Levels of Love
So, last week I admitted that I am a love Indian giver. Frankly, this is not a flattering thing to be in the world of relationships. Makes me feel like sort of a jerk. But I appreciated everyone’s comments and support when I admitted my fatal flaw: I’m not ready to admit love for Chef, or for any romantic partner. However, what’s funny is that I throw the “love” word around with reckless abandon to everyone else but my romantic partners.
“Love ya!” I proclaim to my coworker who helped me reach an important deadline.
“Okay, tomorrow at six. Love you!” I say to my friend as we are scheduling drinks.
“Cookies and cream ice cream. I. Love. You.” I state to my Breyer’s Oreo ice cream as I’m eating it directly out of the carton.
“Love you, sweet dreams,” I text to my best friend Dawn. I tell her I love her almost as much as I tell my Mom.
So you see, my friends, I don’t exactly have a problem with l-o-v-e. I have a problem saying it to a romantic partner. In fact, I come from a very love-focused family. We say it every time we get off the phone, every time we leave each other. There’s some old story my Dad used to tell my sisters and me (although I’m not sure it’s entirely true) about his aunt and his mother, who got into a fight before bed. In some variations of the story, his mother said, “I hate you!” to her sister just before they went to sleep. In other variations, they just went to bed angry. Either way, that night, his aunt died, and his mother always regretted not saying she loved her one last time. So in my family, you always say you love someone – after every phone call, every night before bed. Even if you aren’t getting along.
This past weekend, Chef and I went to his friend’s wedding. I told you guys I was a little nervous about going to my first wedding since I cancelled mine, but it was fine. Once the ceremony was over and I was able to partake in the open bar, I was all good.
After the wedding, Chef and I went to his restaurant to listen to a band play and hang out before we went home. Chef was our DD, and I was pretty set on free wedding drinks (read: I was tipsy. Maybe bordering on drunk. But not crazy drunk or anything.). Turns out, the band was my absolute favorite local band, so I was a very happy camper.
I sat next to Chef, listening to a great band and reminiscing on the night. Chef matched his tie to go with my dress. That was really cute, something no guy I’ve dated has ever considered. (Interesting note: he actually loves wearing suites and tuxes. You can’t beat that! There’s nothing worse than having to convince a guy to dress up for an event.) Chef had actually weighed in on my shoe choice, and didn’t roll his eyes at me while doing so. He had told me repeatedly throughout the night that he felt lucky to be with the prettiest girl at the entire wedding (points for that, and he’s a good liar). He had gotten me drinks, humored me when I was incredibly excited about wedding cake and overall been a really good date.
I looked over at him, and I just wanted to say something to him to describe the warm and fuzzy feelings I had inside. In my head, I thought, “I feel really strongly about you.” But um, that isn’t very romantic. Somehow, this is what came out of my mouth:
“I heart you.”
I know, ridiculous. What am I, 12? But it felt good to say and he laughed and told me that he “hearted me” back.
So this brings me to the actual purpose of this blog post. I believe there are different levels of love. After telling Chef I “hearted” him, I took some time to explain what that means to me. These are my stages of love:
- I love you. I’m in love with you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.
- I love you. I’m in love with you.
- I love you.
- I heart you.
- I like you a lot.
- I sorta lika you.
- I nothing you.
- I hate you.
So, in my mind, as juvenile as it is, “I heart you” isn’t so bad. It’s a little more than half way up the love ladder.
On another note, I remember a story my friend once told me about breaking up with a boyfriend. He asked her, “Don’t you love me anymore?”
“No,” she replied.
“Do you hate me then?” he asked.
“No. I don’t love you. I don’t hate you. I nothing you. You are just nothing to me,” she stated.
I have never forgotten that story. What a terrible thing to be nothing to someone. I’d almost prefer to be hated.
So, Chef and I have been proudly proclaiming that we heart one another since last weekend. And strangely, I’m totally okay with that.
What do you think? Are there different stages of love? What are your stages? Do you find that you are like me, easy to say that you love just about anyone, but you take romantic love so much more seriously? Please share your thoughts in the comments.