(*photo credit to Nick Kenrick*)
Be honest. Have the conversation. Say the nice thing. Kiss them: on their forehead; on that spot behind their ear that sends goosebumps across their body; on their dry lips, sedated and gently, when you both stir in the darkness.
Know that you do not belong to them, nor they to you. Your residency in their heart is not kept by right, not by some great puppetry of the universe, but by your kindness. Your attentiveness. Your understanding. The way your face lights up like a firework when they walk into the room. How your eyes trap theirs with fervent favour.
Wonder if you've ever liked a face as much as theirs. Wonder if you ever will again.
Be curious. Give yourself to them, your whole self: vulnerable and raw. Share stories and ideas and philosophies and silly little in jokes. Ask them questions: delve deep into their wonderful, gritty soul. Humans are ever-growing, ever-changing. There are few things more beautiful than thinking you've discovered the everything of a person and then stumbling across something more. Something greater, still. Another reason to love them.
Be there at 2pm. And 2am. And too. When they're laughing so much they almost urinate on the floor. When they're struggling to make the decision. When they're crippled by doubt or sadness or the damn fucking awful burden of a mental health issue. Be there, even when you don't know what to say. Especially when you don't know what to say.
Scrawl a note to thank them. For being kind to next door's puppy. For being your biggest cheerleader. For being all of the extraordinary things that they are. Feel lucky that you get to be alongside them: this wonderful person, so perfectly imperfect. Wear that privilege like a badge of honour.
Take adventures; discover a piece of the world together. Get naked. Build forts. Chase sunsets. Laugh like small children when you drive for three hours and don't make it in time. Laugh. At this bizarre life. At the weird things that happened that day. At each other.
Never expect them to complete you. You are already complete, with your organs and thoughts and big ideas and wild dreams and hairy toes. Realise that yes, you must love them with the fullest of hearts, but you must love yourself too. Love yourself first.
Embroider beautiful words into the air between you. Leave them longing for that next perfect sentence. Leave them longing. Belonging.
Choose trying, always. Because that's what love is, and that's what love is about.