Love is neither perfect nor glows happily. Neither is it a bed of roses intended never to wither or petals shed. Love itself encompasses all. Patience, trust, tolerance as it should be. And as much as one may look for a better understanding and as tough as it may seem to get one, young people tend to misinterpret how it feels to truly love someone; return love given and value it without misjudging on few factors.
As teenagers, our visions of love were filled with perfect stories from Mills and Boom novels. Oh, how our hearts falter each time we find out a young lady gets her lifelong partner. Our perception thus, love does not hurt and someday we will find our happy-ever-after prince charming, forgetting what we read was fiction. We are not prepared for years later to fall in love and a total shock to find out it’s a totally different story altogether. What happened to school days’ crush of butterflies, eye contacts and all the excitement of love been super perfect?
It simple! We grew up. Grew up to life, to reality, to competition, to challenges. It’s the real deal. At this point been in love, there are many variables besides the fact that your partner may truly love you but these challenges tend to stand in the way resulting in a strained relationship. Initially, when the feelings start you tend to have a month or two of the perfect relationship and then months, years of pain, and problems. As confusing as it gets and as much as you may tell yourself that these issues don’t matter; after all things will work themselves out. And then your one true love falls abruptly out of love with you for no reason whatsoever. Thus the first pang of pain knowing what it feels like to love someone and not been loved in return. This will leave you broken and utterly confuse. Was this not real love? True love is supposed to last forever, isn’t it?
We all looking for true love and as much as we may have bad habits up our sleeves we all tend to look for that one person that will stick with us through thick and thin; put up with our flaws no matter what. Love is a beautiful experience, transforming as it is for lessons learned; whether it leaves us happily ever after or broken. And as much as we believe love is fighting for something at all costs it’s not a realistic portrayal of love. Relationships do take work but falling in love is actually an effortless process. Not just understanding what your partner might mean by XYZ; or making huge sacrifices in order to make your partner happy but when someone truly loves you, you don’t have to be the one fixing the pieces to a puzzle having just a picture of you in it. It’s solving a puzzle with bits and pieces of you and your partner to create a picture; not perfect but one wherein you both will know you did work on building your relationship.
Most relationships are unhealthy, coupled with the drama, misunderstandings and these relationships come about as a result of infatuation, obsession or unrealistic expectations rather than a genuine connection. A healthy relationship is one wherein you both can be your authentic selves and look at what you two can bring into the relationship, rather than what you can get from it. Don’t focus on the selfish part of “how I feel” ‘what I want” and trying to make it work knowing your partner does not feel the same way about you. You end up hurting yourself more. You should never have to fight for someone’s love or plot ways to make someone love you. If it’s genuine, remember it will flow effortlessly and genuinely. Love is necessary in order for a relationship to last, but it’s simply not enough. When two people don’t fit, it’s unfortunate but it’s a fact. Simply don’t stay in a relationship that’s not working for too long. Stop trying to be what the other person needs you to be because it will only end up making you feel broken. No matter what you do or try, you will never fit in. Not that you don’t truly love the person but other factors at play will result in the relationship falling apart in the long term.
Backgrounds, values, goal vision and others are key contributing factors to incapability in relationships. Not all love relationships end in marriage; whilst some though; most of them result in heartbreaks, and heartbreaks lead to growth, and this growth can subsequently lead to another relationship. Thereby starting another situation of either win or lose. Don’t get me wrong in a case scenario wherein the love was given is returned you two can conquer the negativity affecting your relationship.
In order to fall in love with the right person, you need to be in the right place emotionally. And that starts with love within. Knowing yourself and what you are worth and only then will you be able to open up and be able to love someone else. Not bitter or judgmental; not angry or desperate; but in order to identify who is right for you, you need to know your values, your boundaries, your fundamental needs as of your wants, what you can compromise on. When you are in this place and the right one comes along, the one who understands you and sees you for the true you; they will connect with you and give you what you need in a relationship. Love grows over time; it’s not an instant firework that erupts as soon as your eyes meet. This is the reason why at a later point in a relationship you find your relationship dry from passion, connection and understanding and you gradually find each other drifting apart. Thus the relationship heads for doom. And you find yourself going round and round the same circle that has repeatedly hurt you time over and over again.
We get attracted to the wrong people for all the wrong reasons; paying attention to materialistic gains, physical appearance, connections or in most cases conclude an individual is right for us because of sexual factors forgetting that true love has a deeper meaning. It’s normal now to hear men and women complaining of going through emotional issues because of a love was given and not returned. We also tend to reject guys or ladies who could be good to us and for us because we are not yet in a place where we can receive true love. Instead, we feel drawn to the people who are unavailable and get caught up trying to prove our worth and showing them we are good enough. This toxic dating style happens when you don’t feel worthy of love and settling down for this kind of people validates that nation.
The human mind validates belief, no matter how damaging these said beliefs are. For example, if you feel no one likes you, your mind will ignore all the evidence that you are likable and will hone in on those specific incidents when someone rejected you. So you try to be accepted and liked by doing things that compromise your true worth and value in order to get attention. Let go of any resentment or negativity from the past because this will only hurt you more. As a result, you will only put up walls and won’t trust the guys/ladies you date; you will never get to that level of openness and trust necessary to create the kind of connection that leads to love. Key factors come good as essential ingredients to having a happy relationship. Communication is one key to be able to run a successful relationship. The ability to be able to talk to your partner and the fact that your partner can actually talk to you in worst scenarios, without tantrums been raised or an argument ensuing. The ability for your partner to be able to talk to you in a difficult situation works. It helps you understand the situation and a possible solution to be able to handle things and also helps to avoid future hurt.
Love and lust are often painted as opposites with the former being pure and full of light while the latter is deprived and full of darkness. Love is giving whilst lust is taking; love is selfless; lust is selfish. When you are in a relationship, you should not just sit back, sink into complacency and assume he/she will love you unconditionally. But if you want to maintain it you have to keep the flames burning by working or maintaining that level of lust. The reason why must relationships start with a flame and somehow the relationship tends to lose that feel and becomes boring; this is why must partners end up cheating. And hence the phrase “I love you but not just in love with you”. Whilst love gives stability, partnership, acceptance; lust gives you passion, fire, and sexual satisfaction. If that magnetic force of physical attraction is dead and you find yourself focusing on a boring TV show rather than exploring with your partner when the need arises then it’s obviously time to bring some spunk back into your relationship. Instead of going to bed in tee shirt and shorts, try something skimpy and alluring. Explore and find out what works best for you.
We all wants to be happy and we tend to seek that comfort zone or corner where we feel we can best exist without been nagged on, bullied emotionally or forced to put up with situations that we sure know does not contribute to our happiness. As we are all different so is the way we relate to different individuals. If you find yourself been cheated on by your boyfriend or spouse, ask yourself what did you do wrong. Most of us will focus on the fact you have never cheated on your partner; you cater for them but what of our attitude? The way we relate or communicate with them. Is it respectful enough to calm them? To appeal to their innermost being in the most thoughtful and communicative manner.
We tend to ignore these signs that clearly shows us we are in a toxic relationship and heading for doom. There are key signs of a failing relationship. It does not necessarily mean if one or two of these facts are present, your relationship is failing but these are things you can work on and build with time to avoid been in a situation of been heartbroken. Without trust, there is no relationship. Period. In a good healthy relationship, you feel at ease. You feel safe. You feel secure. You do not constantly panic and on edge, always anticipating the worst. If you find yourself always questioning his/her motives and his/her whereabouts, there is something majorly amiss. You can’t constantly spend your life constantly on the lookout. That’s frustrating and exhausting. In most cases of mistrust, it’s because your partner did something substantial. Like cheating for example or caught in too many lies. You have, to be honest with yourself at this point; if you genuinely believe they won’t do it again. Prepare your mind to let go (forgive) but if you find yourself constantly dwelling on the past or a repeat of the same issues, then you have to be on the lookout. You are only setting yourself up in a situation where you will always feel paranoid and insecure. Make sure you are not projecting your own insecurities onto him/her and not making him/her pay for the sins of others.
Sexual energy is great and definitely important, but that alone can’t sustain a relationship. An amazing sex life is only one piece of the puzzle for a relationship to stand. Sometimes we get so engulfed in the intoxicating chemistry with our partners that we overlook every sign that clearly showed they are not the one. This is where the connection comes in; A deeper bond that involves knowing your partner intimately and this goes beyond bedroom skill. You need to know who they are, their habits, what they want in life, their fears, hopes, dreams. And this normally comes in an easy unguarded way. If you know things about your partner that everybody else knows then there is no connection. Try to connect with your partner in a real more in-depth way. Attraction and sexual chemistry are never enough to sustain a relationship.
Relationships are supposed to bring out your best, not your worst. If your relationship brings out the worst in you then you are heading for a bitter breakup where most people breed hatred for their ex. You will find yourself from the previous confident, happy and positive you to an unsure, panicked, anxious and perpetually on edge person. A relationship should lift you higher and not drag you down. It should help you reach your potential and become the best version of yourself. The relationship is not all sunshine and roses; it takes patience and work. No common values between you and your partner is an alarming sign to look out for. If his value opposes your own, then the relationship is either going to be fraught with turmoil or you will have to make serious compromises. Must long term relationships end because of lack of ambition or motivation?
Respect is the most overlooked element when it comes to making a relationship work but it’s a very essential. Respect goes two way in which you should respect your partner and respect returned. In African settings, men tend to consider respect to a whole new level in which even when they are wrong they value the woman who handles the situation with less drama and disrespect even where the woman is hurting deeply. A man needs to feel like a man; in charge; unquestioned; in fact, their comfort in the relationship is built on respect but arguably as it is, he also needs to respect your feelings. Respect you as a person, your beliefs, your aspirations and especially your boundaries. A woman also builds a man’s respect and value for her by been a virtuous woman. Men do take pride in their women, especially one that they call their own; and as much as they tend to be distracted once in a while, few male friends boldly brag about their woman been focused and not the cheating type.
In conclusion; we are all different so is our beliefs and principles. Whilst some relationship work and some don’t even after the thrill of putting your all into it, and as much as most relationships end up leaving us broken and bitter it’s a learning process. One not to judge; conclude, but one wherein we correct our mistakes and look more on the positive side in order to build a more lasting relationship. Your spouse might not be perfect; no one is but doesn’t get yourself mixed up in confuse feelings of lust with no love, no communication, disrespect, and no connection. People fall in and out of love all the time. Know where you stand and either way, positive or negative, work on either not been valued; or been the most amazing person your partner has ever met. Don’t dwell on the past; get your ratings up and sooner than you think you are soaring through finding love in the most unusual place.