If You Really Loved Me, Would I Feel It?

If you really loved me, would I feel it? There’s a theory of “love languages” where we give and receive love in different ways. What if you speak my love language as a second language? What is the learning curve on a second language? And then, if you’ve learned it, will you speak it with beautiful fluency during times of stress? Or will you do as all humans do, and batten down the hatches while leaving me to feel irrelevant?

The truth is.. The reason that I don’t always feel your love for me in the marrow of my bones… Is because it is a thing that you are supposed to feel, not a feeling of my own. I feel my love for you in my marrow. Most of the time. Yeah. There are some times that “I love Alex” doesn’t cross my mind. Just like there are some times that I don’t think about my breathing or the beating of my heart or how my muscles move my bone. There are times that my love for you doesn’t cross my mind because it’s faded out of that newness and euphoria and has become an automatic part of living. A thing that sometimes catches me off-guard and renders me breathless.

I need to accept that the same holds true for you. You don’t spend your days thinking about how much you love me and how to show me your love. You don’t spend your days thinking “How can I prove to Sarah that I love her today?” Just like I don’t think about how I have to show you that I love you. Dude. I wash your underwear. With all my love for laundry, if I didn’t love you I’d probably set it on fire or make you wash it yourself.

I don’t have to tell you that, though.

Because you once said that all I have to do is be here.

You love me in whatever shape I am. Whatever I give you. It is unconditional.

So what exactly is this “love language” crap? Honestly, the reasons that I need you to speak my love language have nothing to do with how you feel. They all have something to do with my own insecurities.

I wonder sometimes how much of pop culture you’ve absorbed. If you need to measure your manhood in conquests. If you’ll put your love for me on a shelf and run off with a dozen supermodels the way this culture says you should. If I’ve trapped you into this relationship with our children.

Do you ever wonder if I’ll leave you for a younger man without the softness that comes with age? No. Do you wonder if you’ve trapped me into misery with the three children that you have given me? No.

I think I’m being a bit of a sexist pig, here. I expect you to show me that you love me in a half a dozen different ways every single day that we live and breathe together, in a love language that really makes no intuitive sense to you, in times of stress where you are forgetting half of the things that make life move ahead.

Why?

Because I don’t love myself. And when love was fresh and new you were interested enough in me that I started to discover my own value through your eyes. Now that we’ve been together I don’t see the discovery anymore. I just am. On my own steam. And I’m back to that place of trying to figure out how to love myself. And if I can’t take my own love of myself for granted, how should I take your love for me for granted?

I think I need to put myself in your shoes a bit more. If you asked me “Do you love me?” I’d think you were nuts. Of course I do. And I’d probably try and list the things that I do to show you that. But what if they weren’t the right things? What if you needed love in a more flowery way and a less practical one? What if you needed more of the practical stuff and I was more flowery?

You don’t do that, though.

You say I just need to be here.

Because you love me unconditionally.

I don’t have to lose ten pounds or gain ten pounds or paint my face or wear high heels. I don’t have to be the perfect housemaker or pleasure you a set number of times per week. You’re not asking me to speak your love language when I’m stressed out and in the middle of trying to get too many things done. I’d like to think that it’s because I excel at showing you that I love you. In truth? I probably don’t.

I need to work more on loving myself. That’s the core of it. I need to love myself before I could ever trust that you could love me.

You probably love me more than I love myself. And that… right there… is suspicious stuff. Even if you spoke my “love language” every single day.. I wouldn’t hear it. Because my own insecurities are too damned loud.

I love you. (But you knew that already.) I just need to work on loving me.

  2 comments for “If You Really Loved Me, Would I Feel It?

  1. Zoe
    June 25, 2014 at 12:42 am

    This is beyond beautiful, and relatable in ways I could never have articulated. Thank you for this.

  2. July 2, 2014 at 4:16 am

    “You probably love me more than I love myself,” Sarah writes.

    It’s true, in so many ways, they do love us more than we love ourselves and isn’t that sad. My Ormond too, same deal, all he wants is me to be here and to be reasonably happy, for my sake not his and that is what makes is all so right and so wonderful. Even after thirty years. Especially after thirty years.

    And we keep practicing self-love because that’s what they want for us.

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