When I was a young girl I dreamed (or maybe assumed) that one day I would find the Man of My Dreams. The One. And he would be my saviour. He would whisk me away somewhere magical and lovely and everything would be super awesome because we would be in LOVE.
A few decades and one failed marriage later, I have wised up a little and learned a few things about love. What love is, and more importantly – what it is NOT.
In an ideal world, love should be unconditional and able to withstand the ups and downs of yours and your beloved’s reality and limitations. Love should be able to conquer any and all obstacles. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sadly, sometimes love just ain’t enough to cut it in the real world.
Here are some things that LOVE is NOT:
Love is not always a fairytale
As a young woman (or man) planning a future with your beloved, it can be very easy to get lost in your hopes and dreams, as well as the excitement and expectations – especially if there’s a gorgeous wedding to accompany it all. You sometimes – naively - believe that life will always resemble the way it is right now.
Throw in a few years’ worth of unresolved arguments, sleepless nights, money issues, children issues, communication issues and whatever else - and slowly but surely the fairytale begins to erode.
Love - especially long-term love – is messy and painful and downright exhausting at times. If you are blessed, there will be glimpses of the fairytale from time to time. This is what we should always be striving for. But we would be naïve to expect this kind of standard on a day-to-day basis. And if we did have it every day then maybe… just maybe… we wouldn’t appreciate the magical moments when they did occur.
Love is not supposed to make you happy all of the time
If you are expecting that love from another person will keep you happy and satisfied and joyous at all times, then you will most likely be quite sorely disappointed!
Life is full of ups and downs, and our feelings and moods naturally fluctuate as a result of many things, including these ups and downs. Just as it would be unfair if somebody relied solely on you for their happiness, you shouldn’t rely on another person’s love for your happiness.
Romantic love is wonderful when it is going well. But there will be many times that it does not go so well. This kind of love will make you swoon, laugh, cry and cringe, but one thing it will not – and cannot do – is make you happy one hundred percent of the time.
Happiness must come first and foremost from within. If we can master the art of loving ourselves, and of being happy and comfortable in our own skin and with our own company, we will most certainly be giving ourselves the best chance of living a happy life.
Love is not supposed to be hard work all of the time
OK, so we can’t expect to always be living the fairytale, but neither should we be putting up with a whole lot of heartache and wasted effort with little or no joy in return.
In my book at least, love is compromise. There are the obvious things that we should be doing when involved in a partnership - remain faithful, show respect and give love and affection to the one we’re with. These things should not be ‘hard work’.
If we’re not prepared – or able - to give and do these things on a pretty consistent basis, then maybe we shouldn’t be in the relationship we’re in. And it of course goes both ways – in order to give we need to receive. This is the basic stuff.
However, if the relationship involves a lot more work and effort than the basics – if you find yourself in a constant battle of wills, with lies, deflection and bad behaviour the norm, then maybe this relationship is not the right one for you.
Love is not your saviour
Because YOU are your saviour. Love is nice, love can be grand, but the truest love we will ever find will (or should) come from within. If we can be happy and find joy within ourselves, any outside love we do happen to stumble across will be an added bonus.
So, be your own best friend. Take yourself out on dates. Don’t look for someone else to save you – go save yourself. Show yourself and the world that you are gorgeous, independent and self-sufficient. Then, just maybe, the one you have been searching for will one day come stumbling right across your path.
Do you have any more ideas on what love is or is NOT? Share in the comments!
Want strategies to help you feel empowered, cope with challenge & heartbreak AND live a life that’s best for YOU?
SIGN UP TO GET:
The Ultimate THRIVE Guide
It’s a collection of my BEST tips for living an empowered life AND thriving after heartbreak or change. They’re the strategies I use and I'm sharing them for FREE - let's do this Sista!!