To Love Love

Mine is a story about love. And my personal journey to find it.

Are you surprised? Of course not.

Rolling your eyes? Possibly.
And your eye-roll may very well be a valid one because, essentially, I am telling the oldest story in history. Every story, from Jane Austen to science fiction, is ultimately a narrative about finding love. No matter the difference in genre, setting, or plot: every tale worth being told is inevitably centered on the relation of one character to another. The most intriguing, relational, electric component is the human desire for love, and that is what compels us to become involved. The movies that make us cry, the books we read and reread, and the songs that we belt at the top of our lungs will usually have one underlying element in common: the human need to find love and give love. It is an integral part of our lives on earth and we will never stop pursuing it or being interested in it. We are born and we die in the pursuit of loving and being loved.

So, yes, it’s been told before. Maybe a million, or even a billion times. But, while every story is the same in many ways, they are also personal and therefore inevitably different and inherently and beautifully worthwhile. Mine is a story about finding not only romantic love, but self-love, and love for others. I now believe that all three are intrinsically bound and that one can not exist without the other two in any lasting manner. I will admit that i have not successfully mastered any of the three, but find myself inching closer with each passing day. I started off in a journey to find romantic love, on national television of all places, but found that my search did not end there, and now i realize it will never end. The decision to open my heart to America has set in motion a myriad of self-discoveries and truths about the true meaning of love, most of which i dont believe i could have learned otherwise. I am still learning, and now know enough to admit that i only see the tip of the iceberg, but what better place is there to start?

I will begin at the beginning, which, for me, was the search for romantic love. I always wish there was a different word to use for this profound state of being, considering the tragic over-use and under-appreciation for the letters L-O-V-E in our English language. I was never looking for shallow, temporal, lusty, or even friendly, appreciative, or cutesy love. I don’t want to love my husband like I ‘love’ pizza, or my cat, or my trusty tennis shoes, or the new Chris Brown song, or even my parents or my little brother. I wanted to feel something so undeniable and gut-wrenching and maddening that I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to feel the sickly sweet, churning, ravenous, overwhelming feeling of a deep and inescapable magnetism to someone else. I wanted to have chemistry that set off fireworks all over the city. I wanted to bathe in our mutual adulation, gaze into each others eyes and lose the world, and become enmeshed so deeply that we couldn’t get out if we tried. I wanted a husband who made me forget about every other man on the planet, who made me hear music when I thought about him, who I couldn’t bear to be away from for a moment. I wanted a best friend, partner in crime, leader, comforter, encourager, and companion forever. I wanted everything, and I wanted it to be perfect.

I have always wanted that. I am what I like to call a ‘romantic optimist’. I can recall getting my license at 16 and driving around aimlessly, truly believing that every person to my left or my right at a stop-light might be ‘the one’. The anticipation would rise in my heart and I would turn my music up, glancing sideways to lock eyes with my future husband…only to meet the stare of an aging business man, mother of three, or another pimply teenager with their temporary license. Where was my knight in a shining jeep convertible? Maybe next time. Definitely next time! I was hopeful beyond reason and determined despite my constant disappointment. I knew he was coming, and i was ever-ready.

This continued for roughly 12 years, right up until…now, actually. My entire life has been a long, steady string of soaring hopes and expectations centered around the ‘one’, eventually dissipating into a long, stead string of fizzling feelings and uncomfortable conversations. These ends would catapult me into singlehood and hopeful anticipation of the next beginning. Over and over again. I still don’t know if my blind and incurable optimism is a blessing or a curse, as I have fallen in love with the idea of love, and projected that feeling on many men over my lifetime. The fact that, sometimes after years of trying, these relationships didn’t pan out never dismantled my belief that these were perhaps only training for the right man, who may well be right around the corner or in front of me at the grocery store checkout.

For better or worse, this insatiable appetite for romantic love led me to do something I never thought I would. A girlfriend at my waitressing job opened up to me about being an avid fan of The Bachelor, which allowed me to come clean about my own secret fandom for the show. We agreed that it was basically National Geographic for human beings. The raw emotion and romanticism was addicting. After the appropriate dissection of the current episode, she said something that would change my life forever. She suggested that I apply for the show. I let the words settle in my head and then the strangest thing happened. I heard a ‘yes’ in my heart.

Most people would think idea was crazy, far-fetched, and quite possibly the least viable way to find a husband. To me, however, the craziness made it seem more right than wrong. My idealism, my optimism, and my personal bent toward all things larger than life made me feel that this was more than possibly the way I would meet my husband. There is almost no more ridiculously romantic medium for finding love in this day and age. I felt in my heart that a miracle could take place and that maybe I had been waiting for this opportunity all of my life. I could feel that my heart was immediately and undeniably invested in the notion. I decided that I would regret not taking the chance, so I simply said yes.

That yes would bring about more change in my life than i could have ever dreamed possible. The road would be full of ups, downs, pitfalls and mountaintop experiences, but I couldn’t have known that then. All i saw was infinite opportunity and a chance at a happily ever after. So, I sent in an application and I waited, hoping against all hope that I would be chosen to give this a shot. I never could have imagined the infinite blessings or repurcussions of the choice i was making. I had no idea what exactly i was opening the door to, or where this tiny step toward destiny would ultimately take me.

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Showing 6 comments
  • Peniel Macias

    What a beautiful and well-written story! I started watching the Bachelor on your season and although I couldn’t look away, I found the premise of it and shallowness of the other contestants so far beneath you.
    I hope you find the romantic love that you’re searching for. On the way, the self-realization you’re finding will be so valuable throughout the rest of your life.

  • Jess

    Thank u so much for just sharing your story and being loving toward others! I really appreciate you❤️🌹

  • Thanh

    Britt, eloquently written! You’ve left me wanting to read more! Keep the posts coming!

  • Armi

    This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

    A tiny architect works inside the human heart
    drawing sketches of the ideal love from the people it sees, fromm the books it reads, from its hopes and daydreams, in the fond hope that the eye may one day see the ideal and the
    hand touch it. Life becomes satisfying the moment the dream is seen walking, and the person appears as the incarnation of
    all that one loved. The liking is instantaneous because, actually, it was there waiting for a long time. -Fulton Sheen

  • Reply

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  • Reply

    Hello there! This article couldn’t be written any
    better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept preaching about this. I am going to forward this post to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

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