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Sunday, July 3, 2022

My relationship helped me understand 3 things about love

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Have you ever realized that you have had many wrong ideas about life? Relationships, love, the whole shebang?

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

These are some of the insights I have come to from having a wonderful long-term relationship. We can call them things I would say to my younger self.

#1: Love is a choice

I always thought that love was something you fell into, not something that you actively chose every day. Now I’m in love and I know that that’s not true.

Love can feel like a force greater than you because it is. It can also feel consuming when it’s good and when you’re having a moment. If you’re having anxiety like me, it’s easy to get stuck in a moment you think you may have upset your partner or the thought that you still aren’t enough.

At the end and beginning of every day, love is a choice you make. Not a destiny.

#2: One person can’t be your everything

I’ve also learned a lot about the idea of needing to keep a well-rounded social life once you have a long-term partner.

I always thought this was something that was important because if you didn’t have friends outside of your relationships, your partner would inevitably leave you. Then, you would be alone and have no friends to lift you up while your spirits were down(i.e. bring you ice cream and copies of Glamour, the quintessential “sulking” experience).

Legally Blonde did a lot to facilitate this idea for me with imagery of Elle sobbing to her very best girlfriends.

I’m with someone now who I feel perfectly secure with. I believe in us, and the relationship part of my life feels full. He is my best friend, confidante and the love of my life.

And I need friends, too.

I’ve always known one person can’t be your everything, but nothing has driven that home for me more than enduring love.

#3: The love of your life will not be perfect. They’ll be human

There is someone out there who will admire you, see you for the beautiful, already whole soul you are. They will love everything about you and tolerate what is impossible for others to understand.

They will push your boundaries and give you a safe space to be yourself. Someone out there will be a home for you, and you for them. They will see you in ways you can’t see yourself.

They will be human, too. They will put the dishes in the dishwasher the wrong way and not put the blankets back the way you like and irritate you to no end.

In time, you will come to love yourself and your significant other so much that the rest falls away. Any stress, any feelings of inadequacy, in time they won’t matter anymore.

You’ll learn that you truly are a team through anything.

What did I miss?

What have you learned about love in your time on this planet? I would love to know in the comments.

Previously published on Medium.com

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