Perhaps we’re best friends with one of them, perhaps we’re related to one, or perhaps we are one of them ourselves (or maybe we used to be), but we all know one.
We all know that person: the one who can’t sit through a romantic movie without making a cynical comment on love, the one who nods politely when you begin talking about your significant other and proceeds to quickly change the subject, or the one who posts perhaps one too many comments about how wrapped up people have become in their relationships.
And naturally, they probably have their reasons. Perhaps they were burned by someone they truly, deeply loved and cared for. Perhaps they’re just getting out of a relationship and don’t want to be reminded of the days spent in it. Or perhaps they’ve never had the opportunity to experience true love for themselves.
But really, folks, what happened to the celebration of love?
There’s an important lesson to be learned in the love that exists in others’ lives. I watch my parents beam at each other from across the table. I watch my grandparents kiss and be noticeably in love after dealing with each other for over 50 years of marriage. I watch that elderly couple go for a walk hand-in-hand night after night. I watch as my aunt drives daily to spend the day with my uncle – even though she’s visibly exhausted and drained, you can see that it’s love that fuels her. I watch, and I learn. I learn that it’s only these kinds of love that are worth engaging in. Not that love is an optional experience, but regardless. The visible kind of love. The kind of love that makes all of your single friends want to slap you in the face because you won’t stop being so damn happy. The kind of love that leaves you smiling for days on end. The engulfing kind of love.
We should all strive to prevent losing sight of the importance that is our loved ones’ happiness. Our individual problems shouldn’t trump their bliss. Ever. We, as a society, have a tendency to not be genuinely happy for those around us, and it’s an absolute shame. Relish in your friends’ happiness. Share it with them. Take a piece of the pie. Because I guarantee that your loved ones look ten times more beautiful with a genuine smile upon their face, and our world needs that beauty.
Your loved ones’ happiness shouldn’t be a reminder of your own lack thereof. Instead, it should be a beacon of hope. It exists. It’s attainable. And you may just be able to learn a thing or two about it by opening your eyes.
No one wants to see their loved ones in pain. So sit there and smile and engage as your friend tells you the story (for the third time) of how her boyfriend proposed to her, and be just as excited as you were the first time. Watch that couple kiss in public for the 102nd time and smile darnit, because it really is quite sweet (though perhaps overdone sometimes). I know it’s not always easy, but be happy if they’re happy. And know that one day, you’ll find the sort of happy love they’ve all stumbled upon. But quite frankly – be content being a smiling bystander for now. It’s their turns to shine.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding love in all of the right places. And sometimes, just sometimes, that right place is in the people beside us all along.
Let love drive others. Let love drive you.