How to Know You are in Love: The Quick and Dirty Guide

As discussed in earlier posts love is a weird thing, a hard thing, and what many to believe to be utterly mysterious. We never really know how it happens, or why, or when, but one day we wake up to our better half laying awkwardly next to us and it hits us, I love that multi-limbed, tongue wagging, bag of flesh. How do we know we are in love though, and it isn’t just last nights tacos giving us a fiery burning from within?

Reason #1:

There are people that we like, people that we thoroughly enjoy, and spend endless hours with, but that we don’t feel the butterflies flowing for. The first way to tell you are in love is the mythical “spark”. This is a phenomenon that is very hard to describe in the lack luster words that we can put on a page, but the best way to describe it, is you’ll just “know”. You get a special tingle in your toes every time the person looks your way. A smile cracks on your face when you think about how terrible you are at Jenga compared to them. Electricity flows through your veins like a firefly on a warm summers night. It is just that “special” feeling.

Reason #2:

You never have a subconscious need to not make time for them. Nothing is more important to you than the time that you get to spend with them. Those taxes undergoing an audit? Nah, no time for that, you must see your significant other. The words, “No, sorry I am too busy right now.” never come out of you mouth to them. Time is valuable to you, yes, but time with them is utterly priceless. You are in love, don’t waste another moment without them by your side.

Reason #3:

You strive to have new experiences with them. Routine is great, but the new and exciting is even better. Life has so many bounties to offer all 7 billion of us, but what makes every experience better? What really brings out the brightest colors of the wild flowers, the crystal clear air of the mountain spring, or the warm touch of the golden sand with a light breeze across your cheeks? Love. The new and the unknown is nothing without them entangling fingers with you, as soft light glistens in your eye.

Reason #4:

You want to be a better you. Not because they tell you to be better, or that they try and change anything about you, you are doing it because you want to be the DaVinci to their Mona Lisa. You are not satisfied with yourself until you they die happy. Satisfaction with yourself is not something that will ever come to you, but that doesn’t matter because you know you are only going to become better and better for the one you now know you love. To die happy, is to die with knowing you never wasted a minute making a better life for yourself and the one you cared most about.

Reason #5:

Your mind and your heart have no conflict. Your heart is swollen with emotion, they are perfect in your eyes, and your heart is ready to burst from the affection you have from them. Your mind, logical and never ending in thought, has no reservations. Every twist and turn in your deft cranium does not slip into a corner of darkness, hiding the thieves of love. The Venn Diagram between your heart and mind, make nothing but a circle. The arrow on the bulls-eye is split perfectly in twine by head and heart. Finally, take a coin. Heads you are in love, tails you are not. Flip the coin. As it rotates head over tail, shining in the light, what are you hoping for? Heads? Tails? Regardless of how the circular metal piece lands, you know your answer. What you hoped for in the air, gives you your answer, pure and unadulterated.

Take a minute for reflection, think about what you have just read. Was there someone you had in mind the whole time? If not, that is ok, you now know either what you have to do, or how you must move on. Stop convincing yourself you are in love, and move on, better to end it now than wallow in self pity and never truly be happy. If you did have that ever so special, delightful, and wonderful person in mind, then hats off to you good sir. You are ready to embark on what will likely be the most terrible, painful, and difficult journey you have ever experienced, but it will be magnificent and a memory carved in stone for eternity, more fanciful than any movie ever could portray.

This One Aspect is the Greatest Paradox of Love

I implore you to imagine the greatest love that you have ever experienced. I realize not all of us have truly experienced deep, seemingly endless, and soul fulfilling love. Some of you may be young, and yet to experience any sort of love whether it be a summer romance or a shy crush, others, hardened by the battle that love is, potentially left wrought with an end left wanting. For those of you that have not been through heart swelling love, connected through endless parlay of evocative exchange, imagine the love that you might have for your mother, father, sibling, stuffed animal, or most loving pet. That love you see in every romance film, perfect. Imagine that feeling of utter bliss, the cloud that left you floating above the grime the world throws at you. Beautiful isn’t it? Now I want you to continue that thought to the time when all of that, like the last placement of a block in Jenga, came toppling, end over end leaving you emotionally numb and forever scarred. Every fiber of your being longs endlessly for what was just lost. You lay helplessly by the death bed of your amore. Love has an evil mistress, and it brings about the greatest roller coaster ride of emotions that we experience in life. The highest highs and the lowest lows. The issue with love, just like a drug you build a tolerance to, you must keep injecting yourself with more and more to reach new highs. When you go cold turkey though, you may not surface for days, pounded by the depression of a love lost. Emotional withdrawal. That leaves us the great paradox of love, to get the most out of it you must love equal or more than the other person in the relationship. The problem though, is that whoever loves less has the greatest power in the relationship, and won’t be crushed endlessly like Sisyphus under a boulder of heartbreak. Unfortunately, they won’t ever be the most joyous either.

You may argue that in fact you can love fully and completely and get the most out of it, while refraining from getting hurt or constantly wondering if and when this great relationship is going to end, but lets be real, that is near impossible. After we have been through this process a couple times and experiencing “love” and losing it for one reason or another, you get scars and become much more guarded and hardened.

Love stinks, the paradox of love and life and how the ones you love the most only hurt you more.

Love stinks

Finding love becomes harder and harder as it becomes a terrible process for you to let go of the past and to ultimately let go of the control of the relationship. You may be wondering why I keep saying that. Let’s think about it for a second. If you are able to remain more detached, or simply just less enthralled with the other person you can keep the relationship in your court so to speak. You can choose when you want to see them, what to talk about, how you communicate, how close they get to you, and how close you get to them. They don’t occupy your brain running around exhausted and defeated like rat in a maze that has no exit. In many respects it is like getting a small love buzz, but never becoming drunk to avoid the untimely hangover the next morning. In the eyes of the other person things are great, they are completely infatuated with you, and their heart is yours completely. That means you can manipulate them till your heart is content, and they are the one trying everything to make you happier and happier. Your loved one might give up sleep, food, friendship, ambition, and more just to see you happy. You may only occasionally return the favor, but they are stuck on you, and there is nothing they can do to change that. I know. You have the power. If things start to go south you have all the capabilities to remain removed emotionally and cut it off when the going gets tough. It becomes purely business, a transaction of emotion. That isn’t really love though, no matter how enjoyable you might think it is. Sure, when the relationship ends you are able to rebound quickly and find another “lover” but how long can you keep that up? Eventually there will be some emptiness inside you, dark and dank, yearning for more. However, you have the control when someone loves you more than you them, everything is on your terms, and little effort is required. Your mind, and your being is left to care for many more aspects of life, a trade off that might prove valuable. Who is really enjoying this process more though? Is anyone enjoying it as much as they can? Probably not. ]Although, that is not to say that enjoyment is not felt, as I can attest, it very much is. What I am talking about is the peaks and the valleys though. Highs are only experienced by seeing lows, and higher highs are only compared in such that the lows are in respect so much lower. Our level of happiness, in many respects is a function of how great our previous low of depression and self loathing was. This is why love is other worldly, and lust is merely great. Although, “great” can be enjoyed for a very long.

The second side of the paradox though, the side where you find the most amazing feeling any human can feel, with deep true love, can also be a double edged sword. You want to go into a relationship thinking that it will last forever, it probably won’t, especially if you are young. That will crush you, and it may not even be the other persons fault, it could have been a death, unfortunate circumstances, or just a timing issue. Continuing to give your all though will have amazing results when it comes to love. As soon as you love more than the other person, and are more fully devoted, you are the one who will all of a sudden be left helpless. Begging and grasping at what once existed, perhaps for years and years, will do nothing, and you will be left with shambles of a once outstanding relationship.

Paradox of love, you can certainly hurt even more after loving so much it hurts, because then it will end.

I disagree.

Looking back on that time you will learn an enormous amount, about yourself, about others, life, experience, emotions, everything. I have not denied the amount of pain you will feel though, for a very long time. Life is not a romantic comedy where everything will be hunky dory, nor is it a pornographic film where you can go from one person to the next with minimal emotion. Life is so much in between, and that is the greatest part. The question of this all becomes, what matters most to you, and are you willing to accept each set of consequences whether you love less or more? Do you want to learn the true depths of your inner self, and experience utter dejection, or do you want to never experience the dark corners of what lays within your psyche, but only be graced with glimpses of self discovery and growth? Do you like who you are right now, because that is going to change greatly one way or another if you make the wrong choice. Puzzling isn’t it? Even scary and overwhelming perhaps?

Right now, I would say I am one who loved and lost as you can see from my previous posts, and I am the one loving less in all my relationships now. This ensures that I stay in control of everything that happens and if a girl leaves my life, not a problem, life moves on. Without a doubt I am having a good time doing this, and am experiencing many different people, emotions, and moments that I will never forget. Late at night, on the few occasions when I have no one around me, like now, I think about having love again, and how perfect my life felt in so many ways. Often times I would give everything to go back to the first 6 months of that whole process. Alas, it is not my time to board that train, and quite likely not my time for awhile. This is the great paradox of love. As many singers and songwriters have said, love stinks. They keep singing about it though. To have the best love, and happiest life you must devote everything, mind, body, soul, self, time, as anything in life requires. To be hurt the least, and be able to move on faster, you have to commit less, and get less out of it. You can’t have your cake and eat it to, you will hurt one way or another, but you must choose what is right for you.