They were feelings of belonging, safety, passion and companionship—and they didn’t have an ounce of underlying fear.
I realized that for the first time in my entire life, I was really falling in love.
Sometimes, in the beginning, and even still today, I’ll become untrusting and difficult, attacking out of nowhere. The naive trust that I had so long ago got used up and beaten up by the wrong person. But unlike that wrong person, when he used to attack for no reason, Chase protects everything: my happiness, our life together, and my relationship with myself.
So if there’s one thing that I learned the hard way in all of this, it’s this:
There are two experiences that we can define as love: we can fall in love with a person, or we can fall in love with companionship.
When you fall in love with a person, you get to experience their companionship as a byproduct. When you fall in love with companionship, it becomes an arrangement of need, where you become hinged on losing one another. It’s built on fear, necessity, and power. And that isn’t falling in love.
I can promise you this:
When you fall in love with a person, and they fall in love with you, you won’t lose yourself in love, because you will be an important part of that love and what makes it tick.
After a year together, Chase and I are moving in together this summer. It isn’t because we need to. It’s because we’ve slowly become a family already, and a place together is an exciting next step.
For the first time in my decorating-impaired life I’m planning curtains in my mind and begging him to go to Ikea with me. This next step is an exciting leap, and there’s no fear attached.
For the first time, I’m in love—and I haven’t lost myself even a tiny bit.
Curated by Erbe