Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What Love Is NOT...

We all face some form of heartbreak at some point- the back-stabbing best friend that makes up stories to make us look bad to other people, the cheating boyfriend or girlfriend that has wandering eyes but still keeps assuring us of love or sometimes, the friends that hang around when things are great and ‘poof’ into thin air when we have to dance to a sadder life tune….

I spent some time wondering if love was meant to be entwined with heart-wrenching stories of excruciating emotional pain, and it certainly did not help when recently, a friend asked me about my relationships that didn’t work out and I delved in a little about the cheating, the cowardice, the manipulation and bla bla… One question he asked threw me off-guard. He said to me “Has a man ever loved you?” He may not have realized it but the question had me stuck in my thoughts for days. I replayed every relationship in my head, bit my fingers at some of the things I accepted and at the end I came to an answer…NO. Why? Because I now know better. I know what love is and what it’s not.

Love is not a panicky feeling. Many people are in love, yet they are panicky. Panicky that they’ll lose their partner. Why? Because they have no validation in their hearts. They are doing 80% of the work involved in keeping the relationship alive while their partner gets along doing 10% or 8% at will… There are excuses as to why they can’t give anything more than 8%… “Sweetheart, I have to work! I barely have time to call you.” “You know I’ve been hurt in the past, I don’t want to put my heart into it 100% just yet.” Dear ladies and gentlemen, bear this in mind- You are not Romeo or Juliet. If a person is not ready to commit as much as you want to, I suggest you move on to someone who will. Don’t ‘kill’ yourself over something that’s not mutual. I’m sure President Obama has to deal with economic issues, attend meetings but he still has time to text his wife back.

Love does not cheat! Many people say “I just can’t help myself :(” Oh dear! How many times have I heard that? Cheating is not an overwhelming feeling like many ‘helpless’ people make it out to be. It’s a decision…. A decision many people make after weighing the pros and cons and decide “my partner or spouse may never find out so let me just enjoy myself.” Cheating is not necessarily a decision made because the temptation is so strong, this man or woman is overwhelmed. It’s a decision made out of selfishness…which leads me to the next..

Love is NOT selfish! I don’t know how many times I ought to emphasize this to men and women. Love is not selfish. When you love someone, you won’t make decisions that will hurt them and benefit you or request things from them till they are completely drained. Love is not just about satisfying your own needs, not caring about the side effects your satisfaction may have on your partner. Love is when you both come to a decision. Surely, someone has to make a sacrifice every now and then but someone should be either one of you, not just one person all the time.

Love does not lie. Two of my friends got married two years ago and during a discussion with the bride, she said to me “we made a promise to each other to tell the truth, no matter how ugly it is.” I nodded my head, knowing it takes a lot of courage and love to bare your heart to your partner or spouse because you are sure they truly love you…

Love is not unforgiving. Someone once said to me “Successful relationships are built by two people that are willing to forgive over and over and over and over again”… Forever is a very long time not to piss each other off at least a thousand and one times!

Love doesn’t make you defensive. I was once in a relationship where I felt like I had to walk on egg shells all the time. I had to act a certain way, laugh a certain way and in no way was I myself. Those close to me will tell you I’m a fun-loving person. In this relationship however, I was like a peacock in a strait jacket, with a head mask and cuffs around my ankles. Any attempt to show my true self was met with raised eyebrows and a thirty minute bible lecture. No one should go through that. In love, you should be yourself! And loved for who you are. You shouldn’t have to defend every sentence, every action or even a twitch of the eye. This person saw you the way you were before they decided to date you. Love shouldn’t be a mission to completely change a person. Rather go for what you want in someone else. Remember, there’s only one of you out there. Embrace your uniqueness!

Love does not manipulate. If you have to play games to keep your relationship or manipulate a person into ‘loving’ you then be sure it’s not love and it won’t last. Sooner or later, manipulation blows up in the face of the manipulator.

To love someone, you need to be a pillar of support, a gentle critic, a bold cheerleader of that person’s achievements, an admirer of that person’s personality and your differences and of course, have a forgiving heart.



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