02/13/2015 06:13 pm ET Updated Apr 15, 2015

How To Love Again Like You Did When You Were Young

"No one ever fell in love gracefully." ― Connie Brockway

People say every time you fall in love it's different.


It's exactly the same.

I'm an expert, you know.

I've been falling in love since I was in pre school!

The first time, his name was Scott. He had shaggy brown hair and eyes that looked like little brown buttons that I used to glide my fingers around on my grandmother's tweed sweater. I knew I really loved him back then because when it was lunch time and we were all unpacking our homemade treats, he'd always ask me if he could have some of my chocolate chip cookies.

The chocolate cookies were my everything, but so was he. So I said yes.

Isn't that what love is about, anyway?

Compromise. Sharing. Letting people into your world, an in turn, into your treasured lunchbox?

Sometimes I fall in love while I'm waiting in line to order pizza at the dollar slice place on the corner of 5th avenue. Or when I'm on the subway and I make eye contact with a stranger as he turns the page of Franny and Zooey.

But I know that's not really love. It's just the first thirty seconds of the whole episode suddenly bursting out and trying to tap dance its way into my life.

What's wrong with that?

Why don't we love as easily and as rapidly as we did when we were little bitty kids?

Why don't we walk up to people and give them gigantic hugs? Or spit out the first thought that comes to our mind when people ask us how we're doing?

Why do we follow such defined rules of ettitqute when its comes to falling in love with someone?

People ask people all the time how long they should wait before walking up to a person and telling them how they really feel. The wanna-be adult in us thinks we need to kick our feet up on the coffee table and mingle in purgatory for a while before we should be allowed to admit these feelings. To stand in front of someone we know or we hardly know and say it outloud.

Something about you makes something about me completely and utterly love you.

Valentine's Day was so much more fun when we were young too.

And love was as bold as the tingles you felt toward that boy sitting five rows in front of you in English class.

And love was as bright as the loyal hints from your parents who made you feel like no matter what, they'd be behind you with open arms.

And love could come and go without it feeling like frantic, like it was the end of the world. You loved 14 people just in the second and third grade.

And love was celebrated with giant chocolate Hershey kisses and warm stuffed animal bears with stiched on polyster hearts that you would lug around for a couple of days before letting it retire on the left side of your bed.

And love was serious but then again it wasn't.

Now Valentine's Day is a gigantic mess. If you're single it's a lot like thisIf you're with someone, the holiday is suffocated with pressured expensive expectations and pinched feelings and people draining their savings accounts so that they can use things to show something no-thing could ever really show.

February 14th always gets me thinking about what I think about love and I don't know what I think about it anymore expect that I wish it all was as easy and casual and open-armed warm and welcoming like it was when we were kids.

Back when we used to pass out mini little Valentine's Day cards sent to every single person in our class and passed out candy hearts because no matter how much love we had for the people around us, we were grateful that they were around us, and plus, we could all use a little bit of sugar in our lives.