Stages Of Love

It’s about 11 pm on a snowy Chicago night. I’m lying in bed, on my cell phone chopping it up with my little cuz Bri; she’s eighteen and experiencing love from all angles. The initial excitement of the first few months, to the bridge when things simmer down some but there’s still some interest, and up to the point when the guy is barely calling your cell. I lie there, half awake, listening to her complain about the problems between her and her boyfriend at the time; it all seems so tumultuous and critical to her. I have to get up in about six hours…. this coddling session will have to be quick. I can’t help but to be almost cynical. I know that her relationship with this young man is not going to last much longer than a few semesters. I expect it, but at eighteen, when your heart is all in it…you don’t.

I quickly try to regain some sense of compassion for her situation because I can recall being in love at eighteen and crying to my mom because my boyfriend/virginity breaker, Chico, and I were arguing. I felt the intensity in my heart. Now, fast-forwarding to twenty-six, I can see that there were no real emotions attached there even though at the time, it felt as if there were. Now, at twenty-six, I think I have this love thing all figured out. I’m past the lubricious feelings of wanting and needing a man, well, at least some of it. I know what I need and want in a man; I know what I deserve. A lot of older women haven’t mastered this feat. I see some women around me getting married and having babies so I know that love is possible. However, there still are some things I am trying to conquer when it comes to the meaning of the word “love.” I consult my aunt who is thirty-six and bombard her with my relationship squabbles so she can break it down to the smallest denomination. I give her different details and scenarios so that she can direct me properly. How can she be so calm about all of this when I’m feeling so intense? She simply replies: “I have been through all this before. The things you get excited over aren’t that big of a deal to me.” What! How can it not be a big deal?

What I have come to discover is that when you are in your twenties you come to realize what “love” truly entails. How serious the word truly is. By this point you know that love is something you want to be a part of your life. Perhaps you may not be sure when, but most people desire it. However, it seems that most people do not figure out the type of person they need in their life until they get to their thirties. I say that because by this point they have dated enough people, perhaps gone through the numbers and realize what type of person they need in their life through trial and error.

This is the point also when a man and a woman have to decide whether their definitions of love match. What you feel love should be is very close to what your partner feels it is. In other words, can you love somebody and cheat on them constantly? Does your definition of love mean that you and your partner should be best friends? These are questions that need to be addressed when considering a partner.

As you grow unto the person you are meant to be, your experiences with love, define what “love” is to you. It also may define how important love is to you in your life. —— By: La’Juanda Knight


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