“Love isn’t always perfect. It isn’t a fairytale or a storybook. And it doesn’t always come easy. Love is overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, fighting to be together, holding on & never letting go. It is a short word, easy to spell, difficult to define, & impossible to live without. Love is work, but most of all, Love is realising that every hour, every minute, & every second was worth it because you did it together.“
Love isn’t a fairytale. We grow up hearing, reading, and watching super-romantic love stories, which instill unrealistic expectations in our minds. One of my recent posts (click here to read), got me thinking about my own love story and how I got where I am today. Over the last ten to fifteen years, I have seen a lot and learnt a little, and I wanted to share some things with you.
1. Women Do NOT Need To Be Rescued
“Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you’.“
– Erich Fromm
This is something that stems from all those fairytales we read as a child – the damsel in distress is rescued by her knight in shining armour. Some women want to be “rescued” and some men want to be the “knight” to “rescue” her. This is not a healthy start to any relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that a man should not support his partner, but he should not be so protective of her that he stops her from growing as a person, and becoming strong and independent, all on her own. When you do something for yourself, the satisfaction itself is the reward.
2. Love Yourself
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.“
Throughout life we seek approval and self validation from others. This is fine as a child, looking up to parents and teachers, but as an adult, we should be confident enough to love ourselves for who we are, flaws and all. In fact, something you see as a flaw in yourself, may be the very thing that someone else loves about you. Only when you are content on your own, you will realise how awesome you are, and it won’t take others long to realise the same.
3. Keep Your Heart Open
“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.“
– Oscar Wilde
Some people are too busy for love; it may be work, study or family commitments. It’s good to have priorities, but love doesn’t always have good timing, so keep an open mind and heart to the possibility of meeting that special someone. The worst that can happen is that it won’t work out. Although break-ups are hard, they are not the end of the world, you will get over it.
Some other people close off their hearts on purpose. It may be that they lost a loved one, and can’t bear the thought of loving another, or that they were hurt by someone they loved, and would rather save themselves from any future heartache. I can’t say too much for the former, only that I have seen widows/widowers find love again and have a second chance at happiness. As for the latter, I think this quote says it all:
“If you succeed in cheating someone, don’t think that the person is a fool… Realise that the person trusted you much more than you deserved.“
Don’t let past relationships affect your present or your future. Just because one person was one way, does not mean that everyone is the same. Sometimes it’s good to be vulnerable and let yourself fall. The bigger the risk, the better the reward!
4. Understand One Another
In my opinion, the first two or three years of a relationship are the most difficult. After, the initial excitement of getting to know each other and the “honeymoon” phase, real life kicks in. Neither of you are on your ‘best behaviour’ anymore, you don’t need to impress each other, and sometimes you get so lost in day-to-day living that you don’t really make time for each other. After only two years, it is difficult to know everything about one another, so sometimes misunderstandings can occur. I found misunderstandings and lack of communication to be the main culprit for most of the arguments.
Over the years, as the couple gets to know one other completely, there is an unspoken understanding, where your thoughts are in sync. This leaves little room for misunderstandings, and on the rare occasion that one should arise, it is resolved more easily. A lot of arguments are triggered in the evening after a long day’s work. Having studied, worked full-time, and being a stay-at-home mum, I can say that all have their pros and cons, and they can all be exhausting. It makes me appreciate HD, because I know how hard he works, and when he gets home, he doesn’t complain about work, or the commute – he greets me and the boys with a happy face, so as tired as I may be when he gets home, I try to do the same.
“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.“
– Mother Teresa
I’m no expert on love, and I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do have a little bit of experience which I wanted to share. Ultimately, do what makes you happy. Don’t over-think things. Stay true to yourself. I leave you with one last quote:
“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.“
– Ann Landers
I know I used a truck-load of quotes in this post, but they say it much better than I ever could! Wishing you all love and happiness…