want no matter how much it destroys you, its love! And when you love someone y-you just don't stop. Ever". Even when people roll their eyes or call you crazy. Even then. Especially then. You just- you don't give up because if I could give up... If I could just, you know, take the whole world's advice and- and move on and find someone else, that wouldn't be love. That would be... That would be some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for. But that is not what this is." and in that moment I felt like someone else in this world finally got it. Okay so he is just a TV character, but someone had to write that, which means someone else out there knows what that’s like. Someone else has felt it.
I have always loved like Ted loves. It has broken my heart numerous times, and if I could stop I would, but I can’t. It’s part of who I am. It’s the only kind of love I know. I want to think there are other people in the world like this, others out there who just get it. Others out there you don’t have to explain it to. Others you can just look at and now they felt it the same way I did.
Sometimes I start to lose hope. I start believing there’s no one else like that. I start thinking maybe I am crazy. No one understands it the way I do. No one feels it like I feel it, but then someone will come along and I will see things in them that make me think that maybe, just maybe, they get it. Maybe they understand. Maybe they feel it the way I do, and in that moment even if for just a moment I feel less alone. I feel a slight glimmer of hope, and my heart whispers “don’t give up.” So I pull myself together. I try to keep believing, and hoping. I find myself wishing for there to be others out there, many others, but the truth is there really only has to be one.