My first real, healthy dating relationship begin and end in the span of six months. I think I experienced real love, and when it ended, felt hurt like never before, and was a bitter mess for months. I learned a lot about myself and relationships during that time. Through the process of finding and losing love, here are some points of wisdom I gained from my first love:
1. You can’t be cool all the time
Sure, you need to be cool at the start. You can’t be dorky and awkward right off the bat. But after a while, you gotta fly your true colours and sing the Mulan soundtrack at the top of your lungs in a silly voice just because sometimes that’s just who you are.
2. Love is not a movie
Just because you’re wearing nice clothes, put the perfect song on and kiss doesn’t mean the credits roll and perfection is reached. You still have to say goodbye, and drive home, and deal with all the non-perfect moments that are sure to be coming at you.
3. Love does not equal engagement
Timing is everything. You’re not ready until you know you’re ready.
4. Don’t take love for granted
It’s actually quite easy to start thinking about your significant other as just a good friend that you occasionally make out with. But that’s not love! Love is something very special. Truly appreciating a loving relationship while you’re in it may be impossible until you’ve loved and lost and been fortunate enough to find it again. Remember that it could be over at any moment, so treasure it!
5. Love demands growth
Your goal should be to help the other person grow. If you aren’t even more in love with who they are becoming, and wants to become, than who they are right now, and you aren’t willing to give everything to see them reach their potential, then walk away. On the flip side, if you aren’t willing to grow into the sort of person who is worthy of the person, then walk away.
6. Remember your friends
They’re the ones whose shoulders you might be crying on later, so don’t abandon them. Also, they often have good advice to give, and can see things about your relationship that you may be blind to. Ask them to be honest with you, and trust them. You’ll thank them later..
7. Love makes you desperate…
…so desperate to hold onto it, that you’d trade all of your dreams, everything you’ve worked for, your friends and family and God. You’d trade it all, just to have it back. This is not healthy. Love can be good, but blind love can also deprive you of everything you are.
8. Break-ups are brutal
There is perhaps no worse feeling than being rejected by someone you love. At least it gives you a chance to press reset on your life, your other relationships, and your walk with God. One day those lessons you learned and pain you went through will contribute to a greater, deeper happiness with someone else.
Flickr photo (cc) by LaPrimaDonna