Jubi C John
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I don’t know what love is (maybe)

I don’t know what love is (maybe)

Apr 17, 2023

One would think that for a person who has dated a lot (and I mean, a lot), I would know what love is but I still feel like I don’t.

Sometimes I wonder if I was loved by someone that I ‘loved’? And if I was, what did it look like, and now that I am writing about this and thinking about that moment, nothing much comes to mind as well. I am not quite there to term this exercise as sad as well.

Let’s think about this together maybe.

Oh yes, my friends. Yes. My friends love me, they do, they really do. They make time to talk to me, to console me, to hear me rant, they share gossip with me, they give me advice only when I ask them, they show me kindness that I haven’t ever shown myself, they ask me the hard questions that I know I should be asking myself, they don’t judge me for getting into situationships and most importantly, they are just there. They are available. At times when they are not, I don’t feel too bad because I know they are living their own lives and will get back to me when they feel like. Yes, so maybe being available might be a sign of love right?

Next would be my sister. I know she loves me, and I am very sure that I love her too (recently someone pointed this out to me as well). If there is one person before my friends (or even after them) who has taken care of me, it’s my sister. Sometimes I have felt like I never was the elder one, because she knew how to be there for me, and I didn’t. I have never had to take my own side during family arguments and otherwise, because she did that, without me asking for it. The rage of a younger sister when her older sister is disrespected in any form, I have experienced it and as a kid, I never understood it but now, I do, and honestly I miss it.

We are currently 11,613 kilometres away from each other (yes I Googled) and for the first time in my life, I am learning how to be there for myself. As kids, one time when she was brushing her teeth and I was standing beside her brushing mine, she told me to stand with her on the carpet so that my feet doesn’t feel the coldness of the floor as it was the winter season. So another sign of love could be standing side by side because you care about the other person’s well being. Did I maybe sob writing this paragraph, yes I did.

I want to also include my therapist. I know the nature of our relationship might be in terms of the service being provided but I also feel that you need to have some kind of affection towards your clients in order to help them right? I mean truly what is stopping them from being a jerk? They can give you bad advice or any advice, add more to your trauma, belittle you, make you feel more ashamed than you already do but most of them don’t. Mine didn’t. Mine listened and looked at me with caring eyes as I have cried through each of my sessions till now. I don’t think it can just be because of the money, it has to be something more, something you feel inside of yourself, that makes you believe that you can genuinely help this person or even, listen patiently as they unravel in front of you.

I have taken a break from therapy because I feel I can depend on myself more than before and I never thought I could say that. As much as my therapist says that it is teamwork (it is, no doubt), a part of me feels that I have come to this place only because she showed me that there was an alternative to surviving or during those brief moments when life/emotional pain knocked the fucking wind out of me: I told myself to please stay in that moment and breathe rather than think. So here love means making an emotional and financial investment for yourself so that at night, when you feel lonely and that voice inside which says, “Everything will feel better if you die right now,” you listen to it, and reply, “I know why you’re saying that,” and go on living nonetheless.

Next is of course and to no one’s surprise, my exes. As much as I want to club my entire dating experience as a dumpster fire where only I was the one burnt, and term them as absolute fucking sociopaths and monsters walking on earth, I still want to go on a mile and say men are complex creatures. Insta reels make you believe that ‘oh men are so simple to understand,’ they are not, maybe ask a heterosexual woman. But I have also come to believe that they mean what they say, at least the ones with a spine do.

So whenever they have said: “Oh I don’t want to be called your boyfriend,” “No, I did not cheat on you, we did not have any labels remember,” “I am too busy to date,” “I think we should breakup because I can’t keep calling you every day,” “I know I lied about being married but in fact, I am separated,” or the famous one “I am just not the right person for you.” Believe them and also believe me when I say: he is not interested. Because if he was, he would stay, just like you and I did in alllll those relationships. So where is the love here? I don’t know man, but if he is staying (and within seconds my mind went: for now) there must be something, I don’t know, it could be good sex too.

Anyway, yes, maybe I have known love and I am loved.

Phew, not so sad, was it now? I aim to go on loving and in the process if my heart does break, you will see me write about it, don’t worry.

Thank you for reading, and have a cry-free week!

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