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It’s been about a year now of singlehood.
Before my last two relationships, I was never one to jump from partner to partner, but it’s been a while now since I had a good chunk of time totally to myself.
I’m not complaining. I love solitude. I am grateful for the time to myself, to get back to being who I am outside of another person. I’ve been falling in love with my life all over again, and I was actually trying to stay away from love and romance the last few months in order to truly be on my own this time around.
But now it’s been a year, and I think, maybe I’m ready to open myself up to the possibility of love once again.
Only, I don’t remember how to do love. Or what love feels like. Or how people go about this whole dating thing. Love has suddenly become a stranger who speaks a foreign language, and this time, I am getting to know it without a teacher.
But when I am in love, boy I am in love. I’m writing poetry late into the night all about how his hands feel in mine. I’m listening to T-Swift and dancing around my room like a schoolgirl.
When I’m in love, it’s like the whole world has a wonderful rosy tint to it.
Of course, I have also come to learn that this euphoric feeling is not truly what love is. But I miss it. That I’m excited about you feeling. I want to remember what true love feels like, when you’re deep in those depths with another human, sharing your life, your heart, your history with theirs over two IPAs at a dingy bar, or homemade spaghetti while sitting on his bedroom floor.
I have forgotten what it’s like to sit across from someone and want to know every little thing about them. Where they grew up. What their home life is like. What’s their relationship with their parents.
I have forgotten what it’s like to be excited about a text. A simple, Hey how are you? That gets your heartbeat racing, and you didn’t realize you were smiling until someone asks you what’s so funny.
I have forgotten what it’s like to wish someone good night. Or to turn around and fall asleep beside him or her, bodies close but barely touching.
I have forgotten what it’s like to want to introduce them to your family. To meet their family and be so nervous that you’re going to make a bad impression and then you are too nervous that you don’t end up making the best impression but they can all see how much he or she loves you that they end up loving you too, anyway.
I have forgotten what it’s like to be inspired by someone. To witness them achieving things in their life and wanting to go out there and achieve things in yours, too.
I’ve forgotten what it’s like to have a cheerleader. Someone championing for your success from the sidelines and passing you the water bottle and towel when you get tired. To hold you when you need a rest. And for you to be that for them too.
I’ve forgotten what it’s like to curl up together on a Friday night and watch one of your favourite movies. Back rubs. Foot massages. Eating popcorn made on the stovetop and both have our phones away because there is nothing more comforting than just being in each other’s presence.
I’ve forgotten what it’s like to feel all of this—true, romantic love—with another person.
I have forgotten what it’s like to be in love, and, to be honest, I am afraid. I am afraid to feel it all again. I am afraid of losing myself in love. And I am afraid that maybe I’ve been taught love wrong the last few years, and I want to fall in love this time like really fall in love, the right way. My way. Our way. A way that isn’t based on expectation and false hopes or fantasy.
I want to remember what it’s like to be in love, but do it different this time, better. More realistically. And I don’t want to lose all that I’ve built within myself along the way.