Love, Verbs & Nicholas Sparks

Most people’s perception of what love is, or what love should be like is nurtured by the movies we’ve watched, the books we’ve read, and the stories we’ve heard.

The Disney princess movies told us that love was magic, impossibility, and happily ever afters. We wanted that prince — the guy that would rescue us from our household chores that seemed like hell at the time on a white horse (or car if you’re into that and a bit more in touch with reality) and disappear into the sunset. That was our perception of love at the time and Charlie’s handmade heart shaped valentines from your third grade math class certainly didn't cut it.

Then we have the next phase, Romantic Comedies, which sometimes seemed realistic because they were usually centered around an ordinary girl (you) and an ordinary guy who turned out to be an extraordinary guy, which means all we had to do was find that ordinary man and cross our fingers and click our ruby red heels. From these, we learned that love was about grand gestures, unforgettable dates, and rain — if they didn't kiss in the rain was it actually real love?

Personally, I was always skeptical, even pessimistic, about these love stories because I thought these movies were the farthest thing from the truth, but of course, I had never actually been in love and was probably just bitter. However, now I’ve grown up a little bit and can say I’ve been in love and actually, still am in love and it’s shockingly not so far off from the movies and we haven’t even kissed in the rain yet.

From my current relationship, I’ve learned that the movies were right about one thing — love is better shown. But they we’re wrong about how to show it. I find this concept actually a little comical given that I am a writer and words are my life. But, surprisingly, I’ve found that as many times as my boyfriend tells me he loves me, it still doesn’t compare to when I can see and tell that he loves me from his actions and little gestures, as small of a gesture as simply remembering a dumb story I told him two months ago. I’ve found that with love, verbs speak louder than nouns. Love is only a noun until it becomes a verb and from that point on no other conjugation of love adds up.

I would put it something like this:

To feel love is to have wings but to actively love is to fly with wings so large the depth becomes immeasurable. To love is to sing a song you've never even heard before in perfect pitch and accuracy. To love is to read the Braille of his skin and realize it's the ending to the story of yours. To love is to smile with crooked teeth because you know that a smile births laughter births contagion births connection. To love is to ride the bus when you have a car because you want to make all the stops before you get to your destination. To love is put an extra quarter in your meter because you've learned that time is never enough, though you know it can't be bought. To love is to roll the window down when it's raining because seeing is so much less active that touching. To love is to throw rocks across the lake because you realize you don't have to use your hands to touch him. To love is to hold a wine glass in your hand but not drink it because you already feel drunk holding it. To love is to pick a flower and then cry and then throw some new seeds that you hope he'll see someday. To love is to start sleeping on the same side of the bed every night because you know one day he will fill the other. To love is to touch every surface you pass because you don't want to be anywhere else but in your shoes, extending all the verbs you can to show instead of feel. To love is to walk without shoes because you want the same calluses on your feet that he has from all the verbs he embodies every day — he shows you and you're taking steps to show him too -- the seeds are beginning to grow -- and he sees it.
To love somebody, whether that be romantically or not, is an extraordinarily mundane journey — there’s arguments, there’s fun dates, there’s not-so-fun dates, there’s laughing, there’s tears, there’s the feeling you feel when you’re with them and the things you do because you feel that feeling. Love is to be so overwhelmed with the feeling of love that it has no other choice but to overflow into your actions — the little things —  a card just saying “hey, you’re rad & I dig you” for no reason at all, an hour dedicated to simply sitting on the couch talking about life because Hallmark is too far and your bank account is too low, playing their favourite song on the car ride home just to see them smile, playing that one song that they absolutely hate because you think it’s cute when they’re mad as long as it’s not at you, or a kiss in the rain. ;)

Love with intention. Love with abandon. Love hard.

Photographer: Viktorija Banda @viktorijabanda
Model: Suncica Banda @suncicabanda