Turns out I’ve learned 23 things about love…. here they are:
1) There are different levels to love
The way I understood love a few years ago, isn’t the same way I understand it and see it now. This journey is never-ending.
2) There is no ego when it comes to love
I had to learn this through my last relationship. The times where ego was present, were times when fear was present. Where ego and fear are, love can not bloom.
3) Love has more to do with grace than performance and action
For some time I viewed love as a success thing. Like, am I doing this right? Am I taking the right steps? I feared failing at love so bad, as if it were some homework assignment. My need for perfection, and how I was raised created this perception of love for me that was more about succeeding than simply the beautiful act of grace and companionship.
4) Your relationships are a reflection of you to some degree
My ex and I on the surface may have appeared very different, but at the core, we were very much similar. I entered my relationship believing I had done all the healing I had needed to do, and I was ready to bring someone else into my life. Little did I know this person mirrored things I had stuffed so down under that I forgot until seeing them in him.
5) Listen to understand, not to respond. This will make a big difference in any relationship
Sadly enough, this wasn’t always done in mine. Sometimes you think you are really listening but in fact you’re not. You may be listening but your intent is to just figure out a way to move on from the situation or prove your own point, when in fact you can't move on because you don’t understand. Without understanding, you become stagnant in the same situation.
6) Everyone loves themselves
There is love within each and every one of us, some of us are just on lower levels. We get caught up in feeding everything else that we fail to feed the one most important thing…the love for ourselves. Don’t starve yourself anymore!
7) It takes a lot of patience and communication
If you don’t have this in a relationship, then you may not be ready to take one on. The truth is dealing with anyone, even yourself, will require this level of attention. I think that’s what makes it harder being in a relationship when you are young and still trying to work on yourself. You are trying to give yourself time, while also trying to give the other person time.
8) Everyone has toxic traits, but that is not what makes a relationship toxic.
What makes a relationship toxic, is when those toxic traits aren’t worked on and manifest into something bigger. My relationship became toxic when I realized the person I was with still wasn’t ready to acknowledge their trauma. This caused friction and frustration. I never knew how to approach certain things. I also never wanted to push, and that’s something we both failed to do in the beginning. We didn’t pick at each other’s past, because I think we were both kind of running from something and tried to build around it.
9) People love the best way they know how
This is one of the biggest things I’ve learned, especially within the past couple of years. Everyone loves to the best of their ability, and this goes with the way they were brought up, and how love looked like in their lives. However, although people love the best way they know how doesn’t mean it's okay or healthy. I say this because it's important to understand others and to be able to learn, grow, and have empathy. You should not put up with someone that isn’t giving you the love you need. Their full extent might be halfway for you and that's okay. Don’t hate them for it, but move on from it.
10) Love takes discipline
Love in any form takes discipline. I say this a lot in regards to self-love especially. Discipline can be seen in different ways. For myself, I’ve seen it the most when I set physical and emotional goals for myself. For instance, changing the way I eat was one of the best things I could’ve done for myself. It helps you learn how to deal with temptation, which is something you encounter in all areas of your life.
11) It will always take more than love
I may be wrong with this one, but I believe this. In a relationship there has to be more than love to make it work. On the surface of things, love is just an emotion. If you carry out your entire relationship with just emotions, that relationship will be a whole hot rollercoaster ride. A relationship takes understanding, patience, grace, respect, loyalty, time, etc.
12) Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for the rest of your relationships
The attributes of a relationship I listed above, will only come from you if that is the way you treat yourself. If you don’t have grace with yourself then you most likely will not have grace with the person you are with.
13) Not every connection is a great one
I think a lot of the times when we are young, we are attracted to people that share the same trauma as us. We build a connection best off of trauma and let it guide the relationship.
14) Getting everything out, in the beginning, is probably for the best
Don’t be scared to be open with someone you are interested in. I think sometimes we are embarrassed or we just don’t feel ready to share our truth. It’s important to slowly share our trauma with that person because you don’t want to carry that baggage further along in the relationship. For future relationships, this is something I want to do differently.
15) Every relationship you encounter is essential to your growth
No matter how much heartbreak sucks, or losing a friendship sucks.. it is so ESSENTIAL. It is so crazy how people fit into your life, and the circumstances in which connections are formed. I’m not sure I could ever find myself hating someone from my past because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be who I am today. Oddly enough I have a sort of appreciation for them.
16) Always seek to learn
I’ve mentioned how much I’ve learned about the importance of understanding when it comes to dealing with love, so this goes hand in hand with seeking to learn. I feel like if you don’t want to learn about the person you are with or the people in your life then you will not grow with that person. Sure you will learn things through being around them, and just watching them in certain situations, but you should actively be seeking to learn. This should definitely be at the foundation of your relationship. Pick each other's brains and then dive in!
I never want to be in a relationship where we come as two halves to make a whole. This is something I fear big time! I thought I went into my last relationship whole because I had taken the time to start learning more about myself but, little did I know, it would take so much longer. Although I wasn’t whole, I could see how I was starting to become “one” with this person, and that feeling scared me. I didn’t want to feel one with the person, because I wanted us to be our own person before anything. I didn’t know how to figure this out all while being in a relationship, and judging by the person’s reaction neither did they. This is what led to the ending of my relationship.
18) Reactions are everything
I’ve learned not to let the way someone reacts go unnoticed. It shows their insecurities, fears, ego, and character.
19) You have to be vulnerable with love
I struggled with this a lot. I am very tough, and I never want to be vulnerable. I knew to give this relationship a try I would have to be, and so I tried. However, I think I loved more with my mind than my heart. People say its a good thing, but I’m not sure. I felt like I was overthinking a lot, and it took away from the experience.
20) Right person, wrong time
I see this debated a lot on social media, and over the years my opinion on it has changed. When I was younger I was like “right person, wrong time” than I got older and was like well no “ wrong person period”, and now I’m like “I don’t know”. I am beginning to think that there is no such thing as wrong timing in general or the wrong person at the time. To me, everyone is placed in your life for a reason. During that time in your life, they are what you needed, and God saw it fit that person needed to be on your path. If this person was essential to your growth in any form, how could it be the wrong person or the wrong time? Sometimes we have to look at it further than just romantic relationships.
21) There is nothing wrong with having a big heart
I have a huge heart and I knew this from a young age, and I knew it would be dangerous but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love my heart, and I love that I attract people that have big hearts. My past relationship wasn’t perfect, but I know something we connected on was the fact that we both had big hearts. This goes for my friends as well. All of them have such amazing and plentiful hearts making me feel like I am always surrounded and protected.
22) No such thing as someone being “the one”
I don’t believe in anyone being the one. I think if you are worth it, and what we have is worth it then I’m willing to fight for it. Sometimes relationships cost more than you gain. Although every person is worth it to someone, it doesn’t always have to be you. All you can do is let go and hope one day they discover their worth, and allow themselves to be loved.
23) The way I see love will be different when I’m 30, but this is where I’m at now.
I had a long talk with my mentor a while ago, and she told me there were levels to this, just like in any other aspect of life. She told me that I’d experience greater love, and that love is the one that you share with your child. I know she is right, because I’ve come a long way since my days of watch Gossip Girl, and wanting a love like Chuck and Blair's (if you know, you know). I’m proud of my growth as a young woman, and though this journey comes with a lot of pain, I’m excited. I love learning about love in all entities, and I never want to stop experiencing it. I hope I continue to live a life surrounded by pure love and grace.
P.S My top love language is quality time, what’s yours? Here is the link to the quiz to find out: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/
I also want to hear about your thoughts on anything I had to say, or just love in general….So comment below!!!