With every new relationship, I have learned more and more about what I am looking for in a man. The concepts and beliefs held at 18 have slowly developed into something more meaningful and distinct. With each failed relationship, another lesson is learned. And with it, my immature concept with love is sculpted into the true image of what love means to me. I would much rather be a person that loves honestly and with renewed hope with each person than to hold back to protect myself. I feel that if you put forth half-hearted effort, you will get half-hearted results. And though heartbreak is inevitable, it’s the lessons learned from each relationship that prove to be worth the post-breakup pain. And in the end, I always know that I will survive and try once again.
These are some of the lessons I will never forget in my journey:
- Love should not be based on how someone can improve your status. Love should not be a business gain only. Superficial reasons lead to superficial feelings. Love me for believing that I will be a devoted wife and a loving mother. Love me because you know I will never abandon you in your time of need. Love me for who I am right now and what you feel I am capable of.
- Love should not hurt all the time. It shouldn't leave you in despair or sadness. It should uplift, inspire, and encourage. Never love out of pride and do not allow pride to keep you in bad situations. There is someone better for you that won't leave you with emotional scars and fears for the future.
- Don't love someone because they make you happy. What I mean is don't rely on your love for someone to sustain your daily happiness. You should be able to walk to and away from someone with your joy. Relying on their presence for your light will lead to a darkness that is hard to recover from once they leave. Add your personal happiness and light to someone else's life to find real love.
- Loving someone should not be hard work. It should not be a task you have to make yourself do. Love shouldn't be a struggle. Yes, you face struggles in love but the initial development should not be a battle. That is when it becomes one-sided and unbalanced. One person shouldn't put forth all the effort. Love is a balanced scale. Give and take on both sides. If someone truly cares about you, they will let their feelings be known.
- Don't love someone for the way they make you feel. Love shouldn't be your means for high self-esteem. That's not its purpose. Honesty, love will help you grow and mature. It will envelopes that greatness in you and helps it to blossom. Don't depend on someone to make you feel better about yourself. That is just another form of selfish love.
- Don’t try to love until you are ready. Understandably, you can’t control who you might have feelings for. However, if you are going through a major life change, dealing with drama and issues, or trying to find yourself, keep to yourself. Find yourself and take care of your home first. Get comfortable and secure in yourself before you try to bring someone else into your life.
- Revisiting an old love can be tricky. You are never quite sure if the feelings you had in the past will translate into the present. Sometimes you were only meant to love that person in the past. You’ve learned from the relationship and you move on. Some people are lucky enough to rekindle their old feelings and start fresh. But they find this success because they accept them for they were before and who they have become. Make sure to your love matures beyond your past. Love in reality, not in memory.
Like I said, these are my lessons. They may not apply to you and your situations. I am always learning, always re-shaping what I want versus what I need. And that has truly been the hardest lesson to accept, learn and put into practice.