How The Eff Am I Supposed To Know What Love Is?


There’s a sleeping girl in my arms and everything feels perfect. 

There’s a sleeping girl in my arms, and everything feels perfect. The way her hair lightly brushes the tip of my nose and our fingers are gently intertwined on her stomach. Yes, everything is perfect. And yet, I can’t help but think that I’ve been here before, and it always feels the same.

In the past year there has been Shannen and Andrea and McKayla and Elsa and Melissa and Justine and Rachel and Rachel and Tessa and Michelle and Sofia and Sarah and Andi and Alison and Emma and Savannah and Rachel and Kacey. All of their hair has softly wisped off my face as we shifted in our sheets. All delicately tangled their fingers around mine as they drifted off to sleep. All of those nights were perfect. And that perfection is why I don’t know how to be happy anymore.

As a child, I slept alone and my parents slept together. “Someday,” I thought to myself as I stared at the ceiling fan night after night, “I will fall in love and someone will sleep next to me.” As a child, sleeping next to someone was the ultimate symbol of love.

But I’m no longer a child, and I’ve slept next to lots of people that I know I do not love. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and don’t remember their names. Or how they got here. Or how I got here. Or where here even is. Who’s bed am I even in right now?

I live with this depressing theory that true love does not exist, at least not in the sense that there is one person on this planet that I’m destined to be with forever. If there are 3 billion girls on planet earth I think conservatively speaking I could be truly happy spending the rest of my life with at least 75,000 of them. But that doesn’t mean that I want the journey and the love I find to be any less special.

For the past few years I’ve observed the life of my friends and grown to fear that marriage has nothing to do with love at all — it’s no more then right place right time, a shot in the dark. They go through the exact same motions with their wife that they went through with all their ex-girlfriends over the years, and simply because they don’t have that one explosive drunken fight at 3 AM or the harmless lie that gets exposed as a result of a miscommunication at a dinner party they assume they love each other and get engaged. I’m pretty sure love is supposed to be more special then that. I really want to believe that I’m right.

I’m 22 years old now and I think I’ve already experienced all the moments that are supposed to feel like love. I’ve taken spontaneous roadtrips, spent long weekends in bed, met the parents, gone apple picking, made out in the rain and written forlorn letters from the road. All of these moments have led to the happiest days of my life. But none of them equaled anything close to love.

I think what scares me the most is how similar my good and bad relationships are. We frequent the same restaurants and share the same stories and hold hands in the same way until we don’t. Our relationships are too simply defined and classified by just one moment out of the thousands you share together that somehow tells you this isn’t the person you’re going to find true love with. I’m haunted by the thought that even though every moment with my girlfriend makes me happy, there are thousands of girls I could be just as happy sharing the same exact moment with. I’m struggling to find solace in the idea that there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Maybe I’m really just overthinking how fast all of our perfect moments are accumulating to the point that I get scared, and the only thing different about each of my relationships is how quickly a new girl comes along and brings with her the comfort of a first date.

Well here I am tonight, sleeping in a new bed with a new girl. In this moment, I think someday I may grow to love her.

But if these fleeting moments are so perfect, how the fuck will I ever know what love really is?