So, as a warning up front, this is going to be a grieving post. Earlier this evening, I was talking to a friend about relationship issues and all the complicated stuff that goes along with that. I was tracking pretty well until he happened to mention that he told this girl that he loved her. Suddenly, I lost track of what he was saying after being hit by the shear weight of the thought that there’s a strong chance no one will every say that to me, not in that way at least. In our culture, there is so much emphasis on romantic love. You pretty much can’t watch a movie, read a book, or even go outside without it coming up in one way or another and that can make it really difficult sometimes.
I’ve been trying to take comfort from an idea that has been brought up by many of the other blog posts I’ve read, which is that romantic love isn’t the end all be all of love and that friendships can form just as strong of a bond if not stronger and can fulfill in many if not all the same ways, but having grown up with this idea that romance is the ultimate goal (and having a soft spot for rom coms) it’s been one of my deepest desires for so long that it can be really hard to let go sometimes.
In my life, I haven’t felt very loved. My mom always told me she loved me, but, through no fault of hers, I always felt like that was kind of a love of obligation. I’m her son so loving me is kind of the default mode. Unless I really botch things up (and probably even then), she’s going to keep loving me, but it’s not about me as a person, it’s just biology. She often says she’s proud of me and I know that should mean more since many people grow up without ever hearing that, but again, it still feels like something she says out of duty more than actually meaning the words. I’m grateful that my dad has tried harder to show his affection in new ways in recent years and though it’s still sort of awkward and hesitant, that makes it mean that much more because I know he’s putting forth an effort to do something that doesn’t come naturally. As far as I can remember, they’re the only two people who have used words to directly express love for me.
My friends have showed me love in other ways (quality time, gifts, acts of service, ect.) and I try to remember that everyone has their own love languages, but I still grieve at the thought that in all likelihood, no one will every say “I love you, Matthew” in that way that is so honest and pure and makes you feel special not just because you’re a child of God or because you’re unique just like everyone else, but because they truly know you, the good, the awful, and everything in between and they still love you.