View this post on Instagram
We expect love is going to look a certain way.
Consciously or not, we have a checklist in our mind. Whether that’s from watching “P.S I Love You” one too many times (and moving to Ireland to find your Gerard Butler) or from reading Twilight and hoping a sexy—but actually overly possessive—Edward Cullen will notice us and love us forever.
We flick through the apps not even reading bios if someone “isn’t our type” because, god forbid, we could develop an attraction for someone not based on appearance.
And we feel hopeless. We wonder where that man, woman, whoever, is—the one who we always dreamed about as kids. Or fantasized about as a teen in bed late at night.
But love? Real love? It comes at us like we’re walking through a grim city street only to see an incredible piece of street art sketched against a grey wall. Unexpected. And it doesn’t look like anything we’ve ever seen before.
When love does arrive, we throw that checklist out the window because none of those things really matter. What matters is your connection, that little thing called a spark we can’t seem to deny.
It’s not always sudden, sometimes it does take time to come to us. Like looking at that street art, maybe we can’t figure out right away why exactly we like it, but there’s just something about it.
When love does arrive, it won’t matter whether they have black hair or blue eyes, what will matter is the way they treat you. Whether they have similar values as you.
What matters is whether they can make you laugh. If your sense of humour lines up or maybe theirs is just that little bit more ridiculous than yours, but it makes you smile all the same.
When love arrives, it won’t matter whether they fit perfectly into your friend group, because everyone will be able to see how happy they make you. How well you fit together.
When love arrives, things might not go perfectly at first. Maybe you live in different cities. Maybe he works night shifts and you have a strict nine-to-five. Maybe she has kids and you’ve never wanted a family before. Maybe they are heartbroken still, and not sure they’re ready for a new relationship.
But you make it work. Maybe not right away, maybe you take time apart for a while, maybe you spend six months figuring out your own sh*t. But when love arrives in this way, you find your way back to it—you find your way back to each other.
I know that when single, it’s easy to get caught up in feeling like we have to package ourselves a certain way so someone will notice us. Especially on dating apps, it can feel like we need to show our best selves to reel a potential mate in.
But from my experience, the people I’ve wanted to match with are the ones who show their most authentic selves. The ones who have a smile that’s genuine, or maybe they’re playing their favourite sport, or they admit in the comments, with full transparency, that they don’t actually know what the hell they’re doing.
Because isn’t that the truth? In love, none of us know what we’re doing. And that’s the beauty of it.
When love does arrive, it’s not in a perfectly packaged present sitting at our doorstep—no, it comes as a collection of moments, messy, and oh so ordinary, that sweep us off our feet.