I’d like to offer up a debate. Is there a difference between loving someone and being in love with them? If you tell someone “I love you”, is that different from “I’m in love with you”? I think so. But I know the answer to this question depends significantly on your individual perspective and life experiences, and I have a very unique point of view on the matter.
My life has been turned around and upside down because I fell in love with someone. The problem is I fell in love with her while I was married to someone else. Someone with whom I was in love a long time ago and still love today. Even though my wife and I have since split (please see the aforementioned being in love with someone else), I still love her…..and I know I always will.
How can I not? She is the mother of my children. Every time I look at my daughter I see her. She was my first love. She was the one I “grew up with” so to speak. We met in high school, started dating at the end of Senior Year (prom was our first date), and we dated for seven years before we got married. In a way, we rushed into adulthood and skipped over being young, reckless and stupid and all those things you’re supposed to do in your twenties. It’s no surprise to say that is part of the reason our marriage reached a plateau and I found myself looking for, and falling for, someone else.
So now I am single and old and reckless and stupid. OK, 32 isn’t necessarily old, but man do I FEEL old. And in the course of being reckless, I allowed myself to enter into new relationships since my wife and I split up. Some of these relationships were very brief (like that dinner that lasted exactly 60 minutes from the time we sat down to the time I signed the receipt). Other relationships were just a bit longer than that.
One in particular is the reason I am making this entry. I never told you what happened to the person with whom I fell in love. Suffice it to say I explain my situation this way. “There is a reason I am no longer married ……… and she’s at home with her husband.” So in my quest to ‘get over’ this small detail, I found myself in a new relationship. A new, deep, serious relationship. That new, deep, serious relationship I told myself I would not fall into. But life is what it is and there I was.
This new person in my life is funny, intelligent and very down to earth. She is one of the most real persons I have ever met, and we met, believe it or not, online. On our first date there was an immediate spark. There was energy and a connection that made me think to myself “WOW!” Our waitress came up to her while I stepped away for a second and told her, “I wish my boyfriend was as affectionate and loving with me as yours is to you.” Her laugh filled response was, “That’s not my boyfriend. We just met.”
She and I shared a lot and experienced a lot together. From movies in the theater to movies on the couch. From Sister Hazel concerts to Norah Jones on my iPod. From dinner at nice restaurants to grilled cheese sandwiches at her place. There was this connection that is hard to explain, and what began as a NSA relationship evolved into something wonderful and exciting and rewarding. It took me a while before I could admit it, but I love her. I love her smile and her laugh and her affection. I love her dark sense of humor and her warm and enduring heart. I would be an idiot to not take her hand and never look back.
The kicker is that through all of this I have tried to be honest with myself and honest with my feelings. I have no problem admitting that I love this new person in my life and I care for her deeply, but …………… I am not in love with her. At one point I tried to convince myself that I was, but I know what being in love feels like for me and it just wasn’t there with her. It was close, but it wasn’t complete.
If you have read my previous blog entries (and I appreciated the three of you that have) you will have already figured this out. You already know that I am still in love with “the reason”, and I can’t let go of the idea of a life with her. Remember the reckless and stupid part? Maybe everyone is right. Maybe I am a fool. Maybe I am being played. Maybe my delusions are so enormous, they cloud my ability to appreciate and take advantage of something great that is right there in front of me.
But I don’t think so. I sit here knowing what I know and feeling what I feel and believing in my heart that all of this is worth it. I believe my dreams will be realized. I believe there is a happy ending for me in all of this, even though it’s at the expense of others. But one thing is for certain. This last paragraph is definitely debatable.