You have to rrrreally love them to listen to it.
Anyone can bring you flowers. It's easy to enjoy dinner and a movie or take a walk under the stars. You can manufacture romance: take a dozen roses and a box of Godiva. This is the superficial stuff, the stuff you do early in a relationship. A grocery-store bouquet and a bottle of wine, a home-cooked meal. Or actually watching Netflix and chilling out.
He accompanies her to the mall. She goes to the football game. This is love in its nascent stages.
Then you have sex. Bodies are messy. There's spit in your kisses and sweat on your torsos. Someone has hair where they probably shouldn't, by the strict laws of 21st-century Western grooming. You see toenails and armpits.
There's the act. Lube gets smeared in pubic hair. Some appendage, real or plastic, thrusts in and out, in and out, and everyone tries hard to ignore the squelching sound. The squelching sound gets faster and faster.
People make sounds that they'd die over if played back to them after the fact. They say stupid sh*t about harder and faster and do me and oh yeah, baby. There may be queefs which will make the queefer want to die and queefee laugh it off. There's licking genital fluid (of hers) or swallowing genital fluid (of his) — and do swallow, please. Spitting's like going to someone's house and then not eating dinner.
Then everyone comes, which includes a copious release of fluid if your partner's at all talented. This results in a mess all over her and a wet spot in the bed. Or a mess in her, which drips out, and a wet spot in the bed.
Everyone has to troop to the bathroom and wipe down their genitals and take off the used condoms and pee. New lovers switch turns in the bathroom. Old lovers go in together and pee in front of each other. It's just peeing, after all. Guys, gay or straight, probably fart.
Basically: sex is the messiest, grossest, stickiest thing we humans do on a daily basis. It accustoms us to all sorts of orifices and fluids, and things, in some cases. And we do this with, perhaps, a person we only met a few hours ago. Or a person we've known for a few weeks and hope will stick around for awhile (no pun intended).
Or we do it with the lover we've been dating for a year or more. Someone we expect to marry and spend the rest of our lives with. Someone we actually are spending the rest of our lives with. And no one runs screaming out the door when it happens.
True love, though, goes beyond sex. If you have kids, you take true love to a whole other gross level. You watch childbirth in all its blood and expanding vagina and placental horror. Men have been known to pass out but you do it ... for her. You talk about your perineum and your vagina stitches without thinking, Man, maybe he doesn't want to hear about that. Because he damn well better hear about it. You talk about vaginal bleeding and blood clots. He goes out and buys her witch hazel pads.
You burp the baby for your lover, taking the vomit that ensues and don't even bother to change your shirt because you've already been barfed on today. You offer to change the baby's diaper knowin, if he's a boy, there's a fair chance he'll pee on you. You clean up poop.
You might clean up a baby's poop as soon as you'd put on a new diaper. But true love — real, true love — involves your lover pooping.
Pooping is an intimate act, one we humans try to hide from anyone else. A family member of mine has a special pooping bathroom in the basement and runs the faucet while he goes. This is, apparently, not uncommon. It's generally OK to pee when someone's in the shower, but never, never OK to poop. You'd hotbox them with poo smell.
Part of the problem with poop is its odor. There are sayings about it: You think your sh*t don't stink; you think your sh*t smells like roses. It's a key part of its embarrassment: the idea that something so stinky is coming from your body. It's also ugly and gross. Poo is sticky and globby. You may have to wipe multiple times to clean it off yourself. And, of course, there's the primal fear of the sh*t bacteria it carries.
And it makes noises. When you poop, you grunt. You strain. There's the plop of poop in the toilet, the fart echoing off the porcelain. Your darling is making those noises. You have to really love them to listen to it. They have to really love you to let you hear it.
While human relationships involve a lot of grossness — from sex to baby poop to pulling a plastic bag from your lover's dog's ass — if you haven't heard your partner poop, it's not true love.