What does the word “love” mean to you?
Is it something that scares you? Or is it a word that puts a smile on your face?
Who is the first person that pops into your head when you hear the word?
A best friend?
A family member?
A significant other?
When I think of the word love, I think of my amazing parents. They pushed me to pursue my dreams and raised me to believe I can achieve anything in the world.
On a romantic note, I can’t remember the first time I realized how in love my parents were with each other. Their love was always just something I just found as a normal part of life. When I was younger, I found their PDA one of the most embarrassing things in the world! Until about the age of 14, every time they would kiss in front of me I would cover my eyes and go, “Gross, PG-13.” (Mature, right?) However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate the love they share together. I no longer see their PDA as embarrassing, but rather look for characteristics I hope to share with my future partner; my person.
My parents met their freshman year of college. It’s crazy because they were both younger than I am now when they first met. I think it’s incredible how they’ve gotten to grow alongside each other for the past 28 years. After watching them for the past 20 of the 28 years of marriage, I’ve learned so many valuable lessons about love.
- Don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve
Growing up with such loving parents, I set unrealistically high expectations of what I want in a life partner. I want to marry my best friend, my rock, my protector; someone who sees hardships as an opportunity to grow together. I want someone who can see my dreams and passions and can dream right alongside me with the same excitement for life. Life is the ultimate adventure.
“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” -Walt Disney
2. Compromise and work together
Relationships are work. Love starts as a feeling and grows into a choice you must make every day. Some days are harder than others, but at the end of the day, you still choose each other. No argument is too big, no distance is too far, and no challenge is unsolvable.
3. Never go to bed angry
This is one of the lessons I have taken to heart the most. If I go to bed upset, I will more than likely wake up upset. I hate uncertainty, and if I have too much time to think on things, I’ll overthink things negatively. Being able to talk through things calmly, and compromise with your partner is an important skill. It saves a lot of painful time of thinking and wondering.
4. Find your love language
I think I was in middle school the first time my mom every mentioned the “love languages.” Knowing how you interpret acts of love is such a powerful tool to use in any relationship. The five languages are acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, and receiving gifts.
My love language has been the same since about sophomore year of high school: words of affirmation and quality time together. So much has changed in my life since I was 16, but this part of me has remained constant.
Update in July 2017: I wrote and published this blog post on September 27, 2016. This was 12 days before meeting my other half, and my current boyfriend of almost a year. A guy who makes me feel complete, loved, and protected in ways I never knew was possible. It’s funny how life works. This post was me finally regaining my voice after getting out of a terrible and manipulative relationship. It was me giving myself permission to be ok. I was ready to demand what I deserved and swore to never settle for anything less. Prior to this post, I was just patching up the wounds of my year long relationship with a narcissist – rather than fully healing them. Little did I know that hitting the publish button on my blog would allow me to fall with an open heart into my best friend’s arms. He was just waiting around the corner. Quite literally! His dorm room was across the hall from my best friend’s. I just had to open my eyes and realize.
Author: Erica Sullivan
Author Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author Bio: Erica is an east coast fashion and lifestyle blogger currently pursuing a degree in Communications. When she’s not working on her blog, she enjoys spending time with start-up companies working on growth hacking techniques.
Link to social media or website: http://whattheclique.com