People throw the words I love you around so carelessly these days. Men say it to get women in bed. Women say it to find security in a relationship. What does it actually mean to be in love? I cannot speak for everyone else; I am not a mind reader, a doctor, or a therapist. What I am is 30 something woman with a lot of life and dating experience, so maybe that does make me an expert….
As I sit back and reflect on my past relationship/engagement, I start to wonder… What was I thinking?! Why couldn’t I see then what I see now?! Why didn’t I walk away sooner?! Why did I even say yes?! I can ask this now because I am removed from the situation. I have had time to think and reflect on what my life could have been. Believe me, this wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight; it took writing this blog and realizing that I was never in love with my ex to spark the change…
I did love my ex, but I was not in love with him. He was my best friend, I told him everything, and we had fun together. That’s true love right? So I thought at the time …. X was more of a girlfriend than a lover. The love I felt for him was the same love I feel for my friends not the love I felt for HS BF or even the love I felt for The Canadian. There was no passion, no spark, and no heat. All the feelings I had in the beginning of the relationship, the honeymoon phase, had been replaced with resent, distrust, and disgust. I tried to “fix it”, to “make things better”, to “force” feelings that were not there–we were engaged after all, how could I not feel the way I used to?
When all was said and done, I was left with this question…. Why is it so easy to fall out of love?
Love needs to take place between both partners; taking care of and supporting each other. It requires trust, honestly, and respect. Love means accepting a person for who they are; I do not want to have change someone to make us fit and work together… they will never change because you forced them or begged them to. Sure, they may change for a little while to ease tension or appease you. But unless that person really wants it, they want to change for them, it is never going to last it and it will only breed resentment. When we say I love you in the beginning of a relationship, we need to make sure we actually mean love and not lust.
As I go through the dating process, I have fine tuned what love looks like to me. What it looks like in happy, successful, long term relationships. I learned to love me first; learned to be mature enough to stand on my own. I know that love will be disguised as lust, friendship, desperation, and comfort. To me, love is knowing that I do not need someone to complete me, but rather they should compliment me.