Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Little Bit in Love

I fell a little bit in love this week. Can you do that? Can you fall a “little bit” in love or does it have to be the whole enchilada? Can you fall in love in varying degrees depending on the person/situation/location? Or do we love everyone the same amount? What’s the difference between loving your friends and loving your partner or spouse?

So let's tackle my first question: can you fall a “little bit” in love”? My short answer is yes, one can fall a little bit in love, on his way to loving someone. I think you have to fall in love with people in order to love them. And I am not talking about sexual love, I am talking the lesbian kind of love where you love the other person and can spend a lifetime with them and never have sex. We love our friends but do we consider when or how that started? I am sure it wasn’t just because they seemed to show up all the time. If that were true, I would love my postal carrier, my paperboy and all of my co-workers (which I assuredly do not). Each person in our lives that we love did or said something that piqued our interest, which made us say to ourselves, “well now who IS this person?”

I don’t buy the whole “I love you but I am not IN love with you” vernacular. It's such a cop-out. Either you love someone or you don’t. It might be more accurate that you still love the person, but no longer prefer to spend the bulk of your time with him. When someone is breaking up with you, wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear:
“I love you as much as I always have, but I prefer to spend less time with you and more time with someone else.”  Would that be more or less painful than hearing, “I love you but I am not IN love with you”? 

Could it be that we love everyone in our lives the exact same amount, however we prefer to be with some people more than others. If I have to choose between shopping with my buddy Aaron or margaritas with gal-pal Kelly, I don’t make my selection based on whom I love more, but rather with whom I would prefer to spend my time. My boyfriend (when I have one) will almost always come first because I prefer to spend my time with him. Would I love my boyfriend of 3 months more than my best friend of 17 years, Jeff? Probably not. Assuredly not. So do I prefer to be with someone because I love him, or do I love him because I prefer to be with him?

So anyway, back to the first line of this entry – I fell a little bit in love this week. His name is Kevin and he is a new friend. Remember in an earlier blog entry I said that people happen to me – well, Kevin was a happening. He came along when I doubted my relocation from DC to Chicago. Even though it was something I have wanted to do for a few years, moving to a new city where I knew almost no one seemed like a pretty daunting task. Kevin and I spent the better part of one month talking on the phone and passing emails back and forth. And after recently spending two days in his physical company, I wonder how anyone can know Kevin and not be at least a “little bit” in love with him and the fact that he belongs to a circus, is graying prematurely, and knows his name in 18 languages.

He is my friend, and on the way to becoming a better friend. I fell a little bit in love with him this week.  And I prefer to spend much more time with him.