Our deep need to love and to be loved is romanticized through songs, movies, and books. We take chances, get our hearts broken, sometimes get disappointed, and in the end discover we’re all imperfect. The same goes for love.
We can feel lonely and alone, finding ourselves despising the dreaded “heart day,” especially when we are fresh out of a failed relationship, divorce, or newly separated. Maybe we compare our new partners to relationships idealized in romance novels, only to soon discover that we’ve built up the most unrealistic of expectations.
We can love the idea of love, but not understand that love is often unromantic. Love can be cleaning the toilets when it’s supposed to be your partner’s turn. It can be making coffee for your partner even if you’re not a coffee drinker. Love can be going on a diet just so that your significant other doesn’t feel the temptation to cheat.
Love can also be found in our faithful and loving fur babies, our dogs or cats that have stood by us unconditionally throughout all our mood swings. Despite our conditional, restrictive affections and often ill-tempered selves, our pets love us no matter what. And though we don’t have the picture-perfect idealized life or love that we assume we should have, the life we’ve got now is what we ought to appreciate.
The Bottom Line:
We love being in love and we love the sweeping romantic notions of what that picture looks like. Love is caring for partners who can longer care for themselves. It’s not running away but running towards a resolve. Love is talking through disagreements, communicating our needs, and learning to give as well as to receive. Love is understanding your partner’s love language and speaking that language, even when we’re not fluent in it.
Love is not trying to fill a void with someone. Only when we are whole does love find us and become an extension of ourselves.
Love is learning to love and appreciate what we have because what we already have is all we need.