(Originally posted last Valentine’s Day on my social media.)
This weekend has predictably brought a stream of love related articles and posts to my social media feeds. I figured I’d join in with my own musings since this is a topic I’ve thought about in great detail over the years.
One of the biggest lies fed to me in my religious days was the Bible verse that says “love never fails”. But nothing could be farther from the truth.
We will always fail those we love at least a few times, whether they are romantic partners or friends or family. There is no such thing as perfect love; that’s a fairy tale that creates unrealistic expectations. But there is such a thing as healthy love. That kind of love tries, even when it’s hard. That kind of love forgives and apologizes and works to better itself over time. That kind of love is loyal and does not easily run away when things get hard.
There is no such thing as perfect love. That would require human beings who are capable of never making mistakes. But there is love that tries really fucking hard and gets it right a lot of the time. And that’s a beautiful thing that should never be taken for granted. After all, many people don’t even bother to try. Those that actually give a damn are worth sticking with.
I’ve seen a lot of love come and go in my admittedly short lifetime. Friends that once claimed to care for me left when my beliefs changed or when I came out as LGBTQ. Men in my past abandoned me after implying or saying that they cared, or simply stopped loving me. My own family’s love has been far from perfect. And I admit that my own love for others has many flaws and shortcomings. I have fears and insecurities and selfish desires that sometimes taint my ability to love others in the way that I want to.
But still we try. And often we succeed in loving others as we should. Those are beautiful moments.
If can be scary to love others. I’ve loved hard and lost it all, and it’s some of the hardest pain I’ve ever endured. But despite all the hurt that sometimes comes with it, it’s far better to risk loving and being loved in return than to live life hiding from one of the few truly beautiful things we have in life. After all, what do we really have to lose? Life will find ways to crush us whether we ever love others or not. Being alone and unloved hurts too. And if we always hide from love, we can so easily miss out on something incredibly beautiful and meaningful.
Don’t run from love, whether it’s platonic or romantic or something else. Choose it carefully if you can because not everyone has healthy love to offer, but don’t hide from it forever. Life will fuck us over whether we embrace this part of life or not. You might as well leave yourself open to the potentially wonderful things that life has to offer.
And that is the extent of my Valentine’s Day musings. The positive ones, that is.