I have never been good at controlling my emotions. Not in the way that I cry all the time, or that I have some sort of anger management problem, but in the way that I cannot make myself feel a certain way.
Growing up, I was exposed to the word “love” from the opposite sex at an early age. The first boy to say “I love you” to me without literally peeing his pants was in fourth grade. He even made an attempt to kiss me and my response was to push him off the playground platform.
I had my first “real” boyfriend in eight grade. He passed me notes in class, he held my hand, and we even went on vacation together (well, it was more like a school trip). I didn’t realize how serious he thought it was until it turned into summer and we were both going to be attending different high schools. He looked into my eyes and told me he loved me. I laughed. The next week he had made out with one of my girlfriends and from what I heard, they happily dated throughout high school.
This process became sort of a pattern. I dated a lot of boys, and I did like them and I wanted to be in love, but what sort of movies and TV shows were these guys watching?! I even had one boyfriend tell me he “loved” me while watching “A Walk To Remember.” I’m pretty sure that he shed a tear in that movie too. I guess that answers my question.
For a while, I tried to force myself to love someone. I tried saying “I love you” back to a couple, but usually that conversation was the same one as me breaking up with them…”I love you too, but I don’t think this is going to work.”
There was one my senior year of high school, that I actually really did like. It was the only relationship of mine where I didn’t break up with the guy after two months. I had spent the entire summer with him and surprisingly when he said “I love you” to me, I said it back. I kept telling myself that I did and why not? He was a great guy. But just starting college, I did not want a serious relationship. I broke up with him, and good thing I did, because he ended up being a bit unstable (aka driving up to my college to give me a box of ripped up pictures with a picture of my mom taped to the box with words that said that she was the only person who will ever care about me now!) Better I found out then than later.
I was over trying to find love or a boyfriend. I was young and I decided that all the propaganda about love did no good anyway. I was even skeptical that I will ever love someone or care about somebody to that extent.
But I guess love is like shopping. When I go to the mall specifically to buy new jeans, I can never find it or I end up settling for ones I never end up wearing. The next week, I can go back to the mall not looking for jeans and then you find that pair that just fits you perfectly.
Well, when I did decide to stop looking for a relationship, to stop looking for love, he kind of just happened. When he said “I love you,” there were no gimmicks, no cheesy movie scenes, no laughing, no pushing, and definitely no shoeboxes. And because I had wanted to say it before he even said it, I couldn’t have forced myself to keep it in. It’s just that. When you aren’t looking for it, you will find it. And this I believe.