What is love?

Was I in love? Yes I was in love.

There; I said it. I should have said it before we broke up, but I didn’t really understand what my heart was feeling until the relationship was over.

What is love? I used to think love was purely a chemical reaction in the brain, but it’s about connecting with someone on all levels: a mutual physical attraction that draws you to each other, a mutual mental attraction of being able to have intelligent conversation but also silly conversation; and a mutual emotional attraction where you are both open and vulnerable by sharing dreams, aspirations, like minded views and interests.

There are different kinds of love. You can love: people, pets, friends, family and things. By all means, spread the love; this world needs more love and people are so afraid of it nowadays.

Over the years I’ve dated many guys, kissed many frogs and fallen in love a few times. People use the word ‘love’ too loosely. I’m not talking about how much I love my shoes or someone’s hair. There is also a difference between loving someone and being ‘in love’ with them.

There are very few guys that have had a lasting impact on me so far. I’ll expand on 4 of these below:

1. ‘My First Kiss’ and I had so much in common. The conversation just flowed so well the first time I met him that after saying goodnight to our group of friends around 11pm, we just chatted, until about 6am. He was very attractive and charming but we never dated.

2. ‘My First Love’ and I met when I was 11, I didn’t see him again until I was 18 and we started dating when I was about 20. To sum it up our relationship was a pretty disastrous emotional roller coaster, at least 3 years on and off. He was dangerous and fun, I was young and stupid.

3. ‘The One That Got Away’ and I met when we were studying. He was just eye candy at the time and a ladies man. We sort of, kind of, dated for the month of October 2011. He was tall, handsome, cheeky and smart; which I liked. Then I realised that I liked him more than I wanted to, got scared and never even gave it a chance.

4. ‘Green Eyes’ and I met on the 5th of January 2012, at a bar called ‘Gin’ in Greenside. I was quite happy being single at the time, with no intention of attracting any guys, wearing plain black jeans and a white tank top. I was in no hurry for a boyfriend but we were officially an item by the end of January. He had the most beautiful green eyes and cheeky smile and somewhere along the line, I fell in love.

We had our first date at ‘Mama’s Shebeen’, also in Greenside. Walking there I actually wanted to ditch the date because I got scared (I wanted to be single, I didn’t want to start anything new with anyone new) but as I was about to turn around, he stood up and waved at me. I am so happy he did, not only because I enjoyed our first date but because he changed my life.

It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been apart or when I saw him last. We’re no longer friends on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I don’t want to see who he’s dating now, if he moved to a different city, moved jobs or got a new car – and I’d appreciate it if other people didn’t tell me about it either. I don’t need to know. We are both different people now. I have fond memories of him and we had a mutual break up. Which after a few days, I regretted and tried to fix, but it was already too late.

A month or so after the break up: I saw him out at a music concert and then bumped into him (out of thousands of people) at another music concert. I won’t deny that he has good music taste i.e. the same as mine.

A month or so after that: I sent him a random drunken text at about 1:30am which I apologised for in the morning when I realised that I’d actually sent the message – it wasn’t just a dream. He said he hadn’t seen me around for a while so that must ‘mean’ something – but he didn’t know at the time that I’d actually stopped going out, for fear of bumping into him again. My friends saw him around often.

The connection between us felt like an invisible rope between hearts; that slowly unravelled thread by thread. I had hoped that by writing this I could cut that last thread.

I didn’t want any advice like: just shake it off, just forget it, get over it or just move on. I couldn’t ‘just’. It’s a feeling I don’t really understand and I can’t accurately describe. It needed time to ‘disconnect’. At the time, I discussed it with my friend Lynette who said she understood the feeling. Since writing this post, I have heard from many others who could relate to this feeling as well.

I don’t know if ‘Green Eyes’ ever loved me because he never told me. In fact, not many guys have actually looked me face to face and said ‘I love you’. No ex-boyfriend of mine has even said anything close to ‘I think you’re beautiful’. Guys should really say these lovely things to their ladies more often.

So although at the time I felt: still in love, held by an imaginary thread – I didn’t know what the future held for me. I don’t agree with the theory of ‘the one’ because I feel that at different stages in your life you could have various ‘ones’ who are meant to be in your life for a reason for that season of your life – but I do believe in love.

“Life is too ironic to fully understand, it takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to appreciate silence, and absence to value presence.” – Unknown

People break up for various reasons, but it doesn’t really matter the reason. It’s about letting go and doing what’s right for you even if it hurts, it’s about accepting that sometimes things just don’t work out, and that’s totally ok. Life goes on.

(Edited and republished. Originally posted on my old blog: Peaches and Pie)

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