I have something to admit.
I am a recovering addict. What's my drug of choice? Love.
Never has this strange obsession been so perfectly explained as it was in this article. I happened across it a while ago on my Facebook feed an it really resonated with me.
Like the author, I can only confidently say I have fallen in love once. That's not to say I haven't loved others, but it was different. I loved as much as I was capable of, but my either inexperienced or recovering heart gave what it was comfortable giving.
For me, dreaming of finding my prince charming started as soon as I understood fairy tales. I eagerly awaited my 16 birthday when I would be allowed to date, and even managed to get that timeline pushed up 9 months thanks to a little thing called winter formal. I dabbled in infatuation in high school and I was certainly "in like" with a lot of people, but I didn't ever feel deep, all consuming, fantastic, heartbreaking, life altering love until college. Falling in love pushes your heart out of it's comfort zone and sometimes, it feels like you jumped right of a cliff. But I guess that's why they call it falling.
I didn't fall right away, in fact, I can't pinpoint exactly when it happened, but sometime within those first 6 months, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had met the man I would someday marry. Being away from him during the summers felt like absolute torture. We just seemed to work better together. He helped me be the best version of myself and knew exactly how to deal with the worst version (particularly late night drunken temper tantrums about going to Denny's). We were good at giving each other space and then making our time together count. He seemed to understand me and take care of me in a way no one ever had before. It was easy, until it wasn't.
Still sometimes I wonder if my memories are jaded. Was our relationship more complicated than my recollection allows? Do I only remember the good parts? While I was in it, did I settle? Was it just easy because we didn't have the passion to fight with each other? Was that just a version of love, the tip of the proverbial iceberg? I go back and forth on these questions.
Part of me hopes it was just a taste of what true love feels like because I want to believe it can be even better. Part of me hopes it was the truest love there is for fear of the pain that could come with something more powerful.
Today, a little more than 10 years since our relationship began and 4 years since it's demise, I can confidently say that I am glad I look back on our story as beautiful.
Not all fairy tales have a happy ending, but I think it's time that story is put up on the shelf. Somewhere I can see it and know it is there,but no longer sitting out. It's time I let a new fairy tale come my way or at least a good romantic comedy!