Lessons Learned

Hey There! It’s another Friday and another boring weekend coming for me. As you may agree: overthinking is normal for some people like me who are trapped inside walls due to the pandemic. Let me share something I’ve been thinking lately. Throughout the past few years of being take and untaken (eventually!) and observing others in relationships, I have analyzed, re-analyzed, realized and I’ve picked up a few things.

You have to be in a good terms with yourself first to love someone else. As cliche as it sounds, this is quite possibly the greatest piece of advice I can give to anyone. and Ironically, this is also the hardest lesson to learn and process. You have to be comfortable in your skin-tone, confident with your own life regardless whatever it is, and absolutely glowing with happiness from within before you add someone else on. You might disagree but no one can actually complete you. And please take note: it will make all the difference in your relationship. Dating when you love yourself is a bit different from dating someone to love you. Trust me — I’ve done both.

I began (attempted!) dating early last year after a bad breakup, carrying the nightmares and trauma equivalent of international flight baggage with me. I sought out women who would love me unconditionally. The more I searched for it, the more I repelled it in my life. After enough hurt, self sabotage and heartache, it finally clicked that the love I was searching from others was the love I needed to give myself. Everything slowly changed afterwards. My life stabilized and became more calm. My relationship with myself improved substantially. I started to see life differently. I started to date differently too! My expectations from them decreased and my expectations for myself, inversely, increased. And now I don’t need someone else to tell me how great I am when I can realize that on my own. And I don’t want someone to “be there” for me when I can take care of myself. And I dont have to rely on someone to provide me with peace and happiness because those things come from within me. It’s great in a sense. But it’s terrible from another point of view: because I noticed I started to be “not impressed” with almost anyone I interact with.

I see couples all the time who are codependent. I’m sure you see it too. They’re each others “better half”, attached to their significant other like a baby koala to its mother, swearing how they can’t live without one another, drowning in this fucked up, flawed, socially constructed idea of an all consuming love. But after two decades of being into this business I would say: It’s extremely unhealthy. It is unsustainable. It is unstable. Codependency is dangerous and should not at all be confused with love. Please note: not everyone can differentiate Love and efforts vs taking advantage. Codependency can lead to heartbreaking misinterpretation of something else. So let’s always be aware of Codependency.

Someone wise once said: Love is patient and kind. We need to understand that a relationship isn’t a power struggle, a race to the altar or a means to an end. It’s not a desperate attempt to be Instagram perfect or capture the current criteria of #relationshipgoals. Even through the inevitable lows in life. This stability only comes from slowly and patiently building a relationship from the beginning. We need to take our time getting to know each other, unraveling parts of each other, revealing parts of our history, personalities and futures naturally and organically. My teenage is long gone and I will never again rush to chase someone by illusion of being in love (again!)

I’ve learned and realized by now that Love is timeless. Like a building, love must have a solid foundation, excellent blueprints and strength to withstand whatever storms it’s hit with.

The most painful fact I came to realize lately was: Love is hard to come by. Perhaps, that’s what makes it so special. Not all of us will feel that head over heels love that we see in movies. Some of us may experience, lose it and never find it again. Some of us might find it and keep it. There are no guarantees here.

The only thing I can comment on this is when you find it, when you find something worth hanging onto, when you feel something real, cherish it. Protect it. Do your best. Be present.

Loving someone is a daily decision. Everyday you are presented with a choice to build or destroy your relationship with your partner: with each event, disagreement or cross road in your lives together, you decide how you want to move forward from it. Is this worth arguing about? Can I let this go? How do I want to address with my partner? What has worked in the past for us and what hasn’t? Everything is a chance for you to make your relationship stronger, through your choice of words, actions and consideration.

I’d love your thoughts on this. Is there something you’ve learned from falling in love? Are there any mistakes you’ve made or lessons you’ve picked up? I’m dying to hear them. Cheer!