My heart goes out to those young women who are trying to get this love thing together. I see them in so much pain because they do not know what to do at times. They are so confused. I see myself (some years ago) in these young women.
I think someone should open up a “love school”, or at least teach relationship skills at school. Most women of my generation were let loose into the world with a why-we-should-not-talk-to-boys lecture. That was it.
I had to learn, through trial and error, that the love relationship is work.
Nobody told me that once we got past the stars in each other’s eyes, there was another body to deal with, and it was not heavenly.
All those romantic novels set me up. Not one of them said that you should be a whole person before becoming involved with “your better half”. (If someone else is “your better half”, what does that make you?)
I was never told that loving sometimes means hanging in there, even if it did not look perfect.
Or that it sometimes meant leaving or letting them go. How do you know when to do so?
I never knew that if I love someone, that I do not try to make them over in my own image and likeness. I was not told that loving means forgiving and forgetting. Understanding and giving. I did not know that you do not always get what you give from the one you’ve given to. I had to learn all of this on my own.
I learnt that love is not only physical pleasure, but contributing to make the loved one’s life better. It means being honest enough to own up to not being “right”, and being able to say so. It means that I do not have to get even, or be bitter—just get better.
I found out along the way that if a relationship is no longer intimate, that it doesn’t mean the relationship has ended, it just changed. Mature adults can still be friends.
Love does not mean that I have to put somebody else’s well-being above my own to the point of putting up with abuse. It does mean that I can help however I can.
Yes, loving can be complicated at times, but it requires commitment from both parties to make it work. Having learnt all this, I still believe in love. I still believe that a loving relationship is possible. I believe because I know that it already exists for some.
I also know that it requires courage admitting that the relationship you’re in is not the one you truly desire. It takes even greater courage and patience to wait for the relationship that would be for the highest good of all concerned.