Everyone wants a butterflies-in-your-stomach still-in-love-50-years-later kind of love. But, based on the research of failed relationships and marriages, not many are willing to put in the work to accomplish this kind of love.
Relationships are hard work. Even the most successful couples admit that keeping their love alive isn’t easy. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can build a long-lasting relationship.
The idea of love that most people hold is fundamentally flawed. We have an external focus on love and emotional happiness. Most of us tend to look outside of ourselves for someone who will make us feel whole and happy. When we find someone we then try to be the person they want us to be. In exchange, the person vows to be there for us and give us what we want and not leave us.
Inevitably, this expectation results in disappointments, resentments and frustrations. People will never fully live up to our expectations. So what do we do? we try to change the other person to suit our needs, which we know never works. We then hang on to a dead relationship because of our insecurities and fear of being alone or starting over.
With the rise in self-care awareness, most people are awakening to the realisation that the external love we seek is always within us. As you learn to love yourself, you automatically attract others with equal commitment. Your willingness to be intimate with your own emotions creates a mirror that will allow you to reflect that love to another person. We can only give to others what we are in some way giving and receiving for ourselves. Allow yourself time to withdraw and practise self-care. Self-care includes all the things you do to take care of your well-being in four key areas your emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual health.
Relationships with other people require a lot of hard work. More so because many of us never really learned how to take good care of ourselves, our relationships have been about trying to get someone to take care of us. This foundation of love has since proven to be flawed. People in love often have to overcome a lot of difficulties to be with each other. What are you going to do when someone you love suddenly becomes physically disabled, loses their job, receives life-altering medical diagnoses or becomes mentally ill? When you have a superficial view of love, experiencing such changes will most likely end your relationship. It is human nature to resist any change, don't get me wrong. But when your love is coming from within yourself, you will find that you will continue to love your partner.
Superficial love does things to get the other person to understand and give you more of what you want. You will view emotional happiness as something outside of yourself, rather than a love that is living and breathing within you.
Now, look at true love like a newborn infant. You commit to loving this baby regardless of what you get in return. You do not look for reciprocity. When tragedy strikes and your romantic partner becomes emotionally withdrawn because of various challenges they may be facing, your love remains the same. Or even more so, you will develop resilience in your relationship or marriage. The most important thing that I can not stress enough is, you need to take care of yourself first before you can love someone else. You will accept your partner as they're and see them for whom they're and not the challenge that you're both going through.
This love is genuine and unconditional. This love helps someone to reach their fullest potential. This love is comforting and not judgmental. This love helps you to love yourself. And it all starts with self-care.