Love is always worthwhile, at any age, and in any circumstances. However, not all loves are worth it. Not the one that hurts you, or the one that stops you from being yourself. In fact, these kinds do nothing but make you unhappy.
Nobody comes into the world an expert on emotional relationships. You need to laugh, cry, and learn. Indeed, we’re creatures who have to learn about our most intense emotions, those that either hurt us or enrich us.
Love is an adventure and, at the same time, a leap into the void. Taking risks will always be worth it if you keep your self-esteem intact along with the maturity to know how to establish your boundaries and priorities. In fact, your priority must always be your own happiness.
How to make love worth it
When it comes to love, there’s no magic formula that works for everyone. We all have our own story, our own needs, and values, and in turn, our own way of understanding personal relationships.
We also all want to be happy and not to suffer. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep in mind the following guidelines:
1. Don’t idealize your partner
Do you sometimes find yourself talking about your partner like this? ‘They’re just perfect. They only have to look at me to know what I’m feeling. I’m so lucky to have them in my life’.
Your partner may indeed possess great qualities. However, you should try not to look at them through rose-tinted glasses. Nevertheless, love often takes you over and turns you into a teenager again. In this case, what you’re really doing is projecting your own desires and needs onto your partner.
Don’t idealize them. Observe the person you love as they really are. Accept that they’re a complex person with both good and bad points, just like you. At the end of the day, love is always a great challenge because it has to unite two imperfect people to create a perfect relationship. However, it’s always worth the effort.
2. Don’t give up everything if you get nothing in return
What would you do for love? Would you leave your family? Move home? Give up your friends? Would you put your partner’s needs before yours? Would you put aside your own values for the person you now love? Think about it objectively.
As a matter of fact, love never means offering everything for nothing in return. Emotional relationships are reciprocal. Both partners win and no one loses. It isn’t a game with opponents, but a balance of mutual efforts and negotiated concessions.
3. Loving without possessing
If your partner starts building walls to keep you in, you start to feel stifled. If they forbid you, provoke you, emotionally blackmail you, and try and turn you into a victim with their reproaches and ultimatums, you need to realize that this relationship is only going to bring you pain.
Dependent love that’s owned and controlled isn’t mature and conscious love. It’s the selfish kind that prioritizes its own needs and fears. Free yourself.
4. True love begins with yourself.
Is it being selfish to love yourself? The answer is no. As a matter of fact, if you don’t, you might spend your whole life waiting for that perfect person, jumping from relationship to relationship without ever finding the dream partner you have in mind.
Why does this happen? You need to take the following into account:
- Don’t look for a person to fill in your gaps or to ease your fears. Become your own ‘ideal person’ first. That mature, balanced, and confident person you deserve to be.
- If you don’t start by loving yourself, you’ll spend your whole life waiting for others to love you and to meet your own needs. You shouldn’t ever force anyone to solve your problems and shortcomings or to heal your wounds. Furthermore, you can’t expect anyone to love you unconditionally if you don’t love yourself.
- If you love and respect yourself and don’t fear being alone, you’ll be able to offer a fuller, wiser, and more mature love to your partner. One that’ll fill you with joy, not sorrow.
Love that knows no pain is the one that offers itself with maturity and integrity without asking for anything in return. In fact, a relationship capable of enriching itself without any emotional blackmail is made up of two people who complement each other. It makes life a beautiful adventure full of joys, and the couple learns from it every day.
Image courtesy: David Renshaw
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