there’s no such thing as “I love you, but”

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This summer one of my best friend’s had her heart broken by her boyfriend. Isn’t that the worst? When something’s so shitty and confusing that the only way it can be described is in the passive voice? Her boyfriend said he still loved her, but… some excuse. My sister, ever eloquent when making sweeping generalizations about how humans should live their lives, stated: “There’s not such thing as ‘I love you, but.'”

We all agreed. If you really love someone then there’s no need for a “but,” because love trumps all. “I love you,” means I don’t care that you’re making it hard, that I can ignore that you’re selfish, that we don’t need to plan a happy ending for everything to be okay right now.

Quotable quotes, though, are kind of like the last scenes in movies, when the camera pulls away and the screen fades to black. What happens after the punchline, the climax, the epilogue?

I’ve come to realize that there is such a thing as “I love you, but.” It exists in the deep of night when your dreams show you loving someone else. It exists in the middle of the day when what you want most in the world is to be alone. It exists, but that doesn’t mean it defines the “love” or even the “I” and “you.”

Would it be so difficult to try “I love you, and”?

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