There are many things I at one point convinced myself were love, and they usually weren’t the clichés, like co-dependency, or lust, or the idea of something over the reality of it. It was more often things that were a bit more abstract, and a lot more convincing: the person who fit the checklist perfectly, the person who gave me a general feeling of love met by an equal sense of uncertainty, friendship, need, rebound.
Finally finding the love I had for so long been seeking wasn’t a hormone-fueled implosion. It was a gentle awakening, a simple realization. It didn’t make me rash, it made me grounded. It didn’t make me want to plan forever, but be completely present. It was better than I ever could have fathomed, and yet nothing I’d ever expect. Here, all the things that surprised me about (real, live, easy, beautiful) love: