I don’t have a memory of love before I was twenty one.
True, I grew up in a close-knit family where the words “I love you” were regularly spoken. But, for me it was a statement of fact or obligation. It was not the joyous, deep body feeling that I now know as love.
The person I dated for a over a year in college was rightfully angry that I told my friends and family that I loved them, but I never said it to her. It is only in hindsight that I see how immature I was. I didn’t know what love was really, what it felt like, or that I was responsible for it. I thought it was a thing that would simply come to me, like Tinker Bell, and sprinkle me with a magical dust. I worried that I would never love someone, that something was wrong with me that rendered me undatable and incapable of love. For years, I was comforted by Melissa Ferrick’s “Love Song.” She sings: “How strange at twenty one, never even had one.” If Melissa Ferrick felt this way too, maybe I was ok. (read more…)