WHAT IS LOVE?

Ah, the age-old question…the tale as old as time…barely even friends, then somebody bends…unexpectedly.

Okay, okay, I’ll stop now.

So the other night I was procrastinating, naturally, and I came across this article that one of my friends had posted. And with a title like, “We Only Fall in Love with 3 People in Our Lifetime – Each One for a Specific Reason”, it was clear to me that I had to designate at least 10 minutes of my time to devour this article.

Love has always been a driving force in my life; not just romantically, but in my family, my friendships, my career, and my passions. Love has also confused me, hurt me, hollowed me out and then filled me back up, and finally, love compliments me. It suits me better now in my old age of 26. It just makes more sense now.

In the article, the first love they examine is the head-first tailspin of your First Love.

Gosh, who doesn’t remember their first love? I remember I was just a 13-year-old brace-face in my first relationship. And I don’t say that ironically; it was a legit relationship, not your typical 8th-grade fling, ya know? He was the first dude I ever loved, but the article states, “We jump into this love headfirst believing that this person will be our only love (even if it does not feel quite right) and convince ourselves that this is how love should look like. This love focuses more on how others perceive us versus how we actually feel.” And that couldn’t be more true. Friends intervened, we ended up going to different high schools, and it just wasn’t working anymore. I took the backseat to football and the bros, and in all fairness, he took the backseat to high school and volleyball and all of my other commitments. And that was that. But I’ll always look back on that time fondly. No hard feelings. Especially because I was pubescent and awkward and for that, I apologize.

Next, the article dissects the twists and turns of your Second Love.

Yikes…for me, I dated two pivotal people during this time frame. One was functional and respectful and fate ended up taking us down separate paths, but the other was abusive, depressing, and scarring.

The article shares, “This is the love that teaches us lessons about ourselves and what we need to feel loved in any relationship. This love brings with it great pain – the pain of loss, deceit, and lies.” The article also states, “This love is often unhealthy and rather unbalanced.  During this love there can be emotional or physical abuse and often there is some form of manipulation at play.  This love is surrounded by a constant state of drama and this drama is the reason we hold on.  The drama becomes addictive and it becomes hard to break the cycle,” and holy shit, could this not be more true?!

From 16 to 21, I didn’t have it easy. I had a love that was lost. I had a love that emotionally, mentally, and almost physically abused me. And I had never been more manipulated and damaged in my entire life.

I’ve seen things, I’ve gone through things–shit happens to all of us, you know? Life isn’t about how smokin’ you look on Snapchat or the amount of likes or followers you get on Instagram.

Real life is like scraping your knee on the sidewalk, watching your skin fray and bleed, trying to pick all the rocks out, and then waiting for it to heal, knowing you’re not going to die, but it’ll sure as hell leave a scar.

This was such a formative time for me: I learned what I liked, what I didn’t, what I wouldn’t tolerate, and what I wanted from a man. I learned that while I appreciate the gesture, I don’t need a man to open my car door for me. I learned the limitations of how far I can be pushed, how far I can be manipulated and degraded, and I learned that I would never let that happen again.

I learned that being dumped cliffside while the sun is setting has got to be the cruelest form of breakups–I would have rather been texted! But texting wasn’t that prevalent during that time (remember, I’m older than you…that and the fact that I got a flip-phone when I turned 17…and it was my grandma’s old flip-phone, while we’re at it!).

I learned that no man should ever need to resort to violence to make a point, i.e. punching a wall, punching a door, punching his car hood, punching the car door, raising a hand like he was about to hit me, etc. I learned that I would never let a man tell me how to do my hair and what color to dye it, what I should wear, how much makeup I should be wearing, who I could hangout with and when…literally, I was that girl. I was a chameleon. Any semblance of self-esteem was shredded and let loose into the wind…I had lost myself.

And after some time, that lost girl found herself in Vegas one weekend for a mutual friend’s birthday when she found her Third Love.

All I can say is: THANK GOD FOR MY THIRD LOVE, MY HANDSOME HUBS.

Jesus, he saved me in every way that I deserved and needed to be, and yes, I just quoted my own vows here, y’all. I needed saving. And I know that goes against everything I stand for because a woman should be strong and be able to stand on her own two feet, but shit, I was so far gone that for two months, I didn’t even believe him when he told me that I was intelligent and sarcastic and beautiful and an adventure…he could see me when I couldn’t even tell you who I was anymore–just the whisper of someone I used to know.

But then he told me he loved me and for the first time in a long time, past the abuse and the literal past and the fear that I could lose him, I believed him. And nothing has been the same since. Blood started pumping into my ears, I grew dizzy…I grew teary-eyed. I felt invigorated and fresh. I felt the bubbling desire of an adventure that was soon to come to fruition. I felt alive, and that’s how he saved me. He brought me back to life again.

The article shares,

The last love is the love that comes out of left field.  This is the love that surprises us and destroys any ideas of what we believed our love should look like.  This love is easy and we wonder how it is possible that love could be this simple and has no complications.

It is the love that sweeps us off our feet because we were not looking for a relationship. This is the love where everything feels as though it is falling perfectly into place. This love is uncomplicated and is not filled with expectations. Perfection is not something we feel pressure to achieve and find ourselves perfectly content in our lives and our relationship.

This love does not look like the love we dreamed we would have and this love does not follow any of the rules we had set up for ourselves. This love breaks any notions we had about what our greatest love would look like and shatters any beliefs of how we thought it would be.

This love just simply feels right. It is the love that has been knocking at our doors for ages and we finally decided to answer. It is the love that teaches us how to feel love and to give love.

And this, my loves, is my wish for you: that you cherish your first love, you learn what you deserve from your second, and you embark on an adventure filled with effortless love, support, and passion with your third. Let it consume you and fill you up. Let it hug you when you’re sad as hell and feed you when you’re PMS-ing. Let it choose a movie on Netflix even though you heard it was terrible. And let it figure out the directions on Google Maps.

Let it fuel you in all you do–like when you finally finish that novel and launch it on Amazon and hope that people snag a copy and fall in loveeee with it…

See what I did there…? 😉

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XOXO, lo♥

2 thoughts on “WHAT IS LOVE?

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