I was browsing through my documents on my computer, trying to find an old story I'd written when I cam across this. It's dated from April 2012. I thought I'd share it with you all.
I'm really sick of people justifying staying in unhealthy relationships with the phrase "you can't help who you love". I've been in bad relationships, and I'm here to tell you that this is bull.
Love isn't the fire and passion movies like The Notebook make it out to be. It's much more than that. And while it's true you can't help who you're attracted to, you can most certainly help who you love. Love is a choice.
Love comes AFTER the honeymoon stage of a relationship. Love is what happens AFTER the obsessive "can't stop thinking about you, have to be with you all the time" part. Love is when you wake up one day, and you look at that person for who they REALLY are. The idealism is gone. You see their flaws. You see everything. You weigh out the things you love about a person and the things that drive you absolutely insane. Then you make a decision. This can go one of two ways.
You can take the pros and cons, and think "This person treats me like an angel. It bugs the crap out of me that they leave the cap off the toothpaste, but that's something I can live with, because the flaws I see are frivolous." That's when you make the decision to love them. Or it may go something more like this: "This person is a complete jerk to me most of the time. He/she is mean, condescending, and will only do something nice for me if it also benefits them. But they're really attractive and I hate being alone."
THAT IS NOT LOVE!
Love is also not the burning passion 24/7 that Hollywood describes. Love is waking up in the morning and just being happy that, for better or worse, you have THIS PARTICULAR PERSON in your life. Love is accepting the flaws and loving that person for their quirks, not in spite of them. Love is challenging each other every single day to be a better person. Love is a feeling of fulfillment and content. Let's look at some quotes about love, shall we?
The first is a Biblical reference from 1st Corinthians 13:4-7:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does dishonor other, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
No where in there does it say "Love gets cheated on, beaten, and abused but deals with it". It says that love is GOOD, even when times are not.
Marilyn Monroe also had a firm grasp on the idea of love.
"I'm selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
Hmmm....see I take this to mean "I have bad days, and if you can't be there for me when I need you, then you don't get to be there ever." Have I made my point yet? Let's try one more.
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." - Lao Tzu
Love makes you stronger. It makes you a better person. When you experience REAL love, you're not afraid to make mistakes now and then, because you know there's someone to catch you if you fall. When you experience REAL love, you're not afraid to express yourself, because you know you will always be accepted and appreciated.
If none of this speaks to you, if nothing I've said makes you think of a specific person who fits the bill, I'm sorry to say you're not really in love. If I HAVE made you think of someone, and you're sitting there thinking "I wish my relationship were even a little bit like that", I'm here to tell you GET OUT AND FIND SOMEONE WHO WILL TREAT YOU LIKE THIS.
I'm a single mother. I'm not sitting here preaching at you because I'm in some perfect relationship and think I know it all. Not even close. I don't have a significant other, because I refuse to settle for less than this ever again. I'm waiting for real love. I'm waiting for the sacrifice to be worth the gain. I challenge you to do the same.