I told you that yesterday was a rather strange day. Our communication was a little bit… off. Sometimes the new man and I can apply a different meaning to the same word. He will interpret the word differently than how we would use it in North America. Like for example, his over-use of the word “lazy”.
This doesn’t happen very often and usually we can clear it up, but when we start talking about concepts it gets a bit tricky. We’re talking about a) the usage of certain words and b) the difference between North American and Turkish culture. It definitely makes for interesting conversations.
Yesterday, it was one of my goals to ask him what was important to him in a relationship. I wanted to make sure that I am meeting any needs he has, emotionally, physically, or otherwise.
I left the question broad to see what came to his mind, and he said this:
“Respect! Love is a luxury for me, it comes and it goes but it is respect that has to be there always.”
*Cue awkward silence*
Not knowing exactly what he meant or how to respond, I asked him to explain. He went on to say that love is a luxury because you aren’t always going to love someone. Sometimes they are going to do things that you don’t like and visa versa but you always have to have respect.
I was torn- am still torn- between whether he meant that love is not important for him (in which case, does he love me?) or was our definition of “love” not matching up?
I understand this concept that he was talking about… how there will be times when you really don’t like each other much, or what some people refer to as “bumps” in a relationship… and I get that you have to still respect each other through those times… but to me, love is that respect. Love is about always caring for one another even when they’re driving you crazy. Love is about putting in a greater effort to make it through those times and coming out the other end stronger.
I *think* that when he says “love”, he is referring to what we in North America would call romance, lust, or infatuation.
Of course, when he told me this I began to question whether that means he’s really in love with me or not. What an awkward way to feel!
That aside, at the end of the day… he treats me phenomenal, he’s tender and caring and thoughtful with me, he gazes into my eyes and rests his head on mine, he kisses me gently, he holds my hand, and he listens to me, and regardless of how he defines the word “love”, he loves me by my standards.