We get our ideas about love from so many different sources—from other people’s relationships,
our own relationships, our favorite tv show, movies, and books. That’s a lot of information and a lot of different interpretations on what love should look like.
Love is beautiful but it can turn into something ugly real quick, if we’re pursuing it from a wrong standpoint. The most dangerous frame of mind anyone can be in when pursuing love is yearning for a knight in shining armor to fix everything. This includes both romantic and non-romantic relationships.
The problem with romanticizing relationships is when we begin to have all these expectations that ultimately lead to comparison and sadness. The two things I’m about to share with you aren’t easy to hear, but they’re necessary: No one can make you whole and love isn’t always easy. There are going to be times when it’s going to be really hard.
Let’s walk through these two points together:
Other people can’t make you whole.
Searching for someone to fulfill you, or “fix” you, is a dangerous path to be on, because people can’t do that for you—and you can’t do that for others. Love isn’t going to fix someone if they’re not in a place where they want to be healed.
“If you’re not happy single, then you’re not going to be happy in a relationship.” If that ain’t some good wisdom, I don’t know what is. But seriously, instead of looking to people to validate you, take the time to figure out what you like, what you don’t, and what your goals are. Really invest in yourself, and build yourself up.
This is not to say to shun relationships. In this life, it’s impossible to do things without other people. This is one of the beautiful things about living, as hard as it can be at times. However, if you learn to be comfortable with yourself, then you don’t need people to feed your ego all the time. You can get to a place where you can say, “I’m alone, but I’m not lonely.”
The goal isn’t to find a way to live without people, but to learn more about ourselves and grow to love every step of our lives.
Love is going to be hard sometimes.
Love is more of an action, than a feeling. Our feelings come and go—we won’t always like the people we love, it’s not going to feel magical all the time, and it’s going to have its highs and lows. People are complicated, and that’s why relationships and love can be really hard.
In relationships, you’re going to constantly have to confront your fears, insecurities, anxieties, ways of thinking, and beliefs—and it’s so easy for us to want to protect ourselves from being put in a spot that pushes us to be vulnerable and to grow. It’s not always going to look cute or instagram post worthy, and it’s not going to always feel magical. But a lot of growing happens, and hopefully a better and wiser you is coming out of it.
When you romanticize love, you rob yourself of relationships that could be great—with others, and with yourself.
Written by: Desiree Salamasina Washington