The words that taught me the most about relationships is “I don’t love you.” I say this, because at that moment it was said to me, I became aware of the aspects of love that I never thought to address. Love is not what the media tells us. It is not the disney princess at the end of the story, flying high. Thinking like this only limits our ability to grasp what love is. Love is multi-dimensional, with highs and lows, and includes pain and heartache. Love is as fascinating and layered as the person you love.
I dont have all the answers to relationships, and I am far from being the perfect man, but I will say that I learned more about being in a relationship these past two years as a single man, than I did in my last ten years of being in relationships.
Relationships are simple, they really are. What makes them appear complicated is that it involves two people and their emotions. I have done some things that I’m not proud of during love-induced frenzies, and often said some things that I didn’t mean. I think thats an amazing part about love, the passion and intensity it can evoke. Learn to appreciate how much power love can generate. The simple act of appreciating what comes forth is often enough to allow you to feel it, but not become overwhelmed by it.
Here are some things I learned about love:
- Be the one that makes the difference, especially if you know you are the one that can. I know for me, I can have the 100, but if I don’t have the one I want, it doesn’t mean as much. It matters where it comes from, not how many it comes from.
- This one is more about desire than love, but relevant. It is in our nature to value what we can lose, and neglect what we will always have. How I apply this is that we should all keep a part of ourselves our own. Not as in keeping secrets, but as in keeping true to yourself and the things you enjoy. Never stop doing what makes you happy. Stay mysterious. Your lover doesn’t have to understand why you like it, but they will like you for liking it and owning it.
- Be strong and have your own thoughts. Be your own world. No one appreciates what can be easily overcome. Lovers challenge each other, and offer different perspectives. This is not a call to be stubborn and righteous, but for us to express our thoughts. Let it out, your lover deserves to know. Expression is the water that grows connection.
- Let love in. We all have things that we hesitant to share, or things that we are afraid of. But there is so much power in vulnerability. Open your mind to them and open your heart to receive theirs. When we are vulnerable, we admit that we are human. Nothing builds connection between humans like declaring you are human.
- Let your love breathe and grow. Give it space. Let the heart yearn a bit. A strong tree is one that has space to set it roots and experiences imperfect conditions. Love is very much like a tree. If you keep a tree bound, it will only grow so much before it dies from constriction.
- Men: Do it her way. Unless you know for an absolute fact that shes wrong, let her have it. This doesn’t mean to be spineless, because you must still express your thoughts. But if its a stalemate, let her have it. This will show that you listen to her, and that she is valued.
Ladies: Say sorry, and admit it when you’re wrong. It might be a hard pill to swallow, and sometimes I sense that its especially hard for women. This is not saying sorry when your husband beats you. This is when you get mad at him for getting mad at you. This will show him that you are worth fighting for, because you think about more than just yourself.
- Men are stupid and women are crazy.
- Do. Not. Fucking. Lie.
And thats what I have to share for now. Maybe my thoughts will change with time, I’m open to being wrong. There’s probably more to it… I’m sure there is more to it. Love is like a tree, it can grow endlessly.