The younger version of me often liked to fool herself into thinking she was in love. When reality finally hit, some hard lessons were learnt, and probably for the best.
Here are five things I’ve learnt about love:
1. Don’t trust your gut.
Ever heard of butterflies? Yeah. I don’t trust them. For me, they can make a bad idea look golden. It took a long time for me to realize it, but butterflies isn’t always a sign that you’re in love.
2. Love is hard work.
A healthy relationship requires commitment. What that means is sticking together through thick and thin.
While arguments are pretty normal for the most part, both parties should work towards resolving issues effectively. Pretending as if nothing happened probably won’t help much.
3. Choose wisely.
The world paints this sort of picture where any person you’re attracted to, you’re going to be compatible with. Beyond this, there is also another conflict: great compatibility, but little attraction. Both scenarios are complex and can be quite frustrating.
Attraction and compatibility go hand in hand for me, and I see now that it does not make me shallow. Personality, however, should always comes first. The key is to choose a partner who builds you up, and to play your part as well, returning the favour.
4. I don’t need a hero.
There. I said it.
You’ll not believe how awful I feel when I pour my heart out to a friend, only to hear that what I need is a boyfriend. Perhaps that is my punishment for only ever having mostly guy friends in my lifetime. But that’s besides the point.
Let’s get this straight. I have no problem with being involved with someone romantically, but I doubt the solution to all my problems would be getting a boyfriend. Why? Because a partner, most of the time, is only there to listen, not to solve.
It can be great having such a strong support, but at the end of the day, what’s left? Are we truly interested in each other, or what we can do for each other?
5. A lover is not a guarantee.
Some people just weren’t meant to get married, and I’ve long accepted this. I’ll admit that I’ve hardly put much effort in finding a lifelong partner. I’m only 18 after all. But whether or not I do, I will find a way to make myself content. There is no guarantee that I will find a romantic partner in this life, and that’s okay.
6. Be patient.
Being the age that I am, it seems as if I’m the only one who isn’t with someone. This has never particularly bothered me, but when everyone seems too busy for you, the pressure is on.
But is it really?
Personally, I take relationships seriously. I’d hate to think that I for the sake of not being alone, I’d settle for anything.
7. Be honest.
To those who’ve known me, I can seem a little aromantic. In reality, I feel everything intensely. How do I deal with it? By pretending I don’t.
Unfortunately, when you’re drawn to a person, you’re going to want to act on those feelings. Suppressing these feelings only leads to agony, and in the end, all you have is a missed opportunity.
On the other hand, some feelings are best left as what they are – feelings.
7. If you love him, show him.
I want to know he cares for me. I want to know that I am loved, and I’d assume my partner would too. Sometimes, love takes a little more than simply being aware of each other’s feelings. As many often say, actions speak louder than words, and that goes for both of us.
8. It doesn’t have to be so scary.
This has been the toughest lesson for me. The mere thought of falling in love with someone overwhelms me to a point where I just want to get away as soon as possible. I’d assume I come off a little callous to others, though the reality is that I feel everything intensely. Love is no different, and I wouldn’t want it to get the best of me.
Still, there is beauty in it all – opening your heart up to a special someone. As hard as it may be, the result just might make it all worthwhile. If I let it all happen naturally, then it doesn’t have to be so scary.
Love at the end of the day, of course, is different for everyone, defined by their own walks in life. While I myself have never been in love, I’m learned all I need to know from the world around me. More importantly, I’ve learned that love is a beautiful thing, regardless of what form it takes.
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