The other night, my new boyfriend and I stayed up all night just talking, his hands in mine, his head on my belly. Sometimes, we talk so much we lose track of time: the clock strikes 12, then 2, and before we know it, the sun’s rising.
We talked about picking up and leaving, and where we’d go if we actually could.
“Africa!” I exclaimed.
“Where in Africa?!” he asked. “Cape Town? A gringo and a beautiful Indian girl ,” he continued, in a half-decent South African accent.
“Ha. Maybe Egypt? I’ve always wanted to go on an African safari…”
“How much do you think all that’d cost?”
“I’ve got a trust fund we could dip into…” We laughed. “I don’t care where we go,” I said. “As long as I’m with you.”
I thought I’d been in love once or twice before, but being with my boyfriend made me realize I’ve usually just been in an intense state of lust. With fuckboys, it was always about sex, every. Damn. Time. Sure, I had a connection with them, but it was just that: a connection, and not a very good one, at that. It was shaky and unpredictable and there was always static and we could hear each other, but we sure as hell didn’t listen.
When you fall in love, it feels like more than just a connection. It’s a living, breathing truth you can’t deny. It’s about friendship. Compassion. Sex, too, but also all this other stuff I’d been neglecting for far too long. It is 100% mutual. It is unconditional. It isn’t more convenient for one than it is for the other. And this person truly feels like the other half of your soul.
I wanted to put into words what falling in love feels like for a few different reasons. One of my readers messaged me the other day telling me she is 27 and has never been in love. Another reader messaged me asking if the back-and-forth she has with a guy who will only text her once a week is love. And, of course, I wanted to remember the feelings as they are happening to me in real time.
I’d like to point out that every relationship is different. But falling in love is one feeling that is uniform across all relationships; when you fall in love, for real for real, this is what it feels like…
Falling in love feels like someone’s picked you up and won’t stop twirling you around.
Falling in love feels like you’re on all the best drugs (but in a totally cool, totally non-toxic sort of way).
Falling in love feels like hearing music in your head all the time, only for once, it isn’t sad songs; it’s airy, acoustic vocals and soft, sweet sounds. It’s “oohs” and “aahs” to a melody your imagination made up just for this one very special occasion, the one of falling in love.
Falling in love feels like an irrepressible urge to cry and laugh and sing all at the same time because you never thought you’d feel this feeling.
Falling in love feels natural and right when it’s real, and you just can’t fight it, no matter what happens to him or you or the state of the world. You two are bound together by everything that makes you, you and him, him. There’s nothing you don’t want to experience by his side.
Because with him, everything is just better.
With him, it’s love.