This is how we love now;

This is how we love now.

Good morning text messages and Facebook official posts.

Undressing our clothes as we build walls around our hearts,

No one ever truly sees us naked anymore.

This is how we love now.

Love is not intercepted notes in English class and hanging up each time his dad answers the house phone.

Love is waiting just the right amount of time to text back and making sure you aren’t the first one to ask how the other person feels.

Love is not “stay cute” yearbook scribbles with decoded messages meaning “I love you” and holding hands in the hallway until the vice principal breaks you up.

Love these days is driving your car off a cliff with your seatbelt on.

Nothing could ever protect you from what lies below.

It’s not pinky swear promises and spending extra time on his valentine and love definitely isn’t breathing your own steamy carbon dioxide over and over under the covers just to fall asleep with each other on the phone.

Love is a new language that no one can speak,

a game with no outcome,

a battle never won.

Love is feeling butterflies in your stomach transform into hidden messages on twitter, hoping he sees them while you wait by the phone.

This is how we love now.

Snapchat messages that disappear on your phone but not from your mind and access to the last five years of someone’s life in the palm of your hand while on a first date with someone else.

Our love is divided by the contacts on our phone, all the while knowing Tinder will be there when our contacts don’t reply.

This is how we love now.

Mindless, inattentive, with scrolling thumbs.

Our breakups are not felt, because we are too busy deleting posts and changing our relationship status and praying for 100 likes on our new haircut.

We don’t have to feel, because the box in our hands will distract us when the feelings come.

We don’t have to deal with it, because our second and third and fourth runner up will reply when our first choice leaves his read receipts on and doesn’t care to write back.

This is how we love now.

With the hope of something that will last without ever having to put in the work.

With the dream of a love like our grandparents,

with the nightmare of discovering midnight texts from someone else on his phone.

We take comfort in expiration dates, in “it just didn’t work out” comments to strangers who pretend they care, in believing there is something bigger and better and more real around the corner.

We wonder why we can’t find something real with fake tans and fake smiles and fake lives that look really good on the outside but don’t feel very good on the inside.

We wonder why it doesn’t work out

Why we haven’t been able to get it right

We avoid mirrors and point fingers instead.

This is how we love now.

Until we find courage to unplug

Until we are brave enough to find a love that stays strong even when the WiFi is weak.

A love that starts alone

A love that knows who she is without a screen name or an instagram handle

A love that doesn’t need followers and likes to believe its worth.

This is how we love now, but it isn’t how we have to love tomorrow

Realizing that maybe those who came before us were onto something.

Realizing what grandma meant when she said “come hell or high water.”

Calm in the chaos, or chaos in the calm—realizing that both offer us a gift

Being brave enough to choose love when it would be easier to just choose someone else

Knowing that love is a noun and a verb

Knowing that love is a choice

Knowing that band-aids always fall off

and mirrors can only be avoided for so long

Finding the strength

And trust

And hope

In knowing there will come a day you will smile at your future across the table and ask him, unafraid of the answer,

 

“remember how we used to love?”

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