We meet many people throughout our lives. For instance, there is our family, our friends, and the people we fall in love with. A good number of them impact our hearts and lives in one way or another. Through each person we meet and form a bond with, we learn a few things about ourselves, as well as the person we are dealing with. We get acquainted with how we show our love and care and the many different ways people show it to us in return.
Some people show you how much they care about you through how angry they get at you when you fail them. Some show it to you through consistent acts of service. Some show it through sweet words of affirmation and encouragement. Some show it by getting you gifts. Every person has their own love language. And while love and care are essentially beautiful things in all their possible ways of expression, people often forget that love is supposed to essentially lift you up and not drag you down.
We’ve all probably met someone who’s way of love gave us the opposite feeling of a warm hug. They slowly start treating you in ways that feel foreign, in ways you feel love isn’t supposed to look like, but they keep convincing you that this is how it is supposed to be. It slowly becomes more about them and what they can take from you than about giving you the best pieces of themselves.
Love can sometimes take the shape of possessiveness, entitlement, a lack of effort, guilt ripping and an overall cycle of toxicity. It starts slowly until one day you start questioning whether they care about you or their own needs for constant validation and sense of control.
I have never understood why someone who truly loves you would fail to give you the space to exist in the way that makes you feel the most empowered and content as long as you do not do not do anything to harm those around you. I never understood why love could give someone the permission to feel like they own you, like their word is top priority, and mask it in the name of love. I never understood how someone can claim they love you but treat you so poorly.
What I do know is that any relationship in your life that makes you happy ultimately adds value to your life. Sure, any two people can face hurdles, but it should never make you feel sadder, misunderstood, and trapped with it than without it. If you would weigh the pros and cons of your relationships, the pros should be more than the cons. It shouldn’t feel like a dark space where light seeps in every few months.
Everybody’s definition of love is different, but we should always ask ourselves: Is my way of love considerate and does it set the person free or does it suffocate them? Am I being selfish? Do I add to their happiness or do I create more discomfort?
Let’s give those we love what they need instead of getting too caught up on who we want them to be.