Chapter 22: To the love of my life

Who is the love of my life?

Have I met them yet?

If not, when and where will I meet them?

Will I even ever meet them?

Oh no, what if I have already missed them?

The love of your life – five words that carry unspeakable significance and enclose yearning fantasies. Whoever thought of this concept first, threw a bold statement out there. ‘The love of a life’ is a title to be bestowed with much consideration and an honour to be received with awe. The recipient of this title is supposed to be the person we love, have loved, and will always love the most. They are our soulmate, our other half, the right lid to our pot.

We start dreaming about the love of our life early, probably as soon as we become familiar with the notion of love. Of course, we all have quite distinct, oftentimes finely detailed ideas about how the love of our life is supposed to look like. They may be tall, they may be tiny, they could be adventurous or perhaps rather thoughtful – when it comes to love, we all have our very unique preferences. But despite these differences in our views, we all share a common default idea about lifelong love.

Trying to determine ‘who is the love of my life?’, our mind first flicks through the pages of all the love interests we ever had. Our thoughts may run towards our partner, an ex-lover, a soon-to-be-partner crush, or a yet-to-be-met romance. Ultimately though, it is all romantic love that we regard first. We are conditioned to directly associate love with a person, some pretty girl or a handsome lad (perhaps even both), that we fancy. It is only later, after we have given it some more thought, that we look beyond the boundary of romantic love.

Love does not only consist of romantic love, and it would be quite sad and depressing, if it did. Instead, love is diverse, wearing feathers in all kinds of tints and shades. Imagine how empty life would be without platonic love – the emotional warmth weaving the tie between you and your friends. In a broader sense, love also shines through your compassion for an animal, your burning fire for a good cause, your care for mother nature, or your unwearied patience for a hobby. Besides, we should not forget about the important practise of self-love (not the unhealthy narcissistic type of self-love though).

You see, love exists in many facets. There is many things that we can donate our love to, both living and non-living. Yet, if you asked people about the love of their life, a majority would certainly picture it in human, mostly romantic form. However, these five words should not be reserved for romantic love alone.

Who should they be reserved for then?

In principle, the title ‘the love of your life’ ought to honour the one being that you feel the most connected to. It belongs to the one heart that you share the greatest intimacy with. The love of your life is the one soul that you unconditionally confide in and the one that will unconditionally guard your secrets. Think about who loves you back with as much attention, intensity, care, and authenticity as you invest into them – they are the one who you should call the love of your life.

I believed that I had found the love of my life in a guy who I dated for three months. I deemed him as the perfect life partner because our minds and hearts just seemed to match like a striped pair of socks. Whenever I spent time with him, I felt as if our souls were carved out of the same wood. I pictured myself with him in the future, and I was confident in our long-lasting compatibility.

Out of the blue, after three months of perfect happiness, he ghosted me. For a while, I denied the obvious. I clung onto my belief that he had been the one until my hormones finally abandoned this illusion. Funnily enough, I had been willing to call this short-lived romance the love of my life, whereas I had never considered my two-year-long relationship as such. With my ex-boyfriend, I had always known that our time together as a couple would never turn into more than a limited edition of love.

I know that people often find the love of their life in a long-term relationship. Defying the norm, I did not. Of course, my chances are high that at least one other man will manage to sweep me off my feet, persuading me into a long-term relationship, especially since I am not even halfway through my twenties. So, I should not worry about being able to fill the spot for the love of my life.

The truth is though that this spot has already been filled five years ago when I met a girl in a cafe over hot chocolate and strawberry cheesecake. Her smile radiated through the room, and from the second that we started talking, I knew that she was special. Her feelings about me were mutual, which is why a strong bond of friendship grew between us within little time. Since then, until today, we have not stopped calling each other best friends.

Yes, that is correct, I consider my best friend as the love of my life. She is the one person that knows me from top to bottom, inside and out. Together, we have dived through all depths of our inner lives, and we have dug through every secret. Together, we have tasted all flavours of human connections, and it feels like we have already spent a lifetime with each other although it has merely been five years. What makes her so special is that she understands me better than anybody else, she never judges me, and she inspires me. No romantic lover has been able to compete with her, and I doubt that this will change in the near future.

With her at my side, I am able to conquer the world. She may not provide me with fierce romantic love, but her love for me is by far the purest. I am grateful to have her in my life. I have found the love of my life in her – my best friend, the most magical human I know. I remember the exact moment when this realisation hit me because it sent a gleam of happiness and content through my entire body. The same gleam still rushes through me whenever I think about my best friend, knowing that she is the love of my life. I guess this is a sign that I must truly love her indeed.

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