Life Lessons from Falling in Love
Love is a choice and you have to decide to choose your partner repeatedly and to give your love to them every day. Pop culture often makes love seem like a fleeting thought, an emotional wave of butterflies and puppy tails, and an overwhelmingly gullible decision. But from my experience, love is hard. Hard like a good workout that you don’t regret, hard like really studying for a test and getting an A, or hard like cutting back on spending in order to meet a savings goal and making it a month early. Dedication like this requires a process and some practical application. Here I’ll share my lessons from love. Each one teach one.
Love With Your Whole Heart.
You can’t love things or people a little bit; that’s not how it works. Falling in love takes vulnerability, it takes letting go, and it takes openness—no, more open than that; no, a little more open than that...that’s it. That’s love. Scary right? Love is less scary when it’s with someone you trust. When it’s with someone you can share yourself with and when it’s with someone that’s feeling a little scared too.
Use Your Words.
Saying, “I love you,” is the easy part. (Yes, I realize I just said that it was hard, but it’s still the easier part of all of this). Articulating what that love means or doesn’t mean, and establishing clearly articulated boundaries around that love is the hard part. Does “I love you” mean that you’re not dating other people, does “I love you” mean we split the household bills, or does “I love you” mean “you cook, I clean?” It can’t just be “I love you,” it also must explain the bounds of that love. “I love you” also allows for boundaries. You can love someone and still say “no,” you can love and still not be ready for parts of the relationship, and you can love and not know all the answers. Make sure as you’re falling in, you’re setting up a framework for what your love means now and what it can mean in the future.
Do the Work.
After you set boundaries, you have to get busy doing the work to keep them in place. Establish a date night, commit to learn your partner’s love language and use it, get to know your partner’s friends and commit to like them (or at least something about them...lol), practice active listening, and tell yourself and your partner the truth.