As many different kinds of people there are on this planet there are different kinds of love and it’s not for any of us to judge how, why, when or what anyone decides to love. Love is a funny thing. We all know what it feels like to be loved, we know that we want it and we want to give it. I refuse to believe that no one wants it. The problem though begins when we begin to standardise love, boxing it up and making it look all pretty. Love is complex.
After a long day at work, I got home to find my boyfriend sitting at his desk, we said our hellos and I turned around to leave the room when he stopped me saying there was something for me on the desk. I looked to where he was pointing with a pen. There was a ring box, I walked over with not a lot going on in my mind opened the box and in it was a ring.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“What do you want it to be?”
“Well, it could be a friendship ring, eternity ring or engagement ring, which is it?” He finally turns around and says “Do you want it or not? I want to marry you. I have been telling you this since we first met. You decide.”
“Ok, let’s get married then. But you know I’m a complicated mess, right?”
Not quite the romantic movie proposal I had envisioned but it worked for me and to this day makes me smile inside. I do forget that sometimes and occasionally lodge a request for a do-over, which I am yet to receive. The words used may not be the exact ones but knowing us it’s probably about right and it brings me to my first point on love as I have experienced it. Love should not keep a record. I am guilty of keeping record of wrong doings and bringing them up in an argument or as a justification for my own wrongdoing. As I continue to grow I realise how foolish this is, it creates a vicious hurtful cycle and by doing this I am not taking ownership of my choices. I choose to leave childish ways behind.
One of my favourite misconceptions about love is that it doesn’t hurt… love hurts bad! (I’m not talking about physical pain unless consensual variations of 50 shades are your thing). Love hurts because it changes us, it takes us out of our comfort zone. I hate confrontation and would rather not see or speak to a person again than address issues. As a mum, more than anything I have had to unleash my inner lioness and fight for what’s right, with my words and actions. Taking responsibility for my life and circumstances to love myself more has meant facing some home truths which can be the most painful thing but also highly rewarding in propelling me to a better version of myself.
Another misunderstanding about love that I am fixing… love doesn’t pay the rent, no it doesn’t but it should work together to figure out how it does get paid. This could mean finding someone who is willing and able to pay all the bills which may or may not also include love and respect for each other and what each person brings to the table. It may mean bringing income and resources together to make it work with love and respect. Bills and money have an enormous effect on most couples’ lives, finding something that works for your situation, bearing in mind values and beliefs is essential.
The only person who can love you unconditionally and constantly is God and maybe your mother and I say that with all the love in this world. We all have our limits and saying no to love is the most loving thing you can do sometimes. I am a self-named hippy child who wants to love everyone every day, I used to think this meant living in people’s pockets, you can’t be with all your friends and relatives all the time it’s a physical impossibility also mentally and emotionally taxing.
Love, much like life, is what you make it and what you need it to be. Love is living, being you and sharing that. Give love freely but be selfish with it. The beauty is in the complexity that you cannot put in a box.