Whether you’re ready to acknowledge it or not, there’s love that isn’t worth it. It isn’t worth the sleepless nights where you’re worried about what’s happening on the other end of the phone when you don’t get a reply. There’s love that isn’t worth the gut-clenching discomfort you’ll feel when you see him post a picture with a girl at a bar. At a party, wherever. It isn’t worth the fights you think are simple disagreements. It isn’t worth calling it love, either.
The kind of love that isn’t worth it feels like it stains you. Once you’re rid of it, you feel like your heart needs to be protected from any infectious strain of love that comes your way. It makes you emotionally unavailable. You operate within a small box that has glass walls – others can see inside, but you’re untouchable. You’re skeptical and hurt before you can be anything else. Beneath the glass walls, beneath your skepticism and your hurt there’s an undeniable desire for something. You just don’t know what it is yet, or how to find it.
The love that’s worth the wait is buried beneath an unmarked “X” somewhere on a treasure map you’re not aware you have. The blatant unawareness is the most important part, though. While you’re unaware, you don’t make expectations. You don’t find yourself assuming, hoping, or even wondering. It doesn’t strike you that maybe he’d make a wonderful boyfriend. It doesn’t cross your mind that you want to tell your parents about him. Your friends haven’t met him yet, or maybe they have because it’s so easy. The way he slips into your life, it’s so easy. Like you’re the only two driving on a freeway on a night when it’s so clear you can see every star in the black sky. Easy, and fast because all of a sudden you arrive at your destination and he’s there with you.
Eventually you’ll take an exit off the freeway, and find yourself driving on back roads that don’t even have a speed limit. You’ll drive slow, take in the scenery. The kind of love that’s worth it surfaces in the smallest of ways, in the smallest of things. It’s slow, it’s sweet. It’s undetectable at first, rolling through you like cloud cover before a thunderstorm. The thunder reverberates and you can feel the storm move through you into your bones. Like heavy bass of a song playing in a car with subs, you’ll feel every beat of your heart and his.
He will water the seeds of the flowers within you and help them grow. He’ll fill your well so you can drink from yourself and be whole again. You won’t feel like he’s slowly removing the bits and pieces of yourself that make you, you. He’ll help you find those pieces if you want his help, or maybe he’ll encourage you to discover those pieces on your own. The warmth you’ll feel in his arms will stay with you even after he’s let go, and you’ll be ready to share it with others.
The love that’s worth it, that’s worth everything, comes with no price. You don’t even need to put a down payment on it, there are no dues required either. No interest. Love that’s worth it is more like a savings account where you place memories and feelings and hopes and dreams. They’re safe there because they’re helping you make more. The things you place in that savings account are always available to you; the more you invest, the more that savings account will mean to you.
Love is unassuming, it lacks expectation, and it helps to remove the stains on your heart. It’s worth the long nights of taking care of someone with the flu. It’s worth giving of yourself. It’s worth the wait.