With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it seems as good a time as any to ruminate a little on the subject of love. It goes without saying that there are many different kinds of love and that while it can be the sweetest and most wonderful thing in the world… nothing cuts deeper to the bone when things go awry. Love is about more than long walks holding hands, pretty gifts and canoodling together on a lazy Sunday morning. It brings with it responsibility, obligation and a side that you don’t always see depicted in the movies, the songs. and sonnets. Don’t worry. This isn’t a “down with love” post. It’s a celebration of the important yet all-too-rarely discussed sides of love…
Self-love needs to come first
Ever wondered why certain people you know make one bad relationship decision after another, latching themselves onto people who seem hand-picked to disrespect or exploit them before leaving them broken and their circle of friends and loved ones to pick up the pieces? Unfortunately, this tends to happen to those of us who don’t love and respect ourselves enough. Remember that there’s an ocean of difference between self-love and vanity. If you can’t love yourself, it can damage all future relationships by proxy.
You can’t love somebody on a part-time basis
An important part of love is being there for one another when you’re at your best and at their worst. You can’t love someone on a part-time basis, or only be there for the good things. And there will be times when your significant other lets you and themselves down. In these instances, it’s essential to continue to love and support them, working with them to find some resolution rather than giving in to vengeful feelings. This can mean anything from helping them eat healthier and get more exercise to finding a heroin addiction treatment center and supporting them as they strive to get clean. Addiction is an illness, after all.
Love cannot be selfish
In the same way that you can’t love someone part-time, you also can’t love selfishly… it’s right there in the bible (Corinthians 1:13). All too often we think that we can mold, sculpt and shape someone into our ideal version of them… but this is a surefire way to build resentment and feelings of inadequacy into the relationship. While you should always try and bring out the best in one another, you need to ensure that your SO always feels that they can be themselves.
Love changes… and that’s a good thing!
If you find that things aren’t the same with your SO as they were in your early days when you couldn’t keep your eyes (or your hands) off one another, don’t worry… that’s actually a good thing! Love changes. It evolves. And while you should make time for one another physically and emotionally, the connection you feel will grow more profound with time, even when it doesn’t feel as visceral as it did in your halcyon early years.
You and your partner are always changing, so it makes sense that your love should too!