This is the mentality of someone who has never been in love before.
You see couples and you think to yourself how nice it must be to have someone there. But when asked to put yourself in their shoes, you can’t see it. You can’t imagine someone knowing you past all the layers you possess that make you everything you are: your wildest dreams and your deepest fears. You can’t envision a relationship with someone that moves beyond the getting dolled up for dinner dates that mutually end with let’s just be friends.
You know that love and being in love are two separate entities. You love your hobbies, your family, and you’re almost certain that your soulmate is something that is actually plural and could be defined as your girlfriends. They’re the only ones who have somewhat fit the mold of being your “other half.” They may not have seen you at your most vulnerable, but they may have had the opportunity at one point or another. In essence, the people who are closest to you in your life right now pretty much play the role of everything you would imagine a partner would fulfill, minus the butterflies, “sparks,” and actual romance part. And as far as you know, that’s what draws the line between love and being in love.
However, not knowing what it feels like to be in love doesn’t mean that you’re lonely. In fact, you most probably have a whole life full of possibility in front of you, which may be the exact reason why you can’t imagine someone else in the equation. Because all it ever took to live your life was having yourself and no one else. It was comfortable. Something you could rely on. At least everything that happened to you would be on your own terms, for the most part. Being by yourself meant no one could walk out because you don’t have anyone in your life who you have allowed to be capable of that.
At 22 years old, I’m at a weird point in my life where my friends are either practically engaged to their partners, if not already, or they’re like me and can’t imagine what it’s like to have someone like that in their life to begin with. It makes me wonder if everyone is destined to fall in love. Maybe due to being raised through chick flicks and romance novels, I assumed too much. Nothing and no one are promised to us, right?
Love is something I think I want, but it’s also something I’m pretty sure I’m scared of. Maybe I’m scared of it because of how easy it is to be scared of the unknown, or maybe I’m too scared to trust anyone with my heart because I don’t know what it’s like for someone else to hold onto it.
However, I can at least thank my lucky stars that I have friendships with people who give me the whole I-can’t-imagine-my-life-and-what-it-would-be-like-without-you phenomenon.
No, that’s not falling in love. But that’s still something.
So if for a single moment I ever feel sad that I have never been in love with someone, or if I ever question whether it is something I will ever experience, I can at least say I know what love feels like to a certain degree. And if at the end of the day, I can say that by myself I have fallen head over heels for the life that has been bestowed upon me, what’s there to be so sad or lonely about?