Being young and single is great, don't get me wrong. Having the freedom to meet different women, sleep with different women – and do it all again tomorrow – is one of youth's many privileges.
However, as we get older, it's hard to deny that the “lather, rinse, repeat” nature of being single doesn't get old, as well.
When it does, you're bound to start looking for something more. Something deeper. You finally set out to find “love,” or whatever that is, and some are luckier than others at finding it. The funny thing is, when you look for love, it's harder to find.
It's not something you prepare for, but rather something you stumble upon – in the good way, of course – like a $50 bill in the pocket of last year's winter jacket.
I mean, as I'm sure you've been told at some point or another, there aren't really any words to describe what love is. It's just... love. When it's real, you just... know.
So, as “cuffing season” is already in full swing, I figured now would be as opportune a time as ever to write about some emotional sh*t. I've also been listening to a lot of Drake, and watched "Titanic" last night after a few glasses of syrah. I know, I really need to get out more.
Anyways, if you think you might have “found love,” but aren't exactly sure, here's a bit of advice from my own personal experience. These are the 8 signs “she's the one.”
1. There's no such thing as “awkward silence.”
Step one in “finding the right person” is finding someone you thrive with from a conversational standpoint. Step two, which is always more difficult, lies with finding someone you can thrive with in silence, too.
When you can appreciate a quiet moment with someone, past the urge to flood the air with conversational filler, it's never awkward.
In fact, it's the ultimate comfort. Although there might not be any words being spoken, at least not verbally, a lot of times love tends to communicate around body language, anyway. When you're with someone you connect with, moments of silence are never truly silent.
2. You say “I'm sorry,” even when you're not wrong…
When it's real, arguments will never last that long. You could be bickering over the color of the sky – it really doesn't matter – before long you'll realize that “being right,” for once, isn't atop your list of priorities.
Thus, you concede that the sky is green, and look to pick and choose battles among the people in your life who aren't “on your team.” Lord knows there will be enough of those.
During the heat of the moment, when you'll feel your own pride start to crawl up your throat, true love will remind you to swallow it – and focus on what really matters. Even if that means being “wrong” in an argument you probably won't remember the next day.
3. ...And you never look for an apology from her.
Love is quite ironic. You'll be eager to apologize, even when you know you're not wrong, yet you'll never really expect an apology in return – even after those times when she may be at fault. As I hope you've already gathered, I'm not referring to any arguments of lasting consequence, but, rather, the more trivial sh*t.
For those, love requires no apology. There should never be any grudges held in love. “Sorry” is just a word, and love is the strongest of all emotions.
It isn't true love if one word can suddenly reverse your feelings, one way or the other. Of course, apologies will, and should, always be welcomed, but they should never be necessary.
4. You see her everywhere.
Once you find real love, everything will remind you of her. You could be watching Roger f*cking Federer serve for the match, and suddenly – bam!, it's her – simply because Fed is from Switzerland, and you know how much she loves Swiss chocolate.
It's your body's way of telling you, “You can stop looking for other girls now.” At least for a bit. Before you met “the one,” you might have juggled a few girls at the same time – and still found yourself tempted to wink at that girl you thought was a good look, at the bar.
Take it from me, it's almost impossible to do the “juggling bit” when everything you see can be traced back – in the most obscure ways – to one person.
5. You want to spend your “alone time” with her.
You could be the most asocial, introverted, anti-people-person on the face of the planet – that will all go out the window once you find someone you love.
The nights you once cherished, for the sole fact that you were alone, away from all forms of human life, will eventually assume the form of date nights with her.
It's sappy, I know, but real talk, it's true. After finding someone you fully connect with on an intimate level, the haven you once found – under the shelter of privacy – will become obsolete.
That's what happens when you truly find someone who you believe is your “better half” – the “me” time you previously spent and cherished, by yourself, will now just feel vacant.
6. You think about her first.
In order to fall in love, you must love yourself, first. To be in love with someone, however, means thinking of yourself second. Love is defined by sacrifices – and when it's real? You won't even mind making them.
In fact, they should make you happy, and that's probably the craziest part. I'll never forget the 2011 NBA Dunk Contest, which is ironic, because I never actually got to see the 2011 NBA Dunk Contest.
I remember it, though, only because it was the first and only dunk contest I missed in 19 years of existence. That's what happens when you have a girlfriend, and Valentine's Day happens to fall on All Star Weekend – and I made that reservation without batting an eyelash.
7. When you're together, you remember every little detail.
What you ordered on your first date, what she wore the first time you met her. Even the most random, seemingly pointless, sh*t will become ingrained in your memory.
It's unconscious – the product of something, or rather someone, genuinely having an impact on your life.
Back in psychology class, we learned about “flashbulb memories”; they're extremely vivid, long lasting, memories that occur following instances of great consequence.
For our parents, hearing about JFK's death was a flashbulb memory. Ask them, I'm sure they'll still be able to tell you exactly where they were, over 50 years ago. For us, it might be 9/11. I still remember everything about that September morning, and I was only 9.
Well, love often functions as one big flashbulb memory, at least that's how it feels. It makes sense when you consider how impactful your own emotions are.
8. As soon as you say goodbye, you'll already start missing her.
Love is just a drug by any other name. I'm serious, we learned about this in psychology class as well. In fact, simply seeing a picture of someone you love can activate many of the same neurological systems that are triggered after cocaine use.
When you find the right girl, you'll crave her as soon as you say goodbye, and you'll constantly be looking ahead to your next fix. That's how you can distinguish between girls you hook up with, and those you get hooked on.