Love Is The Drug
For all you love birds entwining your branches with one another, for all the single people who don't need a relationship to define their lives, for all the "I'm seeing them, but we have no label" people, this ones for you. I rarely talk about love, for someone so deeply passionate about it, I think this is perhaps it's first mention online. I used to be (and still very much so still am) a free, wild, independent spirit, untameable and taken where the wind goes. But these past few years I've grounded myself, whilst discovering a lot of who I am. I felt like I've sat in all categories mentioned above, and whilst very, incredibly, irrevocably in love I fully understand from the bottom of my heart what it's like to be plastered with Valentines Day in the walls of my mind, and societies expectations pressure you to be in a relationship, and if you're not then "why the hell aren't you?!" people say, it's just too much. It's like the second you're remotely independent you're expected to have your life sorted till the day you die.
This is why I've personally never understood the rush of short term relationships and the kick people benefit from. A few years ago it became a trend to yearn for a boyfriend like a winter coat, disposable, forgotten and eager for the next younger version to come along. It baffles me how temporary love is these days. It's easy to get a divorce as it is to get married. How the generations have radically changed over the past 50 years. To me love is an investment through the good and the bad. Sure, relationships can be a bumpy sea of emotions but knowing you've overcome hurdles is one of the best feelings, because love is unbreakable and society needs to get back in touch with connecting with people and to search for lasting love.
But there's no due date for love, love just finds you in such a way that literally sweeps you off your feet. I don't believe you can ever go looking for love - it comes looking for you. So don't feel like you need to rush into relationships, if your magnetic connection doesn't quite buzz in a way that you fancy, don't hesitate in thinking that person may not be your cup of tea. Some people find the right person when they're much older and spend their single years travelling the world before discovering that person. It's quite wise actually as you've lead an independent life and kindled with another who was equally happy with their own company.
I'm here to abolish the saying "getting married at 21, is like leaving a party at 9.15pm" because once you have love in your life you want to hold onto it. Bore off to the sods who think love makes you dull.
Today I want to elaborate on love, what it means to me, and the pitfalls and lessons I've learnt in time of dealing with a topic around Valentines Day. It'll offer you some life lessons, and how it's not the end of the world if you're not in a committed relationship.
There's three things I'm certain about when it comes to love...
Communication is the foundation of any relationship.
Not to overspill but I've had my fair share of spiralling relationships... if I can even class them as that. Let's label them as 'misfortunate happenings' for the sake of my mistakes of communication. I was terrified of boys, but did anything I could to have a boyfriend, without all the commitments of a relationship. To me it just sounded nice, like getting a new Furby as a kid, you want it, but don't understand it. But my experience of relationships was a nightmare, even down to holding hands, the idea of going near someone made me want to cry. I was a lone wolf in a high school of girls who were always in a relationship. I've now realised I just wanted the social justification that all my friends had who had a relationship, when I was the single pringle floating through crowds of people without a companion. I felt awkward, but really they should have felt awkward for making me feel bad.
Anywhom off this tangent the underlying message I learnt, was to not avoid my problems, and be vocal about everything. My mum always told me that it takes 5 years to get to know anyone, so you want to make sure there aren't any hidden skeletons in closets. I think this made me a very panicked person and over analytical till that 5 year marker ticked over. I've learnt if you can't communicate then there's no point sticking around. Yet on the other end of the spectrum, not having to say endless things to each other to fill the uncomfortable silences. In a long term relationship you learn that silence can speak volumes, but the conversations you do have are very treasured and meaningful. That doesn't always mean you have to share common factors and have to be absolutely identical, in fact it's quite interesting to be very different people, so 'I' doesn't become a joint 'we'. Agreeing on everything can be a bit dull. If they annoy you, tell them. If they look gorgeous, tell them. If you think it, say it. This can apply to any kind of person, single, taken or unlabelled. Your relationship with people will flourish, and grow stronger knowing you've been bluntly honest about your feelings.
Don't make the mistakes I made by sitting back, and waiting for the paint of my problems to dry. Love deteriorates if you're not fully honest about everything. It's amazing how much you learn from people by opening yourself up to someone. Communication and being on the same page can make a relationship last longer, the branches of your love entwine as you make subtle changes to suit the other - never change who you are though, as that's who they fell in love with. So if you're seeing a guy remember to text him back, even if what you want to write isn't what he wants to hear. If you're open and honest you won't deny yourself, and waste time on something that won't last. Your opinion is valid as much as theirs is, and just because they say so doesn't make it gospel. I felt seriously put down in the past, and let other people call the shots so I didn't feel like the bad person, so unfortunately was always the dumpee and never the dumper even at my unhappiest of times. I should have nipped it in the bud before getting upset over something that really doesn't even cross my mind. But breakups always feel like the end of the world, but then you realise communication was off and maybe your branches weren't destined for each other after all. Take control and voice your thoughts. It's better to be respected for your honest opinion than lie to yourself that you feel that way. You're numero uno after all.
It's medically beneficial
The second aspect I learnt about love, is that it's very good for you. Love is healthy and proven to make you live longer and happier. I hate it when partners throw shade at each other, and complain how after getting in a relationship that your life is destined for a plunge. In fact the journey begins, it's very exciting, and the whirlwind of emotions that make you want to be sick out of nervousness at the beginning are good indications that your body is responding to a rush of happiness. I'm not going to preach at the single people for not experiencing love 24/7 as I too have enjoyed the single life. But a life of hostility isn't healthy, even if you love a friend of family member having serotonin rushing to your brain after a heartfelt conversation can save your sanity from blocking off the world. They say you should engage in conversation for 10% of your day to keep touch with reality and your emotions. If I wrote a list of things that are guaranteed to make my mood hit sky high, the magical power of a cuddle and pillow whispers would most likely be at the top. You can love your cat as much as you can your best friend, so spending time with someone who gives you those fuzzy feelings can give dimension to your day. Not all love is unconditional after all, having that bond with someone will boost your mood. So even if you're not spending Valentines Day with a partner, phone an old friend up who you could talk to for hours, or go round to a family members house. Having a connection is better than no connection at all.
I learnt a lot through books on the topic of love, and how our body language plays a large part of finding true love. If we're open to find it, it will come. I also believe in the law of attraction, and how good things come to those who do good. Love to me is the same. I found my true love and life partner by accident, when I didn't go out hunting, but through organic magnetism and being open (and also a boot in the head at Leeds Festival 2012 crowdsurfing, it doesn't get more magnetic - true story!) Through self reflection my attitude towards body language and communicating radically changed over the years, after discovering I was very closed, having a guard up that no one could break down, and probably not as welcoming to be in the company of. Through trust, not being overly judgemental, and communicating I've broken a cycle of unhappy meaningless relationships. This has had a dramatic impact on my mood, and outlook on life. It makes me want to be a better person for people, and relish every moment with him. Years before meeting my boyfriend I was an insomniac and medicated for it, life didn't feel purposeful, as stress, panic and anxiety would overwhelm me, my only outlet was painting pictures, but as soon as I found comfort and trust from him I slept like a baby. 4 years in and I'm still walking on sunshine as he puts a spring in my step. There was such a dramatic difference in my paintings, it's like energy and life was injected into me every day.
Some people don't like relationships which is completely understandable. I knew personally I'd be an all, or nothing kind of person. Mr Right or a life destined for a crazy cat lady - ironically I got both! So having those important conversations and connections with someone who isn't a partner, is equally as beneficial. Find comfort in someone to keep you doing cartwheels, and make you look forward to something - even if it's a quick coffee on your lunch before going back to work. Spice is the variety of life, and will heal your body of anything problematic.
No amount of money can pay for love, but what you teach another is priceless.
You could be the richest person in the world, and the loneliest. Fake company, the same endless drivel conversations talking about the weather. Who wants that? Jeez it bores me to think of such a dull life.
I've learnt over the years that the social justification of having money, or being born into it doesn't make you desirable. Your personality, your thoughts and opinion is what people fall in love with, and not just materialistic possessions, and having good genes. I believe a small percentage of what we fall in love with is down to appearance, the rest is our minds. A phrase you'll always hear me say is that; people buy into peoples personalities. Your compatibility or none compatibility in knowledge and personality will bring you to another who finds you the beacon of light to their life. The more interesting conversations, the more to learn from each other. Knowledge is very attractive and will always be there when looks fade.
Knowledge is rich, which can come from experiences and memories. If you're happy in single-hood and not defined by a relationship indulge in opening your heart and sharing out knowledge. Love is such an open term it isn't just about partnerships, it's about the connections we make with people. Have you ever walked away from meeting someone and thought how enlightened you are? We're like emotional sponges, and taking in information is such a feel-good moment. The one thing I love to hear about is peoples stories. I never dominate a conversation because I'm too busy absorbing everything they have to say. It's a trait in myself I really like, it's never about me, and waiting for them to finish what they have to say. Experiences define us and knowing someone is giving you their time (something you can't put a price on) is desirable. Find someone who gives you their time and you'll no doubt rekindle in a friendship, and maybe one day relationship.
If I had a penny for everything my boyfriend taught me over the years, I'd probably be living in the Maldives by now. The knowledge I've learnt makes me feel like the richest person alive. I really do believe the quality of the people and conversations you surround yourself by, has a tremendous impact on your outlook. Spend time with friends who genuinely want to hear about you, and your day as much as you want to hear about theirs. It takes two to tango after all.
Love Is All Y0u Need
I hope this post has taught you some lessons about love. I'm a hopeless romantic who yearns for what we see in the movies, but it's taken me years to discover that love is so individual and a set of expectations will never be accomplished quite like on the screens of the cinema, but through personalisation and dedication to the people you surround yourself with. You may not show love in the same ways that I do, maybe it's through the little things you do for people that put a smile on your face, or the satisfaction of sharing. Either way, whether you spend Valentines Day alone or with someone special, remember there's someone out there for everyone, and just because you haven't found that person today, it doesn't mean it won't be some day. Love is friendship before anything else, never forget that we love people who resonate us to be better people, who celebrate everything we are. They say true love is a myth, it's certainly mysterious but not un-discoverable. You must love yourself before others can love you. Have confidence in what a wonderful person you are and the world will see that too.
I feel so fortunate in knowing I found my perfect soul mate before hitting 30, I found him at 18 which I thought was rare, I really didn't expect it. I never thought I'd change from being that lonely person. It's like I wake up every morning like it's Valentines Day, and have to remind myself how very fortunate I am to know someone so wonderful. My life has radically changed and being the second piece of the puzzle made me a better person and learn to love and trust others more. Love really does change you for the better through your relationships, friendships, family and attitude towards life. Valentines Day is only once a year but if we treat people and show our admiration every day, the world would be even more beautiful. Love is all you need.