Two women in my life “fell in love” rather quickly. I put quotation marks around those three words because I’m not sure about the truth behind them. Let me explain:
Woman #1: Is divorced with a young son. She met a man, they went out on dates, and two months later they’re exclusively boyfriend and girlfriend. Okay.
Having a convo with woman #1 one day, I asked, “Have you two said I love you?”
Her response: “So what if we have?”
My conclusion: The answer is yes. And to many this may not sound out of the ordinary, but with me knowing woman #1, I know she has the tendency to “latch on” quickly and proclaim her “love” for a man.
On to the next…
Woman #2: Is in her early 20s. No children, no baggage. She met a man and they’ve been in a long distance relationship for almost one year.
Having a convo with woman #2 one day, she tells me: “I know he (her boyfriend) is going to propose by the end of the year.”
My response: “What?”
She went on to explain how so very deeply in love the two are and he has stated many times that he wants to marry her. Not to mention the fact that he’s in his early 30s and is now looking to settle down.
My conclusion: Oh Lord.
So here we have two relationships: One whose couple fell in love after one month, and one whose couple knows they are soul mates after one year.
And then you have me, who just isn’t buying it.
Now all of you may think I’m a “hater” or being unsupportive, but hear me out. I have a hard time believing in the “love at first sight” concept. How can you truly and honestly say you love a person who you just laid eyes on?
Then we have the scenarios of the two women above (as well as countless others). So many people date a person for a few months and automatically “feel” that they are in love. Yet, I believe there’s a major difference between love and infatuation.
Life isn’t like the movies: You don’t meet a person, two dates later fall in love and feel head-over hills-consumed-I-just-want-to-spend-every-waking-moment-with-you-for-the-rest-of-our-lives. Please.
Anyone who is in or has been in a relationship for an extended period of time can attest to this (I myself have been in one for the past 4 years). Sometimes you cannot stand your significant other and don’t want to be around him or her. Every day is not butterflies-in-my-stomach-I-wanna-jones-all-night-on-the-phone type of feelings. That’s how you normally feel when you first enter a relationship, but give it some time…it’s bound to wear off.
But love? Love remains when those “feelings” fade away (and I’m not saying they cease to exist, they just aren’t every single day anymore). Love is a commitment. It’s seeing a person at his or her worst yet still making the decision to stick by his/her side. Love is sacrificing your desires for the benefit of the other person. Love is service, the decision to serve your significant other/spouse no matter what.
Love is a multitude of things and I believe it takes time to develop and grow. I don’t believe it happens automatically, but what do all of you think, sistas?
Woman #2 told me she believes everyone is different and not every person needs a long time to know they love someone. I can understand this, yet I still think most people confuse infatuation with love.
When you date someone, you’re always going to learn more and more about that person (and that extends into marriage), yet I still believe a significant amount of time is needed to truly learn enough about who a person is before you can conclude that you love him or her. I mean, how can you honestly believe you love a man after 3 weeks (hypothetically) of dating when you’ve barely tapped into all that makes up who he is in that time?
Prime examples, woman #1 loves her boyfriend, yet learned he is separated and she’s not sure of the real reason why. Woman #2’s boyfriend is supposed to be a deacon, yet, after almost a year she’ surprised by this news because his actions don’t reflect his “role.” Again, case in point of hardly knowing someone, yet being sure you love the individual.
I’d like to know your thoughts, ladies. While I don’t think there is a “set” time you need to be with someone to say “I love you,” I do believe the truth behind these words takes time to develop. But maybe I’m wrong? Does love always take time to manifest or is there truly such a thing as love at first sight?
Service is her passion, writing is her platform, women and the Black Community are her avenues. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Through her work, Marks aspires to demonstrate “The Craft of Writing, and the Art of Efficacy.” She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Connect with her at: