i will love you not just for your wit and talent and beauty, but simply because you are you, with no strings attached. i love you for who you are deep in your soul, not for the color of your eyes or the length of your legs or the size of your checkbook. the longing is that the lover admire us stripped of our external assets, appreciating the essence of our being without accomplishments, ready to repeat the unconditional love said by some to exist between parent and child. the real self is what one can freely choose to be, and if a birthmark arises on our forehead or age withers us or recession bankrupts us, then we must be excused for accidents that have damaged what is only our surface. and even if we are beautiful and rich, then we do not wish to be loved on account of these things, for they may fail us, and with them, love. i would prefer you to compliment me on my brain than on my face, but if you must, then i would rather you comment on my smile (motor and muscle-controlled) then on my nose (static and tissue-based). the desire is that i be loved even if i lost everything, leaving nothing but ‘me,’ this mysterious ‘me’ taken to be the self at its weakest, most vulnerable point. do you love me enough that i may be weak with you? everyone loves strength, but do you love me for my weakness? that is the real test. do you love me stripped of everything that might be lost, for only the things i will have forever?
If she loves you, if she really loves you, you’ll know it. If you can wake up to her staring at you and it’s not even mildly creepy, if you catch her smelling the shoulder of the hooded sweatshirt you lent her for an autumn walk at the beach, and not for B.O., if she makes you a pancake in the shape of a shark, if she calls you drunkenly at four in the morning “to talk,” if she laughs at your jokes when they’re funny and makes fun of you when they’re not, if she keeps her fridge stocked with Guinness tallboys for when you come over, if she tells you how she wishes she were closer to her sister and that her dad makes her sad: She loves you, of course she loves you.