Robert Frost said, “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”
Love, perhaps is the most abused word of all emotions. They say love makes the world go around. And we women often take it literally and end up making it the most important thing in our life. As a result we are in a state of perpetual disappointment because our notions about love as a traditional mating dance are so unrealistic.
We tend to think of love as the remedy for all our problems. The very notion of love is all-too-often corroborated in popular culture in novels and movies, the success of which relies on our ability to believe in the old-fashioned narratives of happily-ever-after marriages. Love is often depicted in the most melodramatic way. Giving us a lofty, but not correct map of love. These depictions have made incurable romantics out of us all and made us far too enthusiastic about our feelings.
I know of many bright, spirited girls who are willing to put up with damage to their self-respect all in the name of love. They are in relationships with terrible guys who do not respect their time, their careers or boundaries, just for the high of being in a relationship.
This has serious consequences.
Deeply, madly in love, they completely ignore the warning signs displayed during the courtship period only to rush into a marriage naively believing that they can change a person or love conquers all problems. They tolerate behavior which they would never tolerate in their friends or siblings.
They are shouted at and are at the receiving end of snide remarks. They are dictated by the “lover” on who to meet where to meet even what to wear. They are often snooped upon 24/7, sometimes even giving away the passwords to their cell phones or social media accounts. They keep on giving and sacrificing their self respect to somehow make it work.
Well guess what? It doesn’t.
In idealizing love you don’t see the person as they are but the person they have the potential to be. You give and give until they have taken everything out of you and leave you empty. In fact staying in such a relationship for long can destroy you in ways that you can never come back from. The sooner you break loose from such love the better.
Easier said than done, I know.
However ambitious and beautiful one might be, we are always out of step with the freedom of our times as far as love is concerned. In pursuit of happiness, love still happens to be the most important plot-line of our lives.
But we must be willing to consider that there exists a possibility of our being happy without love too. It may seem like a new idea under the sun but it’s true.
You can enjoy love by not making it the most important thing in your life. Because the most powerful gift that you can give yourself is recognizing your self worth. Love is important but not more important than your dignity or self-respect. If you lose it once it’s so difficult to regain. Hence, we should think rationally before succumbing to our feelings. See things as they are rather than fixing on how they should be. A good life requires a judicious balance of both romanticism and realism.
When we accept the truth, we can look for other ways of personal fulfillment and perhaps in the future be open to finding mature understanding of love with a partner. You might not want to run off with them instantly, but they will balance you and allow you to keep up with what makes you happy. And even as we wait for that we must still always be ready for disappointments in love along the way.
Do not be defined by the presence of a significant another. Because love is good but often not enough. There are more important things to do with your life. Learning, growing, nurturing your spirit and connecting with the world around you in meaningful ways will help fulfill you in way you’ve never dreamed.