Had a heart to heart conversation with a friend who was having a difficult time in her marriage while feeling the pressures of life, family and social media. When the relationship was all rosy and sweet, she put herself out there for the world to see – a grand wedding, beautiful children and a gorgeous new apartment in the one of the enviable districts.
Then he cheated on her (not once, not twice but five freakin’ times) and like a house of cards, it came tumbling down. She couldn’t decided if she should be looking for a divorce lawyer or to try and work things out because she can’t bear to throw away 8 years of marriage.
She asked me the age-old question of what is love and what love meant to me. In all honesty, I don’t think I’m qualified to answer that when I’m still on my own quest for enlightenment. What I do know is what love isn’t and what love can’t do.
Love isn’t easy. Falling in love with someone may seemed magical but maintaining that love through the years takes hard work. It’s a daily commitment, a daily choice and it requires a lot of thoughtfulness and sacrifices.
Love isn’t something you feel that you need to prove. We do things for our love ones because we want them to be happy and not because we feel like we need to prove a point. In fact, when you do love someone, your actions speaks for itself. If you say you love someone but your actions tells a different story then maybe you don’t truly love them. On the other hand, if you are already doing your best and your partner is still extremely insecure then you need to reconsider if you can maintain a long lasting relationship with someone that is so unstable.
Love isn’t just for social media. I get it. Love makes you so happy you want to shout it from the top of the mountains (or on your social media accounts). That’s totally understandable. However, don’t overdo it. Not just for the sake of your family and friends whom might have their feeds spammed with all your displays of affections but for the sake of keeping your relationship between two hearts. You don’t need social media approval to solidify your love.
Love isn’t about giving up who you are. You are the same wonderful person. You don’t need to focus your passions, your thoughts and happiness on just one source. The world is still your oyster.
Love isn’t a reason to get abused. In no uncertain terms can anyone hit you physically, emotionally or spiritually. You must not be dependent on your love ones to prop your self-esteem up. The health of your body and soul comes first and anyone that truly loves you wants that for you too.
Love isn’t a liability. We do sometimes change for love but it comes from a personal natural desire. Love shouldn’t make you unhappy or have to change to be someone you are not.
Love isn’t a reason to stay unhappy. I don’t advocate breakups or divorces. In fact, being a catholic, I was brought up in a rather old fashion train of thought when it comes to marriage. Try all means to make the relationship work again but when that fails, don’t feel like you need to meet up expectations to stay and forever feel regret and misery when you are with your partner. That isn’t love and it might be a good time to check up on divorce procedures.
Love isn’t a bargaining chip. “If you love me, you’ll have sex with me. ” he says. “If you love me, you’ll buy me a new birkin bag.” she says. “Then if you better stay home all day or I won’t love you anymore.” he says. These are all examples of manipulative behaviours and not love. Love isn’t about material gains or about control.
Love isn’t blind. You always have a choice to choose who you love and you make that choice again and again every single day. If you are being treated badly or if your needs aren’t met, you may go through the motions of being together but subconsciously you know that it’s eating you up from within.
Love doesn’t solve all problems. “I love you” are very poignant words but unfortunately it’s not a magical incantation that will wave all your relationship problems away. Most of the time, love is not the main issue. Like the Chinese saying goes “相爱容易相处难” – it is easy to love someone but hard to live together.
I’m trying to understand my own boundaries and definitions for love as well but I hope by sharing this, it will help you to appreciate the love you currently have or at least know what warning signs to look out for in your next one.
Have a lovely week.