This Side of Love


The side of Love we don’t always see or choose to acknowledge, is the side where falling too fast and too furiously in it sees our sense of self left behind; where we are so giddy at the prospect of being someone else’s, that we forget how to be ourselves.

But contrary to what the butterflies might tell us, true love is not immobilising. It does not ask that we give ourselves totally to our other half; so much so that we lose the part of our soul they fell in love with in the first place. But rather, true love strikes with an acute awareness of quite the opposite. It is not solely born out of bedroom eyes and smile lines, but of an innate sense of pride at watching your partner succumb to the fire in their belly, satiated by their dreams and beckoning for you to join them. This side of love is what comes next: it is the collected parts of two people who have found a home inside a heartbeat, crafted carefully out of moments from Sunday mornings, and the culmination of all you adore in between. This kind of love sees you create an identity within each other, while never losing sight of who you were – and still are – without.

But what does it mean to truly know who you are? Life, just like love, is not the easiest thing to navigate. At the best of times our identity is that of a complex conundrum; a thorn in our sides, pressing and provoking us to be certain of what we’re doing, where we’re going, and who we’re becoming. Throw another soul into the mix, and all of sudden you’re faced with an existential crisis unlike any other:

How do two become one?
At what point does your heart house another?
When do you tell him you’ve studied the language of flowers – that Gloxinia symbolises love at first sight, and blue Hyacinths represent the constancy that follows?

And yet, of all the things that are so wonderfully and inextricably you, this is what he will want to know; this, among your penchant for past eras, your love affair with sadness, and how you can identify every shade of blue. He will challenge you, and you will encourage him to be open; he, whose body is an atlas. This side of love will see you devote an entire country to the contours of his face, at least two to his marvelous chest, and a lifetime of rivers to the rest.

Together you will learn the true meaning of the word unity, and smile every time it reminds you to make art, then make love. You will survive wild hunts and blood carnivals, and make each other better. You will be you, with no need to distinguish between singular or plural pronouns. For you’ll soon come to realise that true love has always been there, regardless of whom you thought you were before it. And in the end, does it matter? Life will always find a wonderful way to bring two souls together. It is how you embrace it, and throw yourself wildly and assuredly into its depths, that determines who you are, and who you’ll grow to be.


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