A friend and I were talking about ‘love’ a few weeks ago, about still being in love even after so long. Of course, that brings up the often-asked question: what is love? I have a Word document titled with that very query on my computer, and so far the only words that’ve made it on are “baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more.”
So what is love? Is it an idea, or an act, or perhaps a feeling? And what is being in love, because there is all the difference in the world between the two. Before I even attempt to define this ideal, this simple word, permeating all of history since the dawn of humanity, let me give you three tips I’ve garnered from past experiences, casual observations, and my all-too-zealous analysis of media. (Not that I can, ya know, realistically define love–I’d be crazy to try.)
Tip #1: Know Thyself
Love and loving someone is such a powerful thing. It should be all it can be, and for that to be realistic you need to be all you can be. After my past failed relationship I cannot emphasize how important this notion is.
EG: Last summer I dated one of my roommates and best friends. We weren’t public out of respect to our other roommate, although towards the end he didn’t wish to go public because he was, ya know, cheating on me and dating his ex, only informing me by demanding I not return to my own apartment a week after breaking up and calmly explaining how he was justified in lying, playing, and villainizing me because…well, if you’re that stupid to think it’s okay, you sure got denial problems. Needless to say, he was a lesson learned and an example of how people you know can change, devolving into caricatures of what they once stood for. Anyways, I knew him for over a year and a half, right after he had been in a relationship for a year and a half, aaaaand for the whole time I knew him he was either A) In a relationship or B) Looking for a relationship. Out of 18 months he had been in one for 14 of them, with 5 different girls, excluding his initial one of a year and a half. Moving from person to person, revolving his identity and needs around someone who would simply say, ‘I missed you.’
Our friendship ended when I told him he needed to ‘go figure himself out,’ at which point he made a pros and cons list between dating two different girls…Yeah, I tried to dig wax out of my ear when I heard that too, believing I was sitting next to David After Dentist. Kind of gave me the image of a guy hitting a bar up with a checklist of all the traits he was looking for in a potential soul mate. ‘Hmm, brown hair–nope. Blonde–check. Dislikes Taylor Swift–check. Doesn’t have a giant birthmark in the shape of Honey-Bear-don’t-care on her left cheek–check,’ and at the end of the night balloons and confetti and shit fall around the unsuspecting girl and the guy pulls out his microphone proclaiming, ‘Aaaaaaand I’ve chosen YOU as my new wife!!!!!!!!!!’
To me it was one of those jokes you get to laugh at in 20 years….Unfortunately, you have to wait 20 years to do that.
I ended up backing out of that equation and moving home because…who the hell wants to be an option when you can be a choice? I saw no love, only selfishness in such an act. If you have to make a pros and cons list between being with two different people you clearly have A) No idea who you are and B) No idea what love is. My ex had no identity, self-esteem, self-love, any sense of self and so instead needed another ’emotional roller coaster,’ in his own words, to suppress the parts of him he couldn’t deal with because he was too afraid of failing himself, and instead favored being a reflection of another’s feelings and dressing it up in his head as love when all it was was self-denial.
Don’t be with someone because you’re desperate, lonely, need a coping mechanism, or afraid of yourself. You wouldn’t be dating that person for THAT person. You’d be dating that person for YOU. So here I give you the smaller tips of Tip #1)
-You don’t need to always be in a relationship. It’s better to learn to love yourself. Dont be one of those morons jumping up and down shouting ‘I have a boyfriend, I have a boyfriend,’ because you want to be kissing someone else in your profile picture or to tell the gals you watched a season of Game of Thrones whilst having a cuddle buddy or because you need him to represent a trophy of some sorts. Too much media, like movies, books, and especially Taylor Swift songs, portray people as a means to an end. ‘If I do this courageous thing she’ll like me, and I’ll feel worthy. If the quarterback of the football team pays attention to me, the class dork, I’ll experience a slight sense of happiness.’ External projections of internal desires. No one can ever give you your worth, value, wants, identity, etc except yourself. Have an identity, have a self-esteem, do you, because there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t limit yourself, or settle for less.
-Also, it’s better to feel like shit, and be treated like shit, than to actually be a piece of shit, as I learned. ‘We are the choices we make.’ If someone treats you badly, it’s a reflection of them, not you, and (take it from me), you can do better than someone who made a pros and cons list between two different people.
-Leading to Tip #2…Be with someone out of love, and only for that reason. This is Love Tip #1. Hope you enjoyed it and will stay tuned for Tip #2, which will be posted over the next couple of days 🙂