Why is it that when we love people, we think we can change them? That we can fix them? That we can make them become someone they’re not, someone we need, someone we’re supposed to be with?
Maybe it’s because we get so wrapped up in the idea of love, the promise of forever. We meet people and we try to put them into little boxes, try to shape them into the relationship we’re destined to have, try to hold them to expectations way too high and too specific to be real.
We want, so desperately, to feel what we believe the rest of the world is feeling. We compare our emotions to peoples’ around us, trying to understand commitment and loyalty and passion and intimacy, trying to transfer those feelings into our own lives.
But the truth is, you cannot make someone love you. You cannot force love, cannot shape love, cannot control love, cannot try to love someone into loving you back.
See, the thing about love is that it’s inherent. As children, we don’t have to be taught how to love—we just know. We aren’t instructed to want to be held, to cry when we need something, to reach out and touch another person when we see their smiling face. Even as babies, we long for attention and affection. We seek feedback from the people around us. We want closeness; we crave connection.
Love is simply wired into who we are; we are born looking for love, wanting love, understanding love. But somehow, as we get older and fall into serious relationships, we forget that simple fact.
We forget that we shouldn’t have to tell people what we need. We forget that we shouldn’t have to change ourselves to find love. We forget that we shouldn’t have to turn and twist and push and pull just to make two people fit together. We forget that love should be natural.
See, you shouldn’t have to force someone to love you. You shouldn’t have to change who you are just to be in a relationship. You shouldn’t have to struggle, every single day to make things work.
Because when someone loves you—it’s not about them trying to fix you, change you, or fall in love by a certain time. There aren’t rules, aren’t guidelines, aren’t ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts.’ Love is something that comes naturally.
And you can’t try to make someone feel the things you’re feeling. You can’t try to rush emotion to have something work at a certain time. You can’t try to love someone into loving you through your words and gestures and actions and gifts. Love doesn’t work like that.
You can’t make someone feel something they’re not quite ready to feel. You can’t hold them to expectations far beyond their reach and be disappointed when they don’t measure up. You can’t demand that someone be who you need them to be because love is not about making someone play a role in your life that they may not be ready to play. Love is not about asking someone to change, to bend, to become something they’re not. Love is not about trying to force pieces of a puzzle together.
Love is about falling into something, someone where all the pieces just fit.
See, I think that’s what we forget about love. We forget that behind all the opposition, the fights, the struggles, the drama, the difficult parts—love is easy. We forget that loving someone requires work in the sense that you have to choose that person every single day, but in its simple existence, loving someone isn’t hard.
We forget that love should come naturally. We shouldn’t have to force it, shouldn’t have to put expectations or rules on it, shouldn’t have to demand that it happens at a certain time or in a certain way. We forget that love isn’t about asking someone to change, or having someone demand that we be someone different.
We forget that we shouldn’t be searching for perfection, that we shouldn’t be holding people to unreachable standards, but instead finding someone whose laughter makes us laugh, whose smile turns our frown, whose hands make ours tingle, whose happiness brings light to our lives, whose passion sets us on fire—and loving them because it’s really just that simple.
Because the pieces fit. Because we don’t have rules or expectations, but take things day by day, learning who we are alongside another person. Learning that love doesn’t have to be so hard. Learning that there will be hard times, fights, pain, and brokenness, but ultimately, things fit together.
And through all the crap, you keep fighting for each other. Not trying to change, not trying to force, not trying to make something happen—but letting life happen, letting love happen, realizing that two people become love, and it’s a damn beautiful thing.