Sometimes, he wanted to Fall in Love so Bad that it Hurt.
But it hurt so good. It didn’t hurt in a bad way: it was the hurt of a sad soaring song that made him want to cry, seemingly from out of nowhere.
When he was young, he fell in love with a Vermont girl and she fell in love, too, and when they fell out of love a year or two later, they stayed in love and it was all very confusing and monumental at their young first-love age.
Then he dated many, for many years—good relationships, or brief, or fun, or disappointing, or wild—but no love. Love had come and Love was gone.
Then he romanced a stunningly charming British girl, and on that first night he looked down at her face he saw that same look he recognized from years before, with his Vermont love: he saw love in her eyes. He was surprised and grateful that he’d found it again.
Off and on, for four years, they fell in and out of love. And when they fell out of love the last time, they did so slowly, together, and everything turned cold and blue, the cold blue of the vast starry night sky high up in the Rocky Mountains where they’d first met. Cold.
Then, again, he dated many for many years and had a lot of fun and many good relationships and one bad one. Most of them, if not all, felt like love in the beginning…but he never saw that full open soft still look again.
It’s been 10 years, now, and he had not come all so very close to falling in love again. He had become so ridiculously picky, though he was himself wildly imperfect. Why? The older he grew, the better he understood what he was looking for.
And now, these days, whenever he wished to fall in love and it grew so acute that he felt like crying—well, he was okay with it. It’s a beautiful feeling, wanting to fall in love—it’s almost as beautiful as it feels to be in love.
And his loneliness—perhaps for the first time—did not include pity for himself. He was sad—yes. But he had made friends with himself. He enjoyed his life, even if it was empty.
There was nothing to escape from, or to.
Recently, he had dated again a few times and it had been fun but—ah. There was only one whose company brought him joy, in that way, and yet—ah.
For the first time, friends begin to think he would never find one to fall in love with, or marry, or have children with.
And so, for the first time, he was (though still confident, who can see the future) forced to consider missing the glorious chaos that is relationship and love and children.
A life alone, with his dog and house and movies and books and work and travel—can such simplicity be enough?