What Love Really Feels Like

Everyone will find that special someone, even in unexpected places

It was the middle of July on a hot summer afternoon in Seattle. I checked my appearance in the driver’s seat of my car, making sure my shirt was buttoned up before opening the door and getting outside. I was preparing myself to meet a woman who I’d only talked with online for the last three weeks. This would be the first time we met in person and I had no idea if we’d hit it off.

Then, I saw her. She was a young woman close to my age, had a great smile, and had this quirky and easy going energy about her. She was a comforting presence to be around. I expected to be just friends at first, but then we starting talking and my perspective changed. The more I talked with her the more I realized how similar our life experiences were and how I enjoyed being around her. She was so fun and playful to go on a two mile hike with that I wanted to see her more and more.

Since then we’ve met up numerous times and I love everything about her.

What It Feels Like

I had a difficult upbringing in a conservative household with strict parents compounded by social anxiety and executive functioning disorder. It can be tough to balance work with my studies and personal life. Consequently this means that I had to focus more on my studies than my dating life, any deviation from that would be met with yelling, intimidation, and emotional blackmail by my parents. It was very difficult to keep things to myself. Whenever I was being genuine and honest with my friends they wouldn’t really want to hear it, so for years I had to keep all negative aspects of my life bottled up.

That wasn’t the case with my girlfriend.

I opened up to her about my past. Instead of never hearing from her again, she actually listened to what I had to say. She stayed quiet gently rubbing my hand and looked at me with eyes open and sympathy. What I felt after that was a genuine love for her that was stronger than the familial bond with my parents.

Love is this warm feeling in your chest that you get when you talk to your girlfriend spreading all the way up to your chest. Love is when you have a strong emotional connection to one person so intense that it’s like you’ve physically merged with your partner. Love is when you feel like you can rely on the person, tell them anything negative, and they will still love you and see you as a good person. Love is when you go out of your way to plan things in advance with them when you’re not a good planner. Love is when you can’t stop thinking about them when you’re at work. Love is when you don’t care about the person’s physical appearance, if you have kids or not, what type of job they have, and what their financial situation is. Love is when you don’t care about any of that. You only care for them as a person, as a best friend, as a confidant, as a lover.

I used to think I didn’t deserve anyone and would be alone, until I met my current girlfriend. This all happened so fast that I’m almost pinching myself. I’ve smiled more being around her than I’ve ever smiled in the last ten years. She makes me feel like I can do almost anything.

Even on my worst days she still brings a smile to my face every time we communicate. She’s a wonderful human being and I can’t imagine parting from her. If this is what love really feels like, I could get used to this.

A person that really enjoys writing about food, culture, politics, justice, climate change, relationships, and other interesting topics.