The best part about love is getting the chance to define it ourselves. Love is fierce, it is unconditional, and it is unique.
But love is not an excuse.
It is not an excuse to ditch your friends.
Remember those people who have been with you through literally everything? The ones you spent every weekend with when you weren’t busy with your significant other? Yeah, they still need you. You still need them too.
It is not an excuse to justify toxic behavior.
Too often I have experienced close friends/family explain their partners’ loser behaviors in cringe-worthy ways. There are many abusive behaviors that may feel and appear to be love, but often include hidden agendas. Just because someone loves you does not mean you need to dress a certain way for them, skip going out, or provide constant reassurance to control their jealousy issues. It all boils down to that need for a sense of control, and love is most definitely not an excuse to control another human being. Starting a sentence with “If you love me, you’ll…” or defending erratic behaviors with “because they love me THAT much” are massive insults to the four letter word.
It is not an excuse to lose who you are.
Partnering up with someone is awesome. You get to include them in your everyday activities, make decisions with them, and begin to set goals for the both of you. However, that doesn’t mean you need to let go of all of the things that make you, you. Devote time to the hobbies you loved before them. Devote time to the people who make up your life outside of them. Understand the importance of enjoying your own solitude.
It is not an excuse to settle and become static.
For some reason we all tend to correlate love with the word “end”. The end of your freedom. The end of only thinking for one person. The end of doing all of those things you did to attract love into your life in the first place. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. Love is not an excuse to stop growing. It is not an excuse to stop taking care of yourself. It is not an excuse to stay in one place without seeking personal development. It is not an end, but a very life changing beginning. Respect the process and continue to focus on becoming better versions of yourselves, together.
So love fiercely. Love unconditionally. Love when it is easy. Love when it is difficult. Embrace growth. Embrace change. But don’t use love as a safety net. Don’t use love as a vindication. Don’t use love to bribe, to justify, or as an ultimatum.
Don’t use love as an excuse.