A Few Things I’ve Learned About Love

WARNING: All the cliches are true

In the short time I’ve been with my wonderful boyfriend I’ve learned a lot about love and relationships. I don’t think by any means that I will ever know everything there is to know about love and still don’t claim to know much of anything about it. This post is simply some lessons I have learned that I hope you can either relate to or take something away from.

1.  Your partner cannot be responsible for your happiness.

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I was, and still am, a big fan of a good love story. Titanic, The Notebook and the like. The problem with stories like this are the idea of what love that they plant in our heads. The girl needs a savior, someone to wipe her constant tears away, but ladies I’m here to tell you that no matter how amazing your man is, he is still only human. Just like you.

Your experience as a human should prove that humans can only handle so much. It is completely unrealistic to expect another human to keep you happy when you’re not working towards happiness on your own. You must first provide it for yourself before someone can add to your joy. Total reliance on your partner is where the decay of relationships begin.

2. No matter how much you love your S.O., eventually they’re going to drive you crazy.

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They’ll hum a song for 17 hours straight, have a habit you can’t stand, or just be in a mood one day. This is where the love comes in.

Love is not rose petals and cheesecake all the time. It’s still loving someone when they’re the equivalent to a 5 year old sitting next to you in the backseat of a tiny car, pointing and saying, “I’m not touching you! I’m not touching you! I’m not touching you!”

Oh, and by the way, you’re annoying, too.

3. Nothing is more freeing than being with someone that truly accepts you.

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Recently I asked Ryan (half kidding, half nervous he was going to regret his decision to date me), “Would you break up with me if I bought a dude’s wallet for myself?” I immediately scrambled to explain why I wanted one, but before I could, he cut me off with a confused, almost offended look on his face, “What? No! You do you, baby.” His demeanor immediately changed to something that said “It literally does not matter at all.” as he went back to looking for a new belt.

Depending on the friends, family, or ex’s you’ve had, you may be afraid to be authentically yourself in a relationship. Ya know, when you should be vulnerable and honest about who you are? If you’re with someone that doesn’t accept you the way you accept them, it’s time to move on because you deserve better. And there is nothing more beautiful and freeing than being with someone that loves you no matter how weird you are.

4. No matter how great you are together, you’re not always going to be on the same page.

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You want chicken alfredo for dinner and he wants sushi. You want to go out and party, he wants to stay in and play video games. You two are not always going to see eye to eye. Cue compromise.

Compromise is so important.

Tonight you have chicken alfredo, but you stay in for a chill evening or you agree to sushi and he agrees to a night of drinks and dancing. There is sacrifice on both sides. Equal give and take. Remember, no relationship should be 50/50. Both you and your partner should be giving 100%.

Just because you don’t always agree doesn’t mean respect should be absent from your relationship. Both of you should feel understood and appreciated. Selfishness has no place in a healthy relationship. That being said…

5. Personal time and space is a must.

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You have to give your partner, and yourself, space. Neither of you can be constantly sacrificing yourself on an alter for the other. Time to explore your own hobbies and unwind in your own way allows you to return to the relationship recharged. Love cannot thrive if your relationship with yourself is not up to par. The right partner will be understanding and be supportive if you need some time alone because they need theirs, too! Leading me into my next point…

6. You can’t take everything personally.

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Your partner is stressed. They’re being reserved and don’t want to be touched. They’re irritable, frustrated and annoyed. You have two options in this situation.

You can:

1. Throw a tantrum, yell, start a fight, cry, ask, “Why are you mad at me? What did I do?” Ya know, take it personally.

OR

2. Retain a positive demeanor. Ask, “Do you want to talk about it?”, if they say, no leave it alone. If they say yes, listen (not talk or think about what you’re going to say next.), hold their hand and offer what help you can. (ex: “If you need anything at all from me just let me know. I’ll be here for you.”) Final step? Actually be there. Ya know, recognize that not everything in your partner’s life is about you.

Is it uncomfortable when the person you love isn’t happy? Oh, heck yes.

Will it last forever? Heck no.

The best thing you could possibly do for your relationship is to recognize that you are a team. When one of you is down, the other should be there to help bring positive vibes and support to the situation.

(Important side note: If your partner takes his or her bad moods out on you by making fun of you, trying to bring you down with them, or just being straight up mean, a line should be drawn. Do not tolerate mental, emotional, or physical abuse of any kind. Remember, respect is key.)

7. No relationship is perfect, but love is always worth it.

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The two of you are going to argue, you’re going to bother the everliving crap out of each other and you’re going to have to put in some serious work, but in the end, you’ll be blessed with something that not everyone finds: true love and a healthy relationship.

There is nothing quite like love and if you’re lucky enough to find it, treat it with respect, treat it right, and never let it go.

Love on, darlings.

painted-heartKristy Lynn

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