Love is a fickle lover , a tempestuous burst of mixed emotions that engulf you in its hungry wake. Except what do I know about love, when I have never been in love myself? I was always in ‘love with the idea’ of being in love, mistaking the ‘honeymoon period’ as a Disney-fied version of romance, where the birds flit among the cherry blossom trees and the music-melodic in the background – plays gently as our love story conquered forth. But then each time a relationship or a romance would break down, I would realize that my version of what I saw as love, was not love at all. Psychologists might argue that my inability to fall in love and truly open myself to others might be because of a fractured past, a childhood marred by abandonment, Abuse and neglect. But in recent months I have come to the conclusion that having never been in love isn’t necessarily because I don’t have the capacity to love, but because I have not found the person who completes me, my soul mate.
Not being in love taught me what I would want from a relationship, that my search for the one might seem like a futile journey at present but would bless me with a relationship beyond my wildest dreams, where the sun shines down upon us every single day. It taught me how to open myself up to others, to break down my barriers and be comfortable in my own skin. But most of all my lessons in love have shown me that no matter what age you are, it is never too late to find love again.
1. Love Breaks Down Any Barrier : No Matter What Age You Are Or Where You Are From It’s Never Too Late To Find That Special Someone
As an outsider looking in, you might scoff at the idea of someone who has only known infatuation and affection to be doling out advice when she’s never been in love. And you are right, I am no love expert that much I can admit, but I will tell you this, Aged 25 I have found that when someone is truly in love, they can’t live without the other person, they would put their life on the line for them and most of all there would be unconditional respect for each other that would transcend the conditions of time. Love changes over age, it manifests into companionship and at times, the feverish love infused stupor of the early days, cools into an icy wilderness, as you navigate the ups and downs of a real life relationship.But there is love out there for us all ;at times I have been told that my bone headed optimism is forged in fantasy that my positive mantra of everything ‘happening for a reason’ is a load of bull and that not everyone is made for ‘love and relationships ‘. I beg to differ, what about those who find love even after divorce, who get back on their feet and find a new happy ever after on niche divorced dating sites? Or those who find their soulmate way into their 80’s, a forever someone to spend their last days on earth with, joined in eternal slumber.
I’m not sure as to whether I believe in the notion of there being ‘just one soulmate’ as I think it’s possible to find more than one person who is the right fit for you at different stages in our lives. But I do think that riding the turbulent roller-coaster of finding the one might be an arduous journey at times but if anything is certain it is that age has no limits, no confines or rules. Love is open to us all.
2.Love Makes You A Better Person
The closest thing that I have ever felt to love was the love I have for my nearest and dearest. I feel their pain when I am near them, I want to take away their tears, and their laughter is infectious, like a shot of laughing gas. That notion of feeling like you would give up everything just to be with someone is not something I have ever felt with a guy, but in platonic ‘loveless’ relationships I thrive, fueled with the desire of making others happy.From what I have been told, this exact feeling of wanting to open yourself to others, to allow yourself to feel what they are feeling, mind, body and soul is the definition of ‘true love’, where in the words of Bruno Mars ‘you would catch a grenade for them’, that no matter how dangerous or scary something is, you would face the world together, united as a team. When you choose to sacrifice something – whether that be where you live or what you do – the choice to ‘change everything’ for a shot at happiness, does not feel like a sacrifice. After all if you are strongly motivated by the need to put a smile on someone’s face and put their needs above your own, you have found the pursuit of true happiness. I guess I’m still searching though…
But how does it make you a better person? It opens your eyes to look beyond your bubble wrapped fog and into their own world, releasing the rose tinted glasses to peer into their heart, warts, flaws and all, and loving each part of them, even when they can’t see what you see. It’s about being willing to be a better person for them, about not losing sight of yourself but being more mindful of others and their needs and wants. Most of all it’s about being there for them when the lurkers crawl back into the shadows, leaving them naked and exposed, resting their head on your waiting chest.
3. Love Will Come When You Will Least Expect It.
Maybe it’s because I have never been in love, or my optimistic outlook on the world but in my mind I have always thought that love is worth waiting for that when you least expect it, your heart will burst with pure, unadulterated emotion. That even when you think you will be surrounded by your twenty imaginary cats and dogs, a person will part the fog and embrace you into their waiting arms. I had a friend who told me that love has no ticking clock, that the more we try and chase love, the least likely it will be for it to appear.And maybe she’s right: I would always lament that I would be attracted to the wrong guys, that the people I was interested in were attracted to others and the people who liked me, I didn’t like back. I would bemoan the time wasted on guys who I would go on dates with from a dating site and would transpire to nothing and feel down in the dumps at yet another year left out in the cold, while the couples drank hot chocolate on the ice skating rink.
But did I ever stop to think that the reason I haven’t been in love before was because I haven’t been in the right mental head space, that I don’t always give people a chance and can seem quite ‘offish’ and disinterested to the people I actually like? I guess it’s a combination of reasons but whether I find the one this year or in ten years time, I truly believe that love will come a’knocking when you least expect it .
4. Being In Love Isn’t About Fairy Dust And Rainbow Unicorns But About Working Together To Keep The Magic Alive
I used to believe in the fairytale version of life, where the people would sing merrily in the streets, the smell of freshly baked bread in the oven and couples holding hands on empty park benches. But then that image of magical surrealism was shattered by the entrance of real life, where the world wasn’t as rosy as you would like it to be.And it’s the same with love, to truly give love a go, you need to be able to exist outside of that fantasy bubble, to work together through the ups and downs and take the time out to resolve conflict, even when miles apart. It’s about having patience and about understanding another person’s view, being humble enough to swallow your pride and admit when you are in the wrong It’s about challenging each other physically, emotionally and sexually, while being honest about the way you feel. And I have never had that ability to let down my guard around guys or had the capacity to show them who the real Ana is beyond the bravado fronts and forged confidence, behind the flower crowns and colourful exterior into a vulnerable heart etched with scars and lacerations.
So, like making a friendship work or pouring blood, sweat and tears into a blog post, relationships take work, even if the benefits that you reap are oh so satisfactory…
5. You Can’t Make Someone Love You… No Matter How Hard You Try
I learned from a young age what it was like to not have someone love you back; aged 2 and a half I was abandoned by my own mother without warning, not knowing why she had upped and left in the middle of night. Like all traumatic events that I had experienced as a child – the abuse by a family member, neglect and devastation- I learned to not open my heart to others and keep my feelings locked away at the bottom of a padlocked safe. I guess what I am trying to say is that I realized that even people who were meant to love , cherish and protect me might not have loved me in the same way that I held platonic love for them. And it broke my heart, a heart that only now is healing under the power of rainbow unicorns and happy sprinkles.
But I am not alone, it goes without saying that the majority of us have all had unrequited love, that we have felt some ember of affection for a person who was incapable of affection. For me it started young, liking guys who liked other people or being attracted to the wrong guys who would use me for their own varying purposes, a trap I fell into many years in the making. But it is only now that it has occurred to me why at this moment in time I stopped jumping from relationship to relationship : I dated guys who were not right for me because they made me feel like I was not a freak or the socially awkward geeky kid who I still feel like at times today. I have stayed single for a while because I wanted to focus on a journey to find love for myself, relinquishing the harsh inner critic that sabotages everything I do. And most of all I learned that in unrequited love it should show me that I need to be more forthcoming about how I feel, to stop being scared of rejection and to embrace everything that life has to offer. But above all I want to make it clear that I will only settle down for the right person, who I could see myself spending the rest of my life with and who I could love unconditionally without question. Our time will come …
What Lessons Have You Learned About Love?
Please note this is a collaborative post with welovedates.com