Like the kind old musicians sing about and great poets write about. It exists.
This is not the kind of love you have for your boyfriend when you're 15, infatuated with each other and think ya'll are going to get married. This is not the kind of love you have for someone because its "comfortable". This is not the kind of love that is obsessive, paranoid, jealous or abusive.
REAL LOVE is the kind of love that is timeless, honest, uplifting, genuine, determined, intimate, graceful, compassionate, epic and most importantly, respectful. This kind of love is an understanding between two people. No matter where, how or when, it's THERE. You feel it all the time. This love is imperfectly perfect because, while you're learning from each others flaws, doubts and insecurities - you're growing together, which benefits you on an individual level.
Manipulation is getting kicked in the head and having them say to you "I didn't even kick you that hard, I know my own strength." At that moment I actually felt GUILTY for being physically HURT by a guy. Real men don't hit women incase you didn't know. Real men also don't excuse that behavior in any way or justify it because they were "upset", cry me a f*cking river. If someone is making you question your sanity, you are being manipulated. If someone is discrediting what you are saying by changing the topic, you are being manipulated. If someone is justifying their actions and making you feel like it's your fault, you are being manipulated. If someone is subtly mocking you and making you feel like an idiot, you are being manipulated. YOU are ultimately second guessing your intentions and thought process for someone who doesn't care about your feelings. THAT IS MANIPULATION and it DOESN'T EXIST IN A LOVING RELATIONSHIP.
I feel lucky to have experienced this kind of love. I think the best way to describe it is you just feel like you're home. This bond is especially powerful because they are your best friend. You're excited and eager to tell them things and equally ecstatic about each others accomplishments. You turn to them in need of comfort and sense of peace. They make you feel good about yourself in a non arrogant way - like you're doing everything right (even if maybe you're not).
The thought of them brings me pure joy. They make me feel purpose, at ease, and responsibility to be the best version of myself. WE DESERVE TO BE HAPPY. If you are blessed enough to have good health and people who love you, the least you can do is make it a priority to make your happiness a priority. Life is short, don't waste your time with someone who doesn't bring out the absolute BEST in you.
I was pushed down the stairs once, he would hit me from time to time too (the same one who kicked me in the head - shocker). I would hit him sometimes, or throw something because of the vulgar things he said to me, but he would smack me right back. He denied his actions and we argued in circles for hours. It got to the point where I was hysterically crying, slapping myself in the face and pulling my hair because while I was stating facts, he was saying "that never happened", and twisting what did happen to benefit his argument - I thought I was going INSANE. This happened all the time. Imagine staring at a purple wall for an hour and then someone tells you it's green, calls you names for thinking it was purple, shows no signs of remorse or sympathy and then sits there watching you get worked up about it. That's psychotic, and people who are like that are toxic - run.
I justified it because he apologized and said "I'm sorry you know I love you" after, and sometimes alcohol was involved so I figured it was fine. NO. Real love is not aggressive. Boys, I know it may seem unfair, but nature has proven that you are bigger and stronger than us. YOU are in control of how you use that power. If we piss you off, WALK AWAY. If we come after you, KEEP GOING. Chances are, if you've gotten to this point in a relationship you both know how to calm each other down instead of fuel the fire. DO THAT. Be the loving one. The honeymoon phase fades fast, so how you handle things with this person after that goes away ultimately sets the tone for your relationship. Can you talk calmly when you feel differently about something? Can you recognize each others feelings? Can you compromise?
Your experience as a couple (whether you've lived together or done the long distance thing) should be more positive than negative. The good times overrule the bad (and the bad times are learning experiences). The laughter outweighs the tears, and the unconditional, nonjudgmental compassion you have for one another gets full recognition at all times.
"LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX, baby lets talk about you and me"- Salt 'n' Pepa TYSM for some good lyrics.
A little bit of this, a little bit of that and damn, you don't even know what day it is. You feel lost, in the best way. Time doesn't exist. Every touch is exactly what you want, where you want it. Rhythm, sweat, entanglement and heavy breaths. Intense. Goosebumps, groping, ear nibbling, nails digging into your skin "I need you now" passion. The best EVER. I think if you genuinely have this compatibility, it feels like the human mind can't handle it. You're thinking "is this really happening?" That being said, IT'S NOT GOING TO BE ALL GOOD all the time but how you overcome things together and move forward is what keeps that flame lit. HOWEVER, you should not be dependent on each other. Be completely fine on your own. Never depend on someone else for happiness - the qualities they bring out in you is the root of your happiness, "they" are not the primary source for your feelings, YOU ARE. Your chemistry gets most of the credit, which you learn and grow from. Mentally, I feel relaxed because I've given myself to him - flaws, insecurities, darkness, doubt, and so many other things. And vice versa. And we still LOVE each other no matter the circumstances. We are both vulnerable. There's an unspoken tenderness that is put on a pedestal and respected on both parts, at all times. THIS IS HOW A SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP WORKS. Your kindness and respect towards one another is the turn on. Things get hot and steamy because there's a line that isn't crossed respectfully and THAT's where passion comes from.
Sex is sex. Technically just two bodies laying there, and out of all the bodies laying next to me at times, there's only one person who has my soul. Anyone can look good naked - but if they still want you after whats going on underneath the skin, keep them around.
I don't think REAL LOVE can only be had with a partner or someone of the opposite sex in which you are attracted to physically (cause duh, that's always a plus). I think this love can also exist for a best friend. Like an actual best friend (not the kind you say is your best friend and then you sh*t talk them to your other best friend. That is soooo 2006). I actually have a solid few friends who I REALLY LOVE. They keep things in confidence non-judgementally, calm me down and walk me through a situation logically when my emotions take over. This is a two way street. Those I would hang out with any day of the week, at any time and genuinely adore their company. Whom I could call at any hour and they would answer ungrudgingly, eager to help, because they know I would do the same for them. So yes, this love is also among the few of us that are real, honest, and brutally loving towards each other.
Back to manipulation. It comes in all different shapes and sizes and sometimes is even disguised as something else. It's a big deal. It can ruin families, destroy relationships, and cause an insane amount of self doubt. I personally think manipulating someone is a form of emotional abuse - you can actually convince someone they're bat shit crazy and in the end they're sitting there blaming themselves. That is F*CKED UP. I have both witnessed this to an extreme and lived through it. It is seriously damaging.
It's sad that we are capable of doing this, especially to loved ones. Why would you intentionally want to mess with someone? Being raised in a home where I was taught good morals and respect this behavior seemed unimaginable and was unrecognizable to me for a while. Sometimes I sit and wonder what I did to get in those situations. If you know me, you know I am loving, sympathetic, accountable, honest and many other GOOD things. If I believed all the nasty things I was told I am, I would have had the same issues in my other relationships, but I didn't BECAUSE I am not those things - and the people I have in my life who build me up, support me, and unconditionally love me, know that.
DO NOT let people who are unworthy of your light, fill your thinking with darkness. And if you find someone who loves you for being unapologetically yourself, inside and out, physically and emotionally, don't let them go.