Love is complicated and painful yet beautiful at the same time, it makes you hurt like nothing else on earth and in the blink of an eye can sweep you off your feet with the happiness you’ve never felt before. Some people spend their whole lives trying to figure out how to find true love and others give up after the first try.
There is the love you might feel after just meeting someone when you get butterflies looking at them and there is the love you have after spending your whole life with someone. Your first proper crush was love as you knew it then, it might not be a scratch on what you feel like an adult in a long-term relationship but it was all you knew love to be.
How do we find real love?
For me, it’s all about time. I’m not one to believe in love at first sight. Sure you might hit it off straight away or you might be totally infatuated from the first conversation but real love takes time. You have to experience things together, both the good and the bad and test your relationship to know if you are really meant to be.
Time is important, not just in the sense of taking the time to get to know each other and letting the relationship grow but also taking our time to find love. If we go out searching for it we are far more likely to get our hearts broken or be so desperate to experience it we see things in people that aren’t really there. Patience is a virtue and eventually what you’re looking for will come to you but you have to be open-minded.
Love isn’t what you think it is
You might think that ‘your type on paper’ is tall, dark, and handsome, great relationship with his family, and has a high-powered job but thinking this way is only a limitation. When I first met my boyfriend he wasn’t my type as such, I’ve always been into dark-haired tattooed guys in suits and Clint is blonde for a start.
Obviously, there was some physical attraction but if I was put off because he didn’t have a sleeve tattoo or because he was ‘just a carpenter’ and not a high flying businessman then I would never be in the happy relationship I am in now. You have to look beyond who the person is now and consider who they might become.
I’m a very different person from the 19-year-old girl I was when I met my boyfriend and so is he. If we looked at each other at face value then rather than what we could become as individuals neither of us would have seen a future together. I was a student and now I have a successful career in PR and he worked as a carpenter and now is running his own business. People grow and change and rather than looking for the full package, look at what potential they have.
This leads me on to the importance of having your own life and understanding who you are as a person and what you expect from love.
Love yourself first
Personally, I see a lot of truth in the statement ‘you can’t find love until you first love yourself’, you might be able to find a type of love or be able to start a relationship that leads to love but you only find the real and pure emotion once you are comfortable in your own skin. Part of this is because it’s is easy when you’re looking for love to forget who you really are and what makes you happy but also because part of loving yourself is understanding your worth.
If you’ve been searching for love for years and you stumble across something which could be it, it’s easy to lose yourself and lower your standards because you want it so bad. This is a recipe for disaster, you’re far more likely to find something genuine by being true to who you are.
Learn to let go
Part of knowing your worth is also letting go of bad experiences that have happened to you in the past. I knew that for my relationship to work I had to let go of my trust issues from a past relationship. If you fail to do this, it can make finding love near impossible. Or worse, you might find it but lose it.
Yes, you may get hurt in the process of falling in love but to truly find it you have to be able to let go of everything and fall, fall so hard that it hurts. Part of love is trusting someone wholeheartedly not to hurt you – and that’s a scary thought.
To an extent, it’s an uncontrollable feeling, full of passion and emotion but I also see love as a kind of business deal. You are both taking the agreement to love and respect one and another and putting your trust in them to not hurt you. You are coming together to share memories and support each other, whether that’s for the good times or bad, and agreeing, in your own special way to spend your lives together.
Until you are willing to compromise, look beyond imperfections, and love with everything you have while still remembering your worth, you might find a type of love or infatuation but that hard-hitting ‘movie love’ that lasts a lifetime will be out of reach.