You’ll fall in love when you least expect it. That is, of course, unless you’re on Match.com, Christian Mingle or Gluten Free Singles, seeking out a suitable partner, a person that will be able to finish your sentences and share your snacks. Then you might expect to find it.
So even from its birth, and actually before that, love is not something that fits a template. In today’s world, it can pop up like a zit, or you can seek it out like Diet Cherry Pepsi in the grocery store. It cannot be tamed, it cannot be predicted. It will continue on this way, slipping you up like an invisible wet spot on the floor.
Love demands attention, demands to be acknowledged regardless of circumstance. Whether you want it to or not, it can take you over. That’s the only thing to be said about it, really. Everything else about love is case-specific. Each and every love takes on its own shapes, forms its own habits. There’s no algorithm for it.
The steadfast unions, the ones that stayed together from initial kiss to the sharing of vows – those partnerships are not better than the “on again, off again.” They’re simply different.
It’s tempting to log onto social media and compare your relationship to those of others. It’s easy to envy the couples with cute pictures, those who boast about their love openly and often. The adventurous, the beautiful, the long-term – these couples frequently fuel doubt in our own relationships. But we shouldn’t be comparing. We can’t.
Comparing others’ relationships to your own is like comparing a salad to a manicure; they’re supposed to be different. They’re comprised of two unique pieces – two individuals creating a greater unique whole.
Society tries to convince us that love should be carried out in a certain way. There’s a correct form and a million and one incorrect ones. On the right path: we date, get engaged, get married, have children and eventually embrace our roles as grandparents. Society also thinks we should be dangerously thin and work over forty hours each week, so we can rule that out as a dependable source. We don’t need to fit that template. We don’t need to follow that path. Or we can – it doesn’t matter. The point is that it’s our choice, no one else’s.
Don’t try to shove your special, individual relationship into a stifling mold. There’s no formula for it! Embrace each and every unique aspect your love sets before you, for those are the components that make it so great: surprises, overcoming setbacks, appreciating particular quirks. Refrain from comparing your bond to others’. It’s a dangerous and detrimental practice.