Picture a thought bubble around the world love… What are the associations that come to mind?
When you think about love, you think about soulmates, loyalty, wedding, care, a family, affection, gifts, quality time, someone to confide in. Love just might be the most wonderful thing in the world. It is such an important part of our culture that endless books were written about it, endless movies filmed, it occupies so much of our time and we dedicate a lot of care about who or what we love. Ever since your early teens, this concept gets into your mind and from that moment on it is impossible not to think about it. Every little boy and girl had probably spent a good couple of hours imagining their dream wedding with their true love to the tiniest details, from the music at the reception down to the design of the wedding bands.
When you think about love, it invokes a feeling of warmth and safety. Love is home, familiarity, comfort and trust. Love is knowing you are never truly alone, even when your partner is on the other side of the world. Love – is a wonderful world.
But love isn’t just sunshine and rainbows, anyone who has been in a serious relationships, especially couples who are before their wedding know it. Love has ups and down, peaks and valleys, honeymoon phases and rough patches. The closer you are to getting down on one knee and pulling out the ring, the more likely you are to have experienced some turbulence in your relationship. Sometimes, we feel misunderstood. Others times, unheard. Lots of frustration and tribulations arises from us learning to rebuild ourselves, when we stop being a single ego and instead become part of a whole. Suddenly, it can feel a little crazy! Before, you had your style, your room, your hobbies – Now, you have matching outfits, matching rings, matching bedsheets and matching interests. This can make us feel slightly disheveld, but it is all part of the proccess.
Because we know we’re not in it for ourselves, but for eachother.
Something just “clicks” when the chemistry is right, and our way of thinking changes completely. We start understanding that sometimes, we just might be wrong, and lower our defenses. We suddenly see a little bit of us in someone else, and learn to empathize with them. Seemingly, out of nowhere, we start feeling a mix of feelings towards someone else that is completely unrelated to any interests, and you start doing selfless acts without anything to gain. You take care of their partner, and they take care of you. That is love.
When you sit there dreaming about your future home, wedding, kids and pets – you’re not just imagining a life for yourself, but for another person who will share everything with you. When you just got fired from your job, and walking out of the office you saw you just got a parking ticket, and you’re so mad and unfocused that when you park the car at home you curb your wheels, and all you can think about is how frustrated you are – all it takes is that one warm touch on your shoulder, to get you right back down to earth. When you just got accepted into university, to your dream facualty after studying so hard for the exams, and saving up the pennies for tuition for years and you want to tell the whole world, but before calling any of your friends, your family, or your coworkers, you call one special person. That is love, both at your highest and at your lowest. At every moment in your relationship, from the initial sip of Cabarnet Sauvignion at your first date – to showing off your matching rings to friends and family at the wedding ceremony – to watching your grandchildren when your kids are out of town; You know that you have an entire world in another person right there next to you.
The most important thing to keep the flame lit is appreciating and understanding this love. The world of love might be stable, but it needs to be taken care of. Just like watering your plants, fueling up your car and mowing the lawn – the recipe for success is to be consistent and avoid neglect. Your partner is sure to return the attitude, anytime that you put yourself through something for your significant other you are growing and strengthening the bond.
Another extremely important thing is communication! Sure, a surprise here and there is nice, but do try to remember that talking things over with your partner goes a long way. With everything you do and say to your partner, both good and bad, keep in mind the way you would react if it was the opposite, and you were on the receiving end. A great way to make sure that all your effort is not in vain is to learn your partner’s love language. Some people prefer physical touch, while others value quality time. One person might feel like there is a great importance behind gifts, and another might not care about it at all – and instead be more touched by an act of service, such as you cooking dinner for them before they come from work. Whatever your partner’s love language is, they don’t have to match with yours. All that matters is that you fairly discuss things and be open to each other about the things that matter to you.
We might sometimes feel shy to share our feelings, or even held back from it because of the way we were raised, but when you are in a serious relationship (and especially before the wedding) you have to come to the understanding that with your partner it is a completely different thing! When you choose to share your whole life with someone else it has to come with a great deal of trust and sometimes even vulnerability.
Don’t be intimidated! Vulnerability might sound like a negative thing, but in fact it is an essential need of the human spirit. In modern society sometimes we are so overwhelmed with having to defend ourselves from everything and anything around us due to being bombarded with beauty standards, social norms and faux pas that our soul feels a deep and undeniable craving to be vulnerable. Your partner is exactly the right person to explore this side of your spirit with.
Love is in all aspects of life, from the mental to the material. On the one hand you share responsibilities and a bank account, on the other hand you share moments of laughter over things only the two of you could ever understand.
You go on adventures together to explore the world. In your travels, you find you and your loved one laying in a rice field in West Sumatra. Hand in hand, you look up at the starry night sky and in your mind, you draw a line from star to star forming the initials of your names.
The next moment, you’re driving back home together from visiting family on Christmas and feel so grateful to not only have gotten another person in your life, but a whole array of people that
came with them.
You’re questioning your partner about fashion in a discrete way because you’re going to be picking wedding rings today, they’re questioning you in a discrete way about animals because they’re going to the local shelter to get a dog to join the family. Life together is an oasis of peace and serenity, because love is a wonderful world. You’re knocked down, they give a hand to help you back up. You’re laying bricks, they’re spreading mortar. They’re stuck in the rain, you come with an umbrella. They’re presenting for a promotion, you stay with the kids. Love is mutualism, partnership, and care.
When you are together, your power isn’t doubled – it is squared. If each of you alone can achieve a hundred things, together you’re not only able to do two-hundred things, but rather ten-thousand things. Your abilities complement and empower each other, and you become an unstoppable team. All of your hearts’ desires are met, and your dreams come true. And all it takes is a little bit of patience and understanding. So whenever you fight, keep in mind one thing; You didn’t come all this way for a small and passing matter to get in your way. Remember why you are doing what you are doing, and who you are doing it for. The best thing for you and your partner is to keep each other in mind and be considerate, and if you ever feel like that is not the case the best thing to do is to speak up!
Your partner will be much gladder to listen to your concerns than you could ever even imagine.