Friday, March 25, 2011

learning to love

I remember the first time(s) Jon and I said "I love you" better than most other things. Interestingly enough, we both nearly ruined the moment for the other, but luckily we are weird and it ended up making the experience more charming.

It was Christmas Eve 2006 and Jon's parent's house was quiet because they were all at midnight mass. We were sitting on the couch watching TV and Jon looked like he was going to vomit. I asked him what was wrong and he hesitated, finally finding the words, "I.......love you." My wonderful response? "No you don't."

Rewind a little bit here: when Jon and I first started hanging out I vented to him several times about people who say "I love you" after less than a few months because "they couldn't possibly know or feel that." I mean, I must have vented about this on at least five or six different occasions to the boy. I also wasn't quite sure if I really believed that love existed in the romantic sense (I knew God's love and familial love was real but that was about it). I was a skeptic and a hater. I also made it clear to Jon that I would never say it back if I wasn't sure if the words were true. It just meant too much.

Fast forward to Christmas Eve. Poor Jon's face fell at my heartless response. I reminded him that I wouldn't say it until I was ready and that I DID like him but I just wasn't sure about the whole love deal. He made it a point to not repeat those words consciously to me again.

Over the course of the next two weeks I had a lot of thinking to do. I still couldn't wrap my mind around romantic love. Romantic love just always seemed so selfish to me. I eventually asked Jon what he thought "love" meant because I wasn't sure. His response was something to this effect: "I view love as an action more than a feeling. Yes, my stomach does flips when I see you, but when I tell you 'I love you' what I'm actually telling you is that I'm choosing to love you and only you. I'm telling you I'll stick it out and work through any problems we have instead of running away." 

I melt. I picked a very smart man. The more I thought about his response the more it made sense. If love was solely a feeling, people would be falling into and out of love every five seconds. I finally came to the realization that I felt (actioned?) the same way.

We were watching Grey's Anatomy on a Thursday night (a tradition we had in the beginning.. well, MY tradition) and this time I felt like I was going to vomit.

Me: "I love you, too."
Jon: "You're not talking about the band [U2] right?"

All we could do was laugh.

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