Thursday, December 31, 2009

You Love Me? How Do I Tell If I Love You?

*Mushy warning!! This post may contain mushy bits about love and whatnot (no shit Sherlock, look at the title). All those who squirm at the thought of love might want to avert their eyes!

Love is funny word. People use it in so many ways. You might tell one person you love them and mean one sentiment, but the love you feel for another person might be something totally different. For me, I've always known that I loved certain people in my parents, close friends, my sister, my grandparents, etc. But that only covers really two aspects of love, that of family and of friends. But to be in love with someone is really quite different. And I didn't realize that until a little over a year ago.

See, I had never been "in love" before. I had loved, and loved deeply, my friends and family, but I never experienced that third type of love. I had seen it in movies, heard it in songs, and read about it in books and even seen it right in front of me, yet I had no clue how little I knew about it. But that changed when I met Antoine, although not initially. Hmm, I think a little back-story is required here...

Antoine and I had been dating for about two months when his birthday came around. I had got him tickets for the two of us to go see the Black Keys (one of his favorite bands) in Northern Kentucky three months later. Now, I was making a notable statement here...that I expected/hoped we'd still be together come October! Antoine was pretty excited about the tickets, but maybe a little more excited that I had got something for him that suggested I saw this relationship progressing; which I did, I was pretty crazy about him. Apparently Antoine felt the same for me. While I was expecting a 'thank you', a hug and maybe some kisses, I got all that plus a "I think I'm falling in love with you". I was a little shocked, a little speechless and probably a little red! When I regained my ability to form words, unfortunately all I could muster was an "I don't know if I can say that yet, it that okay?", in a rushed and somewhat petrified tone. Horrible thing to say, right? (Antoine took it pretty well, he was notably a little hurt, but said that he didn't expect me to say it back he just wanted to say what he was feeling.) But really, what else should I have said..."I love you" back? I wasn't sure, I mean, I'd never been in love before. I didn't know what that felt like! I mean, how do you know when you love someone? That's a question that took me about a month to figure out.

A couple of weeks after the "I love you" I was leaving on a mini road trip with my best friend Amanda (aka my HLP...I'll explain later in another post). We were driving to Denver and staying with her cousin for about a week to see the city, as well as Boulder and Rocky Mountain National Park (one of my favorite places on earth). Oh, please forgive me, I'm going to have to sidetrack for a second and briefly tell a story about the morning of the day Amanda and I were leaving. Antoine had spent the night (and no, we weren't getting down and dirty yet, so get that out of your mind). While I was in the shower getting ready for work, Antoine popped out of the apartment and ran to my favorite local donut shop, Pleasant Ridge Donuts (best donuts in the city). They have these amazing buttermilk donuts that are so delicious, and if you get them fresh they literally dissolve in your mouth! It's heaven! Anyway, Antoine decides to be incredibly sweet (that's just the way he is) and get me some buttermilk donuts. Unfortunately he gets there and the owner says they are still cooking and that it'll be a couple of minutes. About 40 minutes later, they're done! Antoine rushes back to the apartment just as I'm getting ready to leave. What a sweetheart, right!? And, the donuts were I've ever had, but maybe that had something to do with who got them for me!

Anyway, back to my original story...Amanda and I were gone on our mini roadtrip for about 10 days. During those 10 days, I tried to talk to Antoine as much as I could. The longer I was gone, the more I missed him. And when I got back to Cincinnati and I saw him again I realized just how much I missed him much I loved him! I know, I was a little slow, but finally I knew! I couldn't really tell you what exactly it was or what it felt like, I just all of a sudden knew! With everything inside of me, with all that space between us, I knew I never wanted to be that far away from him for that long again.

Different people might describe it in different ways, but for me love is everything. It's wanting to be around a person and never getting sick of them, which is still the case with Antoine and I! There's never a day, an hour or a minute when I think, "Man, I just want to be alone! Can I just get a break from him?" It's the way he looks at me sometimes, and the way I just stop what I'm doing and look at him, this warmth washes over me and I feel happy. And it's even the way his always being late drives me completely insane, but I can never stay mad at him for more than a hour or so! It's all those things and so much's something that I can't even describe with words. It just feels good and I'm so glad I get to experience it! The end.

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