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how you will know when someone loves you

You won’t be waiting by your phone, hoping that they will text you back, wondering if you weren’t aloof enough last time for them to remain interested. With them, it won’t be some race for who can seem to care less. The silence of your phone will no longer torment you with questions of what you did wrong. It will be easy, and they will write you back, and you will never worry that they’re going to spend the day ignoring you.

And when you pick up your phone, everything will seem to make sense. You will wonder why you spent so many years chasing after people who only gave you parts of love, little fractions and pieces of it, when there are people in the world who are ready to let you have it all. Because you feelthey love you in their wholeness, when they wrap their arms around you and you can tell that they are taking every little bit of you in. You can be ugly, sick, sad, messy, and they will still want to be around you.

You will know they love you when you are lying in bed and go to get up to start your day — don’t want to miss a sunny Saturday, there aren’t enough of those — and they pull you in closer to them. “Don’t go,” they will tell you, let’s just stay here together.” You will realize that, to them, the most important use of their time is being pressed against you for as long as possible, that all the errands and work that they could be doing are unimportant when lying in bed is an option.

It’s one thing to want to be close on a Friday night, when you’re both a bit drunk and can’t take off your clothes quickly enough, but it’s another to want to stay close through the whole next day. And that is when they want you most.

You will bore your friends with all the stories of how great they are, just like you always do, but this time there won’t be a sad undercurrent of “trying to win them over” even after you’ve already gone home with them. These will be stories of afternoons spent at the park, and the flowers they brought you, and the texts they send you in the morning. Finally, you will be one of those people who is so obnoxiously in love — who just can’t help but talk about it — and you won’t be embarrassed.

Because everything will finally be in the open. You don’t have to worry if they’ll like your friends, because you know they will. You don’t have to avoid the subject of your family, because they hope to meet them someday. Everything will be honest, and you won’t worry that the inconvenience of your real life will get between the very precarious thing you have together. They will want to be a part of it, meet every bit of it, because all of it is an extension of you.

And your initial reaction, as it always is, will be to wonder what it is about you that they could possibly want. But with them, you will have the privilege of seeing yourself the way they see you, and understanding that in every way you think that they are wonderful, they feel the same. They will remember your special days, and be excited to see you, and want to touch every bit of you a dozen times before you go to sleep. You won’t be afraid to wake up looking messy and pale, because they filter you through the same lens that you give to them. Even going to the grocery store will be a thrilling adventure.

When you disappear for those first few incredible weeks, and you will, and you should, your friends will say that you’ve fallen off the planet. And in many ways, you will have. Because there will be a whole alternate world that only exists when the two of you are alone together, one where everything is just a slightly better version of itself, and everyone deserves to be in it at least once.

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