Single Again, Love vs Love

By Kenneth Stepp

Well, I’ve finally done it. I have split the atom, divided the universe and maybe even time traveled… Or maybe I have decided to write on a topic that many will just disagree on. Maybe love is a topic of pain and mystery for some. So adding to the mysteriousness of it should be fun.

Let me define what I call real love. Real love is love without condition. Before you say it’s impossible, remember the many biblical references. While I am not a savior, nor am I perfect, I experienced what I call real love and know how it changes the way I will see love forever. 

She’s perfect…. That’s what I see when I look at her. Falling in love with her began many years ago. At first she was just a girl I met on the internet. At first she was not someone I thought a lot about. Sadly, when we meet a lot of people they all kind of fall into the small pool of singles we plucked out of the sea of singles. 

I spent 3 months in Kentucky at the family farm in 2015. I rented a basement to move into in Dunwoody. I was driving back in my Suburban with everything I owned in it. I called to confirm I’d be moving in in a few hours and found that the basement deal fell through. I felt homeless for a moment then my phone rang. Just come to my house, she said.

Six months in I realized I had fallen hard. After seeing the person she was, her passions, loves, and her integrity, I was hooked. Thinking I should move on, I did. I have no idea if she knew how I felt or why I had to leave.  Figured I’d get over her. I’d gotten good at moving on. Stuck in my heart was real love. Unconditional love that is. I guess I’d never experienced it before. I thought I had. Nothing was like this….

Two years later my hidden love became clear to her. She invited me over for my birthday August 6th 2017. It’s a day I will never forget. Looking back, I think we both knew it wouldn’t work. But I think my fantasy of being with her and her bad choice of men just collided and BOOM! We were a couple. I told all My friends and my roommate I was finished with my singles journey. I even told my mom and brothers. They loved her too.

We honestly didn’t stay a couple long. The aftermath left me uncertain about everything in my life. We were best friends before this. After about a month apart we began working on repairing that. That was about 5 years ago and so much has happened. Today were are best friends, I still see her through a different lens. To me she is perfect to me. My logical brain knows she isn’t perfect but if forced to point out a flaw, I’d be lost.

I learned more about love from her than from any experience in my life so far. I learned the difference between real love and romantic love. I’ve told people I was with that I love them. Romantic love is love but it isn’t unconditional. Love with conditions isn’t unconditional love. Romantic love ends, unconditional love does not. The best example is God. He sees us as perfect by seeing us through the lens of His son. 

Ephesians 5:27  “He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault” Where unconditional love exists any relationship is like the church in this way.

The church is just people and unconditional love works this way. It’s a life sentence too. I will die loving her this way. She will always be perfect to me and I would always lay my life and happiness down for hers. I want her happy and I don’t need to be a part of that happiness. Her being happy makes me happy. Real love works that way.

I’m convinced after years of study that very few will ever experience love like this. Romantic love can be undone, real unconditional love cannot. It is complete and invades every piece of your life. It becomes who we are. Finding a balance between moving on and still being present for them is like walking on a serrated blade barefoot. 

Many of my readers know in 2021 I was married but lost her. When she and I were talking about getting married we talked about what steps, how, where and all the things that come with taking that step. I told her I wanted her to meet someone very important to me. Why? Because I know my friend loves me and only wants the best for me.

Romantic love takes room from your heart. Unconditional love makes room in your heart. Because I learned to love unconditionally my capacity to love grew. I love more freely and more completely because of the love I experienced with her. Unconditional love allows me to love someone more now. 

I’m often asked what one quality I look for most is. My answer is always the same, capacity…. Think about that.