I first realized I loved you when we first slowed dance in a pretentious speakeasy bar, drunk, and with all your friends staying quiet because it’s probably their first time to see you this intimate with someone.
There were so many times, moments, and instances that also made me love you even more. Like that time I had to sleep on the floor because the bed was too cold when we slept at your friend’s place for the first time; you followed me there despite the hard wooden floor and despite having only one blanket and three jackets to protect us from freezing.
Or that time you read my personal essay about my identity, and you didn’t judge me when I wrote about the guys I slept with. Instead, you held me, and focused on that one line about my love for my sister. It was that time when I knew that you’d always choose to see the good in me, and that I never had to hide like I did with those who came before you.
If there’s anything I learned about falling in love, it’s that it happens quite fast and sometimes, it lasts too quickly. With my experience of falling for you, the feeling reappears sometimes, even after the so-called honeymoon phase of our relationship: I fell for you every time I heard your voice say “Hello” on the phone, every time you get giddy when you see dogs, or every time we sit on comfortable silence we didn’t have to demand.
I’ve read so many things about how being in love and loving are two different things. Sometimes, they co-exist. Sometimes, they don’t go hand-in-hand. The main difference is the ability to choose. With being in love, you see only the good parts about the person and you think, wow, this person’s perfect. With loving, you see the good parts and the ugly, and you choose to stay despite. You choose to love the parts that are bad, and you try your best to help fix it if you can.
I know I can’t hold you in moments where you were your best and only choose to love you only then. I love you even outside your best parts and your best moments. I love you despite the fact that you canceled on me a lot, and I always questioned why I wasn’t the first priority. I love you even after all the times you chose your happiness before mine, and I told myself that love keeps no records of wrong. I love you even after you stopped saying you loved me, and even after you finally admitted that you fell out of love.
I will never understand what you meant when you said the problem is with you, and not with me, and I will never understand how I was once the love of your life, and now I’m not. I love you despite my inability to understand. I love you because your choices will always be a part of you, and I love even that part of you that chose to be without me. Written by Creator Community contributor Bea Constantino, for InqPOP!.
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