I LOVE love & celebrating love. I had a huge work event today & enjoyed watching the social media posts of all of the couples. As I typed up my message, I started really thinking about love & what it means to love.
1. Love is not always neat & easy. There is this myth that once you fall in love you live “happily ever after.” Loving someone (and yourself) through the darkness can be difficult. We humans do not always yield to our highest good. Sometimes things get out of order in relationships & it takes hard, collaborative work to put things back in order
2. Love & relationships are a slice of our identity pie. We are so much more than girlfriends, boyfriends & spouses. The best relationships try to honor the fullness of our humanity & allow us to explore the many facets of our identity beyond the insecurity, guilt & shame of living & expressing our whole selves.
3. No two relationships are the same. I enjoy learning from people who have been married longer than Che & I, but I don’t seek to duplicate or imitate them. Relationships are as diverse as the paint on the walls in our houses. You have to come to an understanding with the person(s) you’ve committed to & move on from there.
4. Needs & tastes change over time. As you & your partner grow & change, so will your relationship. Your partner may need certain things now that they didn’t need even a year ago. Communication is key to navigate this successfully. When couples can’t navigate this it often leads to break up or divorce.
5. Assume nothing. Don’t assume that your partner knows that you love them. Don’t assume that your partner doesn’t care about something. When in doubt ask. If you can’t prove it confirm it to be true, then release & move on.
6. Your partner may not express love the way you want, that does not mean they don’t love you! I love fresh flowers so much I started buying them for myself. I don’t expect my husband to give me flowers. He enjoys giving other types of amazing gifts. If you want something, instead of twisting your partners arms, just purchase or gift it to yourself.
7. Keep people out of your business. Don’t complain to other people about your spouse. It leaves the door open for them to eventually complain about your spouse. People are not neutral & they have their own baggage. If you & your spouse can’t handle it, consider going to a minister or therapist. The therapist is great because he/she is usually neutral & can be trusted by both parties. Others will usually have a bias.
8. Try new things together. The brain craves novelty! Work with it by “pre- arranging” the novelty. Don’t wait for life to create it for you! Jump in front of it!
Remember that love is beautiful after Cupid shoots you, but it’s still a shot!