Oh No, I Have To Write An Article On Love

 

 

When the reminder went around that love-themed article week was upon us, my immediate reaction was dread. Why now? Why the one week I have to write? I am, quite possibly, the least qualified person in a hundred-mile radius to talk about love.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t consider myself a misanthrope, nor do I think anyone else would. It’s not like I’m some B-movie villain who hates the very concept of love. I don’t lie awake filled with dread, knowing Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. No, I just… don’t really look forward to it, or think about it, at all.

Let’s get this out of the way right from the start: not only am I single, I identify as queer. Without dragging you into a long, involved conversation about the fine details of my orientation (which I’m sure you don’t want to read and I certainly don’t care to share), the long and short of it is, I experience love and attraction in a different way than many people. I’m slow to warm up, romantically speaking, if I do at all, and the line between deep friendship and romantic attraction is a very, very fine one. Because of that, the fact that this time of year tends to shine a spotlight on (exorbitant and public) displays of (primarily heterosexual) affection and romance… well, I’m disinterested at best, to say the least.

Photo courtesy of Pexels.com.

See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. Photo courtesy of Pexels.com.

Which loops me right back to: how do I write a piece on love?

Again, it’s not like I hate love or anything so dramatic. Quite the opposite, I tend to be a friendly and compassionate person. I have only a handful of truly close friends, but they all mean the world to me. I’m lucky enough to have a tight-knit and loving family, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today. Heck, even my two cats, troublemakers though they may be, are absolutely precious to me. All things considered, I live a life fueled by, even overflowing with love.

But maybe that’s exactly why I get stumped. It’s not like this time of year makes me rush to make any grand, dramatic gestures about the love I feel. I barely even think about my lack of a romantic partner, even with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, because my relationships with friends and family are more than enough companionship for the time being. Love and appreciation for the people in my life is just the norm; why do I need to go out of my way on one specific day to make a show of it? I already go to bed every night saying “I love you” to my friends and family, and sprinkle every day with questions about how things are going, reminders to eat and rest and hydrate, little affirmations as to how much I value them being there. Love is something that happens, quiet and gentle, every day of every year, until it’s so much of a given that you don’t even think about it.

True, that’s not the case for everyone. Maybe that’s why Valentine’s Day persists; a reminder to those not so lucky that they should remind their loved ones that they care, that they can find the love they’ve been missing, that the world, flawed as it is, ultimately runs on acts of love and compassion and humanity. But I still can’t help but think it’d be nice if we all went into every day with that mindset, instead of having to lump it all into one big, crazy day once a year.

Maybe I am just a curmudgeon and haven’t realized it. Hard to say.

Anyway, time to go remind some people I love them.