So you’re in L-O-V-E.
Yay for you!! That’s so awesome. Or perhaps you’re on your way there, maybe you’re already there and you can’t quite tell yet… Regardless, it’s a lovely swimming pool of gushing chemicals and it makes everything in life more rich and delicious. It’s almost like a strange current has whisked you away from shore and suddenly you’re staring into the eyes of a stranger that’s floating alongside side you. What amazing dimension is this? It’s a wonderful singular experience in your life that you shouldn’t dissect too intensely: it’s love.
Yes, there are many levels of depth and some will last longer than others, but regardless, it’s a gift and should be savored. Even when a love is impractical and meant to be short-lived, it does not mean it’s not love, so do not deny yourself the time you have – you might find you learn something about yourself you’ll need in the future.
Here are a few tools (or golden rules) to keep your head on straight while you enjoy your time getting to know said-person. A good chemical-match is few and far between so give this the best chance possible. That includes pacing yourself (yes, wait on sex) and also keeping a humble, open mind.
• Disregard Exes
You cannot truly know a person by their past, nor can you judge them solely on it. Especially their exes, because in many ways, when we move on from a relationship, it’s for very good reasons. Each has taught us a lesson and from there we seek other traits in our next partner.
• A little bit of distance is a good thing
Don’t dive in too quickly with the heavy stuff. That’s what it means to get to know a person: taking the time it requires to feel safe and understood. Also don’t feel that you have to bare everything to this person. It’s fine and it’s healthy to keep private things private. We all have a part of ourselves that is for us alone. You can choose to share what you want with this person and that’s within your rights as an individual.
• Be tolerant
Put their faults into perspective. There is good and bad to everyone and you cannot expect anyone to be perfect. Sometimes people are flawed in ways that you cannot accept, and that’s okay to decide you don’t want to be with them. If you love someone, know that they will have traits that you don’t like or agree with. What you have to decide is whether or not the good outweighs the bad.
• Forgive readily
Do not spend time punishing or holding grudges. It’s a casualty of pride and immaturity, and more importantly it wastes precious time you could be smooching. It’s especially silly when you deep down desperately want to be lovey-dovey again, all you’re doing is refusing to remove the wall first. Be the big one as often as possible and let the stupid, trivial arguments go. Life is too damn short.
• Temper Expectations
Remember that no one is a mind-reader and there’s no “right” way to act or think. Everyone’s different and has a different logic behind being loving. If you think he or she “should” have done something or known what you were thinking, that’s an unfair and unrealistic expectation. You might be a social savant. Some are better at taking mental notes than others. Don’t take it personally: It doesn’t mean they don’t love and care about you just because they don’t “get” things.
• Have faith
There is no universal trait to any guy or girl. Never stereotype a person based on “what magazines say.” You should take people at face value. Only by beginning with trust can you reach a deeper place in your relationship. That’s the gamble that is love. You have to walk into it with hope and faith if you’re ever going to find and connect with your “one.”
• Be a positive partner
Don’t manipulate people or intentionally cause them to feel bad. A good kind of love will help you both to thrive and will bring out the best traits in the both of you. Love is not based in keeping someone off-balance so they stay with you. That’s terrorism. If you are finding you are punishing the other, that’s probably because you’re not being direct and upfront with them about something that makes you angry. Get to the root and don’t act like someone you don’t like.
• Stay concerned with YOU
Do not let yourself be sucked into their business. What they’re thinking, doing, who they’re talking to on the phone, who cares? To love you must trust. And you must love and trust yourself to figure it out. Without the detective work. They are allowed to have their own life and privacy. By occupying yourself with doubt, you are removing your ability to invest and enjoy this person. You are assuming the worst, which, when you’re on the receiving end, feels terrible and also unfair. Act only on what is in the reality you experience. Focus on yourself and your relationship: what do you enjoy, how do they make you feel, what is happening in your relationship that is concrete? Stay out of their thoughts and enjoy yours.
• Keep your balance
Don’t go “all-in” too quickly. It’s the good part of a relationship – this “falling” part – so take your time. Keep your head on and maintain a tether to the rest of your life, no matter how less-intoxicating it can be. It will help you to keep perspective when you need it for navigation.
• Let go of what-if
You cannot control what happens in one year or ten. You cannot know the future or solve where you’ll end up or how. Don’t rob yourself of great experiences. Especially right now. Just stay in your present and take it in. Know that when a situation presents itself, you’ll figure things out, and you’ll be just fine no matter what. Stay connected to how you feel now; what feels right for you. Even when life presents obstacles, it also reveals the true strength of things. You have no idea what the future holds.
• Love should not hurt
You should not cling to love that is bad for you – that’s sick love. You should not be with anyone that mistreats you and you do not deserve it. You can handle leaving this person, even if it doesn’t feel like it now. Do not fret, you don’t have to break up with them just yet. All you have to do is start building up your confidence and work on your self-love. Practice being overly protective of yourself and begin to take mental notes about how you feel. Eat, rest, exercise, and treat yourself well. Maintain positive relationships with friends. Seek the counsel of someone who can empower you and begin to work on your stability.
I wish you all well and I celebrate in your happiness. I, too, am in love so it makes writing about it oh so fun.
Happy, happy Sunday. xox Sarah
Featured image via just_makayla