For as long as I can remember, the only 'real' or 'true' love that I have known or witnessed up close, was between my grandparents and in movies.
Growing up without an idea of what love is in a stable, healthy, relationship is rough.
It's hard not knowing what to do, expect, or feel.
How do you know when it's good? How do you know when it's bad? When are you supposed to leave? What are the red flags? Does everyone really have a soulmate? Will I ever find someone to love, that loves me, and wants to commit to me?
Without a solid example set in front of me growing up, I became extremely closed off.
I don't talk about myself. I don't focus on me. I don't open up to others, especially those who I am potentially romantically attracted to.
I have no idea how to date, how to be in a relationship. I was never taught or guided. I never had good examples to learn the correct form of love from.
I know everything that I don't want, everything that I want to avoid, and everything that isn't love.
Over the years, watching the people around me date and watching what works and what doesn't, I have a pretty good idea of what I want.
I have figured out a lot of red flags, when to leave, how to communicate, and what love SHOULD look like. Now, there is a lot of 'love' that surrounds me, but that kind of 'love' isn't the kind that I want. No thank you.
I don't want the fighting every day, breaking up once a week, screaming and yelling.
I don't want the controlling, manipulative, forceful actions.
I want communication, trust, honesty.
I want teamwork, support, and genuine love.
What blows my mind, time and time again is that women and men in relationships are okay with receiving poor treatment. That they are okay with the constant fighting and arguing. That they are okay with the controlling behavior. And the number one answer you get when you ask why they stay in the relationship that they are in, well it's because they are in 'love.'
How can one feeling be so overpowering that you brush aside all the red flags, that you ruin yourself, let the other person break you down?
I don't understand, and hey, maybe that's because I have never been in love.
But if that's what love is, and those are the kind of situations you get into because of love, well then F THAT. I don't even want to be in love.
Obviously, I haven't experienced the feeling, so there is only so much I can say.
I do think that I have a decent head on my shoulders and I definitely know how I want to be treated.
Everyone out there should want to be treated right. Everyone should want to be loved correctly. Everyone should experience love in a good, positive, genuine way.
I might not know what love is, but I sure do know what it's not.