Forget Being Passionate, It Takes Real Lovers To Be SILLY

Photo: Serge Bielanko

Love isn't a f*cking game. We've learned that the hard way by now, right? Right. 

Especially in the beginning. The early days of a romance aren't some doomed-to-fail haha sitcom starring one of the dudes that used to be in Friends. Blossoming love is serious sh*t. And so we treat it that way, putting so much stock and worth into the deep roots it digs down into our very foundation.

Fair enough. It's vital that people falling hard for one another have that magic chemistry, that mega click.

But at the same time, there's that comic relief factor. Because laughing together is huge. You meet someone who doesn't get your jokes — I don't care how hot they are or how much loot they'd be dragging into your world once you're official — you need to run like hell in the opposite direction. 

We meet someone, we get serious with them, there's some connection in your collective sense of humor, and things are looking pretty great. But then what? Things change. Paradigms shift.

And familiarity, even if it doesn't necessarily breed straight up contempt, tends to drop its own unexpected challenges into a relationship at some point after the magic has faded. 

That's right around the time when my own experience with love leads to one very important question: Are we still getting silly? And by silly, I don't mean having animal sex hanging from the ceiling fan. I actually mean what I say. I'm talking "silly" in the literal sense of the word.

Silliness is living proof that intimacy is alive and well. Think about that. You can probably count on one hand (or possibly two) the number of people you ever get silly with. I'm talking close enough to do your stupid, funny voices for. Or make fart sounds on their arms. Or tickle like a kid.

We all have our style of silly, our ways of letting that side of us shine but we rarely expose them. We don't get that kind of crazy with the people at work. We never tend to be a total goofball with our own parents after we turn 12 or so. We move through our lives coming into constant contact with thousands and thousand of people down the years, and yet we've probably only felt secure enough to fly our tightly wrapped-up silly flag with a few of them at best.

And who were they? More often than not, they were our boyfriends or girlfriends. Or our husband or wife. And that right there says it all. Aside from our own human spawn, nearly every single one of us hides our goofiest, silliest sides away from all the world.

But then finally, one day when the sky cracks open and you're staring at someone who you're falling for, we chop away the ice and break the zany sh*t out in the name of love. Then they do the same thing.

Wildly intertwined lives are the natural result of true love. Only the deepest connections in this world ever whisper up to us that it's alright. 

"Pssst. Do it. It's OK. Talk to her in your Kermit the Frog voice that you have been perfecting since second grade. She's gonna like it, man."

And she does. Or at the very least she recognizes and understands your imbecile impression of a Muppet is something you never share with anyone. But you're sharing it with her. And that's monumental.

Of course, the flip side to all of this is that so many of us grow unimpressed with our partner's silly sides after a while. When that happens, it's probably a real bad sign, I hate to say it. Because the reasons for being silly together were always understood. 

"I love you. We've got this. I'm comfortable in your eyes. And making you laugh is making me happy."

Yet the message that hides out behind the first cracks in your appreciation for your partner's silliness is this:

"You don't move me the same. I'm kind of repulsed by your dipshit humor. Once upon a time, you made me laugh. Now I'm sorry but I'm begging you: Please stop trying."

It's tragic and sad when the silly days die. But they are a tell-tale sign that someone better do something quick. Or maybe even that it's all too late. Because people in real love can be silly with each other and that's just how it goes. 

And people who pretend to be in love? They just can't. They can slog on through life faking themselves out for a long, long time. But they can't fake the Silly Funk. 

We all know relationships that exist on fumes; hell, if you're like me then you've been in a few of them yourself. When all is said and done, though, there's one glaring question that any tired, damaged heart can ask itself when it finally gets up the guts: "When was the last time we were silly like the early days?"

And if you can't even remember? Damn.