Every so often, you meet someone amazing, and you become friends. Good friends. Great friends, even. You find yourself talking more and more, to the point that you are spending hours a day talking to this new friend; you're clearly ready to move on from the current property you manage since you've got this much time on your hands, but you talk non-stop. Eventually you find that on those rare days that you don't get to talk as much, you miss your friend. As time goes on and you continue to talk more, you find that this person is one who really understands you; he picks your brain, he makes you think. He compliments your mind and your personality, and he encourages you to take chances. He's an amazing friend because he makes your entire world a better place to be.
At some point, your friendship begins to cross some boundaries, to step over some lines. You and your friend are spending more time together, you're kissing, you're sleeping in each other's beds. You're spending whole weekends together, and you're starting to meet each other's friends. You're jealous of the other girls he talks about (and you've written off the other guys you were talking about), and you surprise even yourself with the amount of time you're spending thinking about his arms, his eyes, his lips. You find that he's someone who really gets you - he hates dogs and doesn't want to have kids, and his family may just be as fucked up as yours. He wants to travel, likes to read, and loves the beach, just like you. He slowly becomes the safety net that lets you be vulnerable like you've never been, and he lets you make plans to calm his impulsiveness. And then out of nowhere, despite your fear of rejection, your fear of having your heart trampled, your fear of letting someone into your soul, you finally admit to yourself that you're falling in love with your friend - and your heart skips a beat when he reciprocates the sentiment, and asks you to be his more-than-friend - doesn't even ask really, just makes a statement.
And in that moment, you don't think you could be any happier.
Until you get happier.
He takes you to the beach and spends the weekend laughing with you, ordering fancy drinks with you, letting you paint his fingernails hot pink...letting you all the way in. He goes out of town with you, he meets your family and doesn't hate them - hell, he even says great things about them (something you rarely even do). He continues to make you think, continues to push you to your limits when you're scared. And you believe that you're doing the same for him - that when something scares him, you're able to help him see through to the other side of his fear, that he feels the same support you do.
Truth be told, part of what makes you feel so safe, so secure, is that you were friends first, and you know each other. You know the way each other thinks; the way each other's minds work. He knows that you're a control freak and that living with someone else is your biggest fear, and you know he's impulsive, and that he wants to move away and take a lot of big risks. When you're just friends, those things don't matter. They're not a big deal, and you tend to make fun of each other about them. But suddenly, when you're in a relationship, trying to find a groove as a pair instead of two individuals, these things start to play a role. They make you question whether you'll ever be able to heal from the last time you moved in with someone, and you wonder what it would be like to go somewhere new together, somewhere neither of you has ever been. And you lay in bed next to him at night, wondering if he's wondering the same things.
That's the trouble with love. The trouble with love, is that the things that never mattered, maybe kind of matter. The trouble with love, is that you have to compromise and you have to consider someone else - what they think, how they feel. And suddenly, the fact that someone wants to live alone or move away, or the fact that one of you is scared of commitment or afraid of letting go, all start to be more important. The trouble with love, is that individual realities sometimes don't mesh, can't connect. Sometimes there is an inequality of feelings or of passion, that makes one of you unable to take the leap. Sometimes one of you isn't ready for shit to get this real; sometimes, honestly, neither one of you is. The trouble with love, is that sometimes love is a real bitch, that does nothing but give you several amazing months with someone, only to eventually not be enough. And then there are the times that it gets particularly painful - the times that you spend making a friend, being a friend, having a friend, only to ruin it by falling in love with your best friend. That's the real trouble with love; the real trouble with love is that it is so big that it has the potential to wreck everything in its path when it doesn't work. To work on maintaining that friendship if the relationship can't succeed, takes an immense and selfless effort - on both sides - and sometimes that won't be enough (though sometimes it will).
Every so often, you meet someone amazing, and you become friends. Good friends. Great friends, even. And in the midst of building your friendship with this amazing person, you often let your feelings grow, let your guard down. Eventually you realize that your capacity for love is there, and that your ability to be passionate is there, even though you're terrified, even though you're guarding it. My advice? Don't guard it. Don't protect it. If you're in love with someone, tell them. Be brave. Be willing to take risks and step out of your comfort zone. Be open to their new ideas, the way they make decisions and the way they think. Let yourself be passionate; put it all on the table. Communicate openly, be honest, and let yourself love - and be loved - the way that feels best to you. If they're impulsive, relish in that; take a leap with them even when you normally wouldn't. If they're nervous or protected, watch for those moments where they let it all out in front of you, and know that it means they trust you more than anyone else. Because in the end, you'll want to be able to say, I let you all the way in. I was scared, but I didn't let it stop me. You got all of me, #nofilter.