How I Learned To Love

How I Learned To Love

Sometimes you need to learn what you need in order to make a relationship work.
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I believe to love and to be loved is one of the most beautiful things life has to offer. The magical feeling you get when you have found someone who gets you and all your quirks is unmatched. And the adventures that you and your love will go on are ones that you both will cherish for a lifetime. With that said, it is not only important to note the beauty of love, but also how to love. Knowing how to love is not inherent to everyone; it takes experience, lots of trial and error and the wisdom that you will eventually get it. So, how do you know how to love?

For me personally, I think expressing to my partner how I respond to love the best was rather difficult. For a long time, I felt as though it was their obligation to figure it out. I talk a lot about the things that I find important or the things that I like and for a while I felt like that was enough for my partner to figure out how I was feeling and what I needed. But after being together for some time, I quickly realized that my partner’s world does not revolve around me and that they might not be paying close attention to me as maybe I assumed. I am not saying this in a negative way or as a dig at them at all; what I am trying to say is that we are all very busy. We have school and work and extracurriculars and planning our lives after college out and when you add a relationship to that mix, the expectation for my partner to notice all the little nuances of my love language is at best unrealistic.

So, as I came into that understanding, I began to realize that the best way for my partner and I to really understand each other’s needs and love language was not to play this game that I had all planned out in my head, but just to be honest with them. I know it sounds like a boring answer, but it’s the truth.

With that said, the other day I was honest about something that really meant a lot to me and I would like to share it with you all reading this. Ever since I was a little kid, I have kept a memory box. This is a box where I store things that remind me of some of the happiest parts of my life. The box is filled with pictures and postcards and letters and cards from people who love me and know me the best. The box is something that I really treasure because I did not have the best childhood and those negative and sad experiences left me wanting to preserve anything positive that I was left. Thus, things like letters mean a lot to me.

I bring up letters because this was something I wanted to do with my partner. I wanted each of us to write a letter to the other person talking about our feelings for each other as we came up on our one year anniversary. However, I failed to explain to my partner the significance of what this letter meant to me and thus my partner really didn’t understand the importance of it. Since he is not the best with expressing himself through writing, he ended up deciding not to write the letter because he found himself feeling silly when he attempted at it. His feelings were indeed genuine, but I couldn’t help myself from feeling hurt. This letter meant a lot to me and the fact that I had put so much effort in writing mine and he did not write one at all left me sad for deep reasons I could not begin to understand.

And then I slowly began to figure it out. I wasn’t actually upset that I didn’t receive a letter. My sadness over the letter stemmed from my need for words of affirmation; one of the many love languages I did not realize was important to me. Once I realized that I am someone who really craves words of affirmation from my partner, I was able to verbalize that to my partner and help him better understand me and my needs.

I tell this short story to say that oftentimes we have these expectations of how our partner should treat us without recognizing that we ourselves may not know what those expectations even are. So, to go back to the question I posed in the beginning of this article: how do you know how to love someone? I truly believe the answer lies in learning how to love yourself first. Once you learn how to love yourself first, you can guide your partner along that journey so that as a couple you will know how to love each other in the best way.

Cover Image Credit: Fairuseimages

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An Open Letter To My Boyfriend's Mom

A simple thank you is not enough.
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Your son and I have been dating a while now and I just wanted to thank you for everything.

Wow, where do I start? Ever since the day your son brought me into your home you have shown me nothing but kindness. I have not one negative thought about you and I am truly thankful for that. I first and foremost want to thank you for welcoming me with open arms. There are horror stories of mothers resenting their son's girlfriends and I am blessed there is no resentment or harsh feelings.

Thank you for treating me like one of your children, with so much love but knowing exactly when to tease me.

Thank you for sticking up for me when your son teases me, even though I know it’s all in good fun it's always comforting knowing you have someone by your side.

Thank you for raising a man who respects women and knows how to take responsibility of mistakes and not a boy who is immature and doesn’t take responsibility.

Thank you for always including me in family affairs, I may not be blood family but you do everything you can to make sure I feel like I am.

Thank you for letting me make memories with your family.

There is nothing I value more in this world then memories with friends and family and I am thankful you want and are willing to include me in yours. I have so much to thank you for my thoughts keep running together.

The most important thing I have to thank you for is for trusting me with your son. I know how precious and valuable he is and I won't break his heart. I will do everything I can to make him happy. This means more than you could ever imagine and I promise I will never break your trust.

The second most important thing I must thank you for is for accepting me for who I am. Never have you ever wished I looked like another girl or acted like another girl. You simply love and care for me and that’s all I could ever ask. Every person in this world is a unique different person and understanding that means a lot.

The third most important thing I must thank you is teaching me how to one day in the future treat a potential girlfriend that I may interact with as a mother. I am not a mother, but I one day plan to be. If I ever have a son it is because of how you treated me that I am able to be a humble loving mother to this new face that could one day walk into my door. How you have treated me has taught me how I should one day be in the future and I thank you for that.

This may seem all over the place but that’s how my brain gets when I try and thank you for everything you have done for me. It’s all so much and even the little things are so important so I promise my scattered thoughts are all with good intentions and not meant to bombard you. I just want to get the idea across to you that you are important and special to me and everything you do does not go unnoticed.

Sincerely,

Your Son’s Girlfriend

Cover Image Credit: Christian Images and Quotes

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Thanks To The Jonas Brothers, I Never Regret Not Dating A Teenage Boy

Ya'll made it drama free.

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All thanks to three guys from New Jersey, I never regret not having a boyfriend in Middle or High School. I started listening to the Jonas Brothers when I was in 6th grade. I was awkward, I wanted to fit in simply because I was the minority in my mostly white school district. I also wanted to feel more independent since I was reaching the ripe age of 13.

Eventually, certain things came to me where I was able to gain that independence. I had no problem talking to certain adults simply because I would just be myself, and they would have absolutely no issue with it. Then came Nick, Kevin, and Joe. They already had one album out called 'It's About Time', and too contrary belief became a classic for them to date. Eventually, as they made their approach to the Disney Channel, their popularity increased more and more. Soon enough, everyone knew of them. Even if they didn't even listen to their music, they still knew about them.

I was what you called the stereotypical 'fangirl.' I was overly protective of them whenever I would hear any guy in school call them 'gay' 'ugly' or 'untalented'. In fact, I'm very thankful that social media was not as big yet. I could not imagine going off as much as I would imagine. But there were other ways to vent. I still had some of my friends relate, but even with that, a good portion of them would tell me to stop being obsessed with them. But that only allowed my obsession to grow.

Everything that they did was a news update for me. I had to keep up with them ALL the time, no matter what the condition was. I had to know what they were doing every single day. Okay, not to a point of stalking but you get the picture. My point is that no other boy mattered at the time other than them. Joe was my favorite one so I had to keep up with him the most. Especially when he was dating someone. Yes, I will admit that some of Joe's exes were not my favorite, yet I shipped the hell out of the other ones. But I will say now that as a grown woman I am no longer interfering with his relationship. I was always wondering what it would be like to even go on a date around that age.

I never went on one considering how weird teenage boys truly are. Some of them want a girlfriend simply just to have one, and others just had their hormones go all nuts. The reason why I wasn't heavy on dating during that time was simply that I was trying to focus on myself and who I truly was. I did not want to deal with any of the drama that came with a relationship because I had a lot more than I needed to worry about.

Yes, did I want a guy that I thought was hot to date me of course! But it turns out looking back on it, I'm grateful that I decided to not give him the time of day. Considering that nowadays he's not exactly the right person to be with anyway. Even in general, I'm glad I never had to worry about fighting with another girl about another guy. A total complete waste of time, and not worth sacrificing anything.

I realized that there was so much more to life than just having a guy like you. Even if you did get those weird feelings every time he was around. Also if it was the other way around where a guy liked you, and you just didn't like him back. What a complicated web the teenage years hold. But back to the Jo-Bros. I'm grateful that these guys were in my life because it distracted me from the realities of how teenage boys truly are. You know, the ones that don't sing to you and tell you-you're beautiful every five seconds.

I'm grateful for all the memories that I had with these guys, especially making endless books and PowerPoint presentations on why I loved them so much. Although I'll still keep up with them once in a blue moon, it doesn't mean that I'll forget my first love. Just because I'm not in a room where they've plastered all over the walls anymore, doesn't mean that I didn't cherish those times when I would beg my mom to get me the latest teen magazine. If they were not in it, I didn't want it! Plain and simple everyone remembers their first teen crush. But I'm grateful that these three brothers allowed me to not get distracted by the teen dating scene. Also, I think it helped out my father as well.

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