When it comes to relationships and falling in love, we honestly put far too much pressure on ourselves. We think of the idea of falling in love, and we tend to associate images of finding our other half, entering into a lifetime of happiness, romance, and bliss with someone we can’t imagine spending a day without. We have a picture in our minds of what love looks like and how it’s supposed to play out, and we anxiously wait for it to show up.
And then, love does show up. Maybe it shows up loud and obvious and impossible to ignore; Maybe it shows up quiet and subtle, taking you by surprise when you least expected it. Love shows up, but then rather than allowing the happiness and romance we’ve been waiting for to take hold of us, we also invite in the fear and the pressure of wondering if we’ve made the right choice—if the person in front of us is genuinely who we’re supposed to be with. If they’re going to stick around and love us just as much as we would love them. We’ve experienced the casualty of our hearts shattering into pieces, and the idea of opening ourselves up to that kind of pain again, especially to something that may only prove to be temporary, simply seems impossible.
So, rather than opening up our hearts entirely and enjoying the love that we’ve been so lucky to come across, we keep our distance. We don’t let people know how much they mean to us. We don’t allow ourselves to love them wholeheartedly. Because if we’ve made the wrong choice, or if they aren’t the person we’re going to spend forever with, then it’s just a matter of time before they leave, shattering our hearts (and possibly their own in the process). We worry about whether or not to invest in a person because it may not work out.
But the fastest way to guarantee the end of a relationship is to keep yourself so closed off it never moves forward.
It’s understandable to want to guard yourself if you’ve been burned before. But also, love is such a beautiful, reckless, incredible decision we are given the opportunity to make. If you’re so afraid the decision will end in heartbreak that you never step into it, then it’s a guarantee you will never love. This person may not last forever. Yet no amount of caution, worrying, or guardedness will change that. It might prolong it a little, but it won’t change the outcome.
People are meant to be loved. You were meant to be loved, too. It doesn’t mean your life revolves around it, but it’s insane to believe that we were all born with a desire to give and receive love yet never ever allow ourselves to experience it and share it due to fear. So when someone shows up in your life, and you are lucky enough to fall in love with them, and they return those feelings, it doesn’t make sense to hold back all the love you have in your heart due to worrying that they won’t stick around forever. People are meant to be loved, even when they’re only in our lives for a short while. You aren’t wasting your love on someone just because they aren’t the one you spend your life with. Love isn’t something that runs out if you “spend” it on other people, leaving nothing behind for the “right” person. Love grows, and it changes, and it multiplies. You don’t run out of love because you use it all up. You run out of love when you choose to stop loving. Choosing to love someone that life has placed in your lap doesn’t mean you’re wasting love meant for someone else. If you’re meant to be with someone, then you’ll have your opportunities to love them, and you’ll have the whole rest of your life to do so.
It’s okay to want to make the right choice and protect your time, your trust, and your energy. Yet sometimes life allows us to fall and love people for a short time to show us things we need to know. To teach us things we may never have learned otherwise. Sometimes, just to show us that we are capable of love in the first place and that it’s worth every risk we are asked to take to experience it.
Regardless, what is important is right now is that life has given you this opportunity to love this person in the way only you know how to do. It’s given you the chance to be loved by that person in the way only they know how to. Maybe it’s temporary. Maybe it’s forever. But what matters is you have the chance to do right not what no one else will ever get the opportunity to do— be in love with this person and let them love you back in ways no one else can.
So maybe they aren’t here tomorrow, or next week, or next year. But are they here now? Then love them passionately, beautifully, as much as you possibly can while you have the chance to do so. Even if it doesn’t last forever, it’s still worth loving them while you’re lucky enough to have them in your arms. Because we weren’t meant to live in fear; we were meant to live in love, every single opportunity we are given regardless of how long it chooses to stick around. Because love is one of the most incredible things we know how to do, and we should be open to experiencing it as often as life allows us, even if just for a little while.
And honestly, choosing to love them anyways might be the best choice you ever decide to make.