Pretty much everyone knows I’m seeing someone.
Everyone including my friends, my housemates, my colleagues, my students, my fellow gym goers, my taxi drivers, the supermarket workers, the guys at my favourite Padang restaurant, complete and utter strangers… You name someone and I guarantee they know. But just in case, if they don’t know, let me know so I can let them know.
Although I don’t think my parents know. Not properly anyway. And shh, don’t tell them! The fact they even have an inkling is enough.
Anyway, there is a point to this drawn out spiel and it’s basically this: everyone knows I have a partner because I tell everyone I have a partner. In fact, I speak about him so often that I don’t actually think a day goes by where I don’t mention him at least twice. Hell, he even features frequently on his blog, and some of my best-received posts have been about how kinda obsessed I am with him.
So it didn’t strike me as odd when, last weekend, a girl I was meeting up with in Jakarta asked me how I knew I was in love.
‘Because, like… I’ve never been in love. And I don’t think I’ll know when I am.’
I thought. As we gazed out at the city from our seats on the concrete floor of Indonesia’s national museum, I thought. I thought and I thought, and I wished I had something better to say than what I did say:
‘You just know.’
Urgh! That horrible cliched line! So typical! So unhelpful!
But I stand by it.
Because you do know when you’re in love, when that love feels different from all the other types of love you’ve ever felt. It’s the love, and it’s a love I’d never thought I’d experience.
My partner feels the same:
‘Ask anyone, I would be the last person to be looking at statues and labelling with them with all of this romantic shit, but there I was at the Louvre doing exactly that because of you.’
Things start to take on new meanings when you have that kind of love. For example, I always thought love songs were bullshit and unrealistic, until I fell hard for my partner and actually felt what the people sang. I had believed poems and novels on love were exaggerated, but now I read them with clarity almost, knowing exactly how it feels when your soul is entwined with another. My partner can look at the greatest artworks and see us, understanding fully how powerfully the artist felt about their muse.
It all sounds a bit drippy and so head-over-heels, but we do stupid things for each other and to be close to one another, say wonderful things. He’s not a romantic guy in the slightest, but he makes me feel things for him I never, ever thought I would feel for anyone. This is beginning to sound like a commonplace post on a commonplace subject, but damn do I know why people write on love so much.
So, my friend, I know I’m in love with him because I can just feel it. When I lay my head on him all of my troubles go in a second; when I see his face I can’t be angry or upset, it’s impossible. I finally get how it feels to be in love in this way, and I’m so happy I do.