I’m still struggling to define my feelings for The Pedant (because I’m a compulsive labeller, and because if I’m going to tell him my feelings I want to have an accurate idea of what they are).
To wit: I feel something akin to love for The Pedant, but I’m trying to figure out whether it’s based on anything real or just a byproduct of all the oxytocin he fucks into my brain. My soul-searching caused an interesting internal debate to come up.
I was mentally making a list of what I like about him (figuring that if I couldn’t think of anything but “the sex!” then my warm feelings must just be hormonal), and all I could think of is “He’s pretty” and “he does things for me.”
At first it struck me as superficial to like someone because they do things for me; it seems like a dead giveaway that my feelings aren’t real. However…wouldn’t it be sort of strange to like someone who absolutely doesn’t do anything nice or helpful for me, ever? Also, Acts of Service is one of my huuuuuge Love Languages*; voluntarily doing little things to make my life easier or better is just about the surest way to make me feel cared for. And when someone very obviously cares about me, it tends to make me feel attached to them.
Really, taking care of each other is the crux of a relationship – the glue that holds people together. Love on its own is intangible; it means nothing unless you show it through your actions. So if I like The Pedant mostly because he’ll offer to spend the afternoon putting together an Ikea dresser with me or troubleshooting my router, that’s not superficial; it’s natural. Inevitable, even.
I did come up with other things I like about The Pedant afterward, mind you. He’s a hilariously snarky bastard in a way that gets my motor running; he has a good grasp of feminist issues; he likes discussing and analyzing movies we’ve just seen; when I’ve had issues with him he communicated/negotiated exceptionally well and fixed the issue; he’s wicked smart; he seems to accept me for who I am; I could go on.
But it’s the “Here, wait, do you have any rock salt? Let me salt your front steps so you don’t slip when you leave for work tomorrow” that really sealed the deal, I think.
Some philosophical questions for y’all:
-How do you (you, specifically) know when you love someone?
-What’s more likely to make you develop a romantic interest in someone: them treating you exceptionally well, or them having compatible interests/personality traits/whatever?
-Is it superficial to love someone because they’re good to you, or is responding positively to good treatment actually the least superficial thing ever?
*Along with Touch, which The Pedant also gives me in spades.