This Is How You Love Someone


You love someone with actions: you give them things to make their life easier, better, more full, happier. When they fall asleep on your shoulder, you shift to make them more comfortable, to see them stir in their sleep like a small animal—you smile at how sweet they look, you marvel at how corny you feel and how okay with it you are.

You love someone by doing nothing, but not moving at all, not even an inch. When their head rests on your shoulder, when they lay in your lap, collapsed—you remain still, unchanging. Steadfast. There.

You love someone with “I’m there for you”-s made real. You love someone by answering, even in the smallest ways: “okay, see you soon.”

You love someone all tacit and silent, without replies and responses, with nothing at all—you love someone even when you have nothing. You say that this is all you have, you love them with honesty and respect, enough to tell them when you can’t love them, enough to tell them when you’re spent, exhausted, burnt out, gone.

You love someone with touch, with your lips on their forehead, blessings going both ways, the way you want to feel. Taken care of and caring, a hand on their shoulder, a sure shoulder on your unsteady hand.

You love someone with logic, with plans and knowing what’s best for them and plans falling apart and realizing that you can’t always know best, that you won’t, that you don’t, that they’re a person and that is all that they are.

You love a person, not a someone. You love someone by seeing their humanity over and over again: the way they look waking up, the way their skin peels with a sunburn, the way they get mean when they are jealous. The way they look, the way they are—a person, not a constant.

You love a person—inconsistently, not completely, always differently, never perfectly—because you are a person.

There is no way to love someone, only different ways to love different people, over and over, without losing faith, without stopping, with no how, no why, no way—just love, whatever that is, whatever it can be.