Love: When Do You Know

Love is a Verb

I often say, “I love easy and I love hard.” I’m what people call “a giver.”

I typically put another’s needs and wants ahead of my own. It’s easier for me to think of how to enhance another person’s life than to ask for something I need or want. When someone shares their heart with me, I automatically try to think of ways to add a little bit of joy in their lives, even if it may inconvenience me or diminish my resources. Because of how I am, there are some things and situations that take me a while to understand.

Here’s Richard’s story: “I was on and off drugs, in and out of jail, homeless, for a while. I mean like a long time, like over 25 years. I knew this girl, she was with me before things got really bad with the drugs. She was always around, always there, telling me I could do better, trying to get me to do better. She left for school, got a few degrees. Meanwhile, I married a girl I met in rehab, we had a son, and I left less than a year later. I was out the drug life for good and she wasn’t. So, I left her.

She finally got out of that life, but I still didn’t want her sexually. I was doing really good. I had a nice apartment in a nice community, a good job, a new truck, was going to my meetings. It got lonely though. So, I got in touch with my son’s mom, my wife, and even got back in touch with that first girl. I kinda felt like I owed it to them for them to experience being with me with my life together. In their own way, they both supported me and I wasn’t ready for it. Both of them turned me down. They didn’t want to be with me. Neither one believed I was on the come-up for real this time. They’d both been through so much with me back in the day, I couldn’t really blame them. Though, I did blame them. I mean like how dare they always push me to be better and now that I’m finally better they don’t want me. They both said the same thing, something about not knowing if I was for real this time after hurting them both so much over a dozen or more years.

So, anyway, I didn’t want to be alone. I met this chick in one of my meetings and before long she was taking the bus to come see me. It started off with me taking her home to her mom’s house after some of the meetings. She didn’t have a car. She was cool. Taking the bus to come see me. Sometimes, I’d let her spend the night so I wouldn’t have to take her to her mom’s late at night. My lease was almost up and I decided to move, to rent a condo. I asked her to move in with me since, by this time, she was staying over almost every weekend anyway. I wouldn’t have to drive her back and forth to her mom’s.

Three years later, the fourth year into our relationship, I fell in love with her and asked her to marry me. She said “yes” and we went out and purchased each other wedding rings. The chick I told you about, the one that was always there for me back in the day, … she told me I was full of shit and playing games with my live-in girlfriend/fiance.

You see, what I didn’t tell you was that during all this time I was still legally married to my son’s mom. Chick from the past said if I was really in love or even sincerely loved my “fiance” I’d have either divorced my wife, proposed to my girlfriend and married her. Or, proposed to my girlfriend, divorce my wife, and marry my girlfriend. I hung up on her. How dare she tell me I was being selfish and playing games.

Six years later, my girlfriend and I are still together with plans to get married next year, 10+ years into our relationship. I did finally divorce my wife two years ago but wasn’t ready yet to marry my fiance. Chick from the past told me, again, that I was full of shit. She said, “You proposed to her four years into the relationship, saying you fell in love with her. You proposed when you couldn’t marry her because you were still married to your son’s mom. Then, when you finally divorce your son’s mom, you tell your fiance you’re not ready to get married. That’s some bullshit. I would feel sorry for her, but if she’s okay with it why should I not be?””

Personally, I don’t think it takes four years to know if you love someone. Yes, there are different types of love – I love you as any other general human being; I love you and want the best for you and to help you in any way I can; I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you, commit to you and strive to make the rest of our lives the best of our lives. My opinion is that he loved her as a general human being.

He didn’t want to be alone and she was the first woman who came along and accepted him for who he was. He loved the way she loved him unconditionally. He had what he wanted in a way that was convenient for him. From the day she moved in with him she talked about how bad she wanted to marry him. Going on 10+ years he still hasn’t given her what she wanted.

What are your thoughts on the above story? Have you been, or known someone else, in a similar situation? When do you know you love someone in a romantic unconditional type of way?

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I journeyed from GED to a PhD in Psychology. I decided to focus on my writing once I retired from the clinical field. I write in various genres and have several WIPs for publication once edited. I post articles on this website for intellectual and entertainment purposes.

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