As a former serial dater, I know what it means to be with someone for two months and then call it quits. It was not always about the presence or absence of love. Sometimes, it was because I could not see how we could suit each other. Many other times though, I was simply bored or irritated by a little imperfection here and there.
Then, I fell in love. Blindsided by the comfortable friendship I enjoyed with him, I literally didn’t see it coming. When a year had passed and we were still on, I knew it was pretty serious.
Now, being married to him, I am beginning to understand and revisit what I formerly thought love entailed. I am seeing that it is not (just) a feeling, but a deliberate decision. That it’s a commitment to love another when it’s easy and most especially, when it’s really difficult.
For the average person, love is easy when the feelings are still new and the beloved is still perfect in our eyes. The real challenge begins when we start to see the other person’s weaknesses, reminding us that truly, no one is perfect. Incidentally, that’s when we really need to love. There are a few other things I’ve been relearning when thinking about love. Some of them are:
The truth is that we all seek unconditional affection. We want to be seen for who we are. And we want to be accepted despite it all, sometimes, because of it all. We want to be told by words and actions that we are worthy and that we are enough.
But we very often don’t know to do the same for others, including and especially our partners. They need it the most and receive it the least. Very often, it’s understandable because this person is suddenly in your space all the time, getting on your nerves with his/her annoying habits.
Sometimes, it’s your own weaknesses getting in the way. It could be a quick tempered irritable nature that didn’t come out during the honeymoon phase, a sensitive disposition, boredom, or just about anything. In such moments, it’s tempting to go with your feelings and forget about commitment. But commitment is essential to love.
Whether it’s you or the other person, it’s important to decide to give the kind of love you desire for yourself: full, safe, and unconditional. Decide to treat the other person with dignity even if you don’t feel very loving or mushy at the time.
Take time out to acknowledge your feelings and process them. Be kind to yourself. Then, make a choice to love your partner – the action word, not the feeling. Remind yourself of your decision to do so.
Keep the communication lines open. If it’s not a toxic/dangerous situation, address any genuine grievances. Be deliberate about taking loving actions. Be respectful and kind to your partner.
To Conclude On Love
Remember that feelings come and go. But commitment and kindness will get you through many rough patches. So even if it seems you are experiencing a dry spell with your partner, don’t worry, you’ll feel in love again. It’s just the way it goes.