We’re conditioned when it comes to the concept of love.
Instead of being told that love is something that evolves organically between two people, we’re pushed into the arena unforgivingly. We’re always being told of how detrimental it is that we “find someone,” as if relationships are nothing more than a game of cat and mouse, as if we need to catch a significant other before someone snatches them away first.
When you think about it in those terms, when you go back and catalog all of the times your relationships were used to measure your worth rather than your intelligence or your aspirations or your spirit, it’s hard to deny.
The truth is there are so many expectations, rules even, when it comes to finding “the one”. Milestones that we need to reach by a certain age. Dating that must lead to engagement which must lead to marriage. We’re taught that in order for love to be truly meaningful, it must last forever. Because love that has faded over time can’t be considered significant when we look back and examine it, can it?
We’re made to believe the only love that counts is the one that stands the test of time, and therefore, the end of a relationship is akin to the worst kind of failure. We believe that terminated love is a waste of precious time that can never be taken back, equated to years that could have been more wisely spent with the right person, the one who would lead you to that glaringly beautiful diamonds, that picturesque walk down the aisle.
Because in our society, someone else loving you equals happiness, fulfillment. We’re a culture obsessed with romance and relationships and deadlines. With achieving love in a timely fashion.
We’re made to feel that if you haven’t found that perfect person on the right timeline, well then you’ve lost the race. Missed your chance. After all, we’re infatuated by youth too in this culture of ours. And no one wants to be caught past thirty, alone and unloved, deemed a failure at the one thing that our society has always told us is the most important thing.
Don’t let yourself believe the lie.
Because that’s what all of it is. And when you get down to it, we’ve been brainwashed. By movies and books, by our schools and our parents. To believe that love is the end-all. That it’s what we need to discover in order to be whole.
Don’t get me wrong, love is great when you find it with the right person. Love is a million things, all amazingly beautiful, a gift in life that can never be replaced.
But don’t give into the pressure that if you haven’t yet found that person, you’re in some way defective. Don’t believe that you’re unworthy if the person who you thought was your forever, your only, decides to leave.
Love comes in so many forms, at so many different times throughout our lives. Maybe you’ll only have on true love; maybe you’ll find them right away. But it’s much more likely that you’ll go through life and experience and love many different people. And even if it doesn’t seem like it, they all serve a distinct purpose, are all what we need at that exact moment in our lives. We’ll love them and learn from them and try to understand them.
We will also probably fall out of love with most of them and that’s okay.
You’ll eventually find love that sticks, love that is mutual and promising. But take your time. Not everyone finds the love that finally feels right while they’re in their twenties. It might take longer, and that’s okay. Know that your path is uniquely yours; maybe sometimes a confusing struggle, but always yours.
So take your time in finding the love you deserve. Block out the background noise, ignore a world that says you aren’t finding love fast enough. It’s not a twenty-meter dash, but a winding, sometimes long, journey that is worth it in the end. When the time is absolutely right.