I grew up in a family of romantics where falling in love has always been celebrated like an achievement, where tales of love are told, poetry in the name of love is written and songs of love are sung.

Yet that kind of love, to me, seemed like such a foreign concept, so far away from who I am, unattainable. I’m good with checklists, guidelines, rules, and I was told that love doesn’t follow those. I’ve read that love meant change and chaos and those things absolutely terrify me. They said love is the language of words, new vocabularies, and I enjoy my silences.

The thought of it was so unsettling that I told myself I would never do it, I would never let it happen to me.. I was different, it was not me, it didn’t suit me.

But then .. he came along.

If you ask me why I said yes to him that day on the 25th of December 2019, I would tell you, in complete honesty, that I did it to make him stop looking at me. I actually, really, just wanted him to stop looking at me. Not because I hated it, because, I realized, no one has ever looked at me the way he did and it made me feel things I couldn’t understand. When beanies were making jokes of Christmas dates and hot chocolate, I was literally panic-googling how to do this (Yes, I needed a how-to list and no, it didn’t work!).

“It’s okay!” he said, when I told him about my rules and boundaries, about my “do’s” and “don’ts”, and about my “can’ts” and “won’ts”, I was not going into this unprepared, I told myself. “It’s okay. I understand!” he told me.

When he first confessed I asked him how he knew, I wasn’t doubting how he felt, I just needed to know if I felt the same. After all, I made my list and I needed to know if I could tick all the boxes (call me a fool but how else would I know?). I was not prepared for his answer, I didn’t expect that, nothing on my list was ticked. I cried that night, I cried a lot, and when he couldn’t figure out why I was crying I told him about my stupid list. He laughed then and asked me a series of questions, all to which my answer was yes. “It’s enough!” he said, “It really is!”, then he asked if he could hug me and I said yes to that, too. 

He taught me that there are no set guidelines for love, it isn’t hard, it doesn’t have to fit a mold, it isn’t same for everybody. No two people translate it the same, no two people feel it the same. He said love could mean chaos to some but to some it could be the order they need. And he told me that words are overrated and silences shared are the best way to love.

I still think I don’t know much, I still wonder if I’m doing it right.. but there is no right way he tells me.. so I guess, I’ll just fumble my way through love.

Love, February.