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Not Just Any Kind Of Love

I don’t know who you are or where you are, but if you are in love, then aww. Isn't that the most wonderful feeling in the world?

You see, just like you, I am a stickler for love.

Even though I’ve been hurt in the past, I still believe in love. Not just any love, but real, guttural kind of love. Love that makes you weak in the knees and makes your heart sing.

It has to be and feel like that, or my entire relationship with Harlequin was a lie.

You see, there was a time I could not get enough of fairy tales. The time when my love affair with romance novels began. Even though I knew how each story would end, I felt an insatiable appetite for the clichés. Perhaps my fascination with the characters’ determination to navigate the pitted terrain of love ignited my romantic idealism. How 'boy met girl' and went on to conquer the challenges life threw at them. And how they beat the odds.

Thanks to them, I became starry-eyed, envisioning a great love written in the stars for me too.

Thanks to these happy endings, I developed relationship goals. I figured, if the flawed characters portrayed in the novels I read were anything to go by, I had a pretty good chance of meeting the man of my dreams. That cliched tall, dark, handsome stranger destined to sweep me off my feet and sail into the sunset with me. Why the hell not? I am all woman, one with a lot of love to give at that.

But having said that, I am not naïve.

Life has taught me that the path to true love is never easy. We do not always get what we want. And sometimes, we have to fight for what we want, for nothing is handed to us on a silver platter. Sometimes you meet the right person at the wrong time. Sometimes people drift apart. And at times, pride gets in the way.

Love is many things to different people. But one thing it is not is uncertain. Love knows. It just knows.

Love is a decision. A decision to stay. A decision to try.

Passion and emotions can swell our hearts for a time, but it is through some seasons in our lives that truly capture the very essence of the kind of love our hearts long for. Seasons when nothing makes sense. When you just want to crawl under a rock and forget about it.

Which means love takes work.

It bears all things, forgives all things, and trusts all things.

Love gives you the courage to lay bare your soul; it is vulnerable and sees the tears behind the other’s smile.

Love is worrying about the other person and the willingness to fight, standing toe to toe until an issue is resolved. It is embracing each other's flaws, warts and all.

Love forgives. It is not that we fight, but how we fight.

It is the secret knowing glance shared across the table and the inside joke that explodes the other's lungs, but one that no one needs to be privy to.

Love is not the loudest voice in the crowd of supporters but that one quiet voice that remains after they've all gone home.

Lastly, remember this: You can be diseased and stripped naked by the burdens of this life, but love, real love, remains by your side.

Till death do us part.

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