Gimme Summa Dat Love and Affection

“Love is touch
Touch is love
Love is reaching
Reaching love
Love is asking
to be loved.”

“Love” by John Lennon

A week out from Valentine’s Day and I still won’t quit talking about love.  I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, and you know what?  I’m not sorry.  Love is all you need.  Love is a many-splendored thing.  Love is…really really easy.

What?  Oh yes.  Love is really easy!  You just let yourself feel good about something.  You know you can do it!  And you have.  All the time.  With that hot new BBC drama.  With the pad thai at the place down the street.  With the guy you met off OkCupid.  Go ahead, feel love!  Why wouldn’t you want to enjoy a cute guy, swirling drama, peanut sauce on rice noodles?!

The scariest part of love is the affection bit.  Isn’t it?  Once you realize you’re in love, things start to get nerve-wracking.  Is it too soon to send a text?  What if he doesn’t call back?  What if the first kiss is awkward?  What if I scare him away?  Why does Netflix have to keep asking me if I want to continue watching Doctor Who?  And can you get sick from eating nothing but pad thai???

All the scary barriers and taboos we put around love have to do with this scary business of affection.  Showing affection – and receiving affection! – puts us in a vulnerable place.  A place of rejection.  Your crush doesn’t like you back.  Netflix takes your new show off.  The take-out hostess makes fun of you for coming by three times in a week!

I suppose the balance is this:  do the rewards outweigh the risk?  Is the possibility of love worth putting yourself on the line, handing over your heart knowing full well it could be broken?

Yes is the answer, and you know that for sure.

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