One of the easiest things to do in life is to fall in love with someone. Despite how societal narratives will try and tell us finding love is incredibly difficult, falling in love is the simplest thing for a person to do. After finding someone who sparks our interest, it’s as if our minds go into complete and utter “blackout.” The logic that we usually have, that “warning” sign that usually flashes in our eyes before we take a step off of the diving board into the deep, dark waters of the unknown, it ceases to exist. We find ourselves going 150 mph down a road in which there is no sure destination, a place where the unknown is the norm and we find ourselves craving every single moment of uncertainty. We are unsure, we are unaware, we are complete and utter “fools in love.”
It’s rather common to get caught up in sentimental and “fairy tale” images that sprawl across your subconscious. We romanticize every detail of our existence with the other person because, at the end of the day, we’re unaware of how painful reality can truly be. We find ourselves dancing on unrealistic dreams and desires, almost tricking our brains into believing that everything is pure happiness, pure bliss. But, why? Why do we feel the need to force an image into our hearts that may not even be true? That may not even be real?
We’ve been raised on these superficial and extravagant narratives that love conquers all. That the greatest thing a person can feel in the world is love. That “all you need is love.” And when we find someone we think is great, we force ourselves into this box – this box in which things should happen one way, people should react one way, your love should look one way. We want the “Prince Charming,” the “Knight in Shining Armor,” the “Noah to our Allie.” We want grand gestures and texts good morning, we want roses on our doorsteps and romantic dinners in the park. We want them to kiss us under mistletoes and care for us when we’re sick. We want everything we see in movies, on TV, on social media.
But we neglect to examine ourselves, personally, and what we truly need as individuals. It’s true that there are some things that you need in the realm of the societal narrative of “love,” but, I doubt that you need it all. There are, however, things you do need that the person you are with may not provide you. And, no matter how deeply in love with someone you are, they may not be the perfect one to give you exactly what you need, deep down in your bones. There are signs, there are flashing lights, there are flags that will appear over and over and over again, but they will be blocked in your vision by the things society tells you are “important.”
The grand gestures. The love letters. The flowers. The chocolate. The texts.
But take a step back. Take a step back and evaluate your needs, your wants, your desires. Are they yours? Or, are they someone else’s that have been branded into your mind under the definition of “unconditional love?” So often, we find ourselves settling into a routine. We get comfortable with the idea of being with someone, that we are too fearful of being alone to leave. We’re too scared of being lonely. We’re terrified of the sleeping alone, the solo decision making, the individualism. And, it prevents us from finding the right love.
The right love should not exhaust you. It should not wake you up in the middle of the night in fear, in regret, in “what if’s.” The right love should not drain you. It should not make you feel as though you’re in an emotional drought, as dry as the desert in the middle of a summer. The right love should make you feel fulfilled. It should inspire you to want to be more, to do more, to explore more. The right love should make you feel as though you are growing. It should make you feel as though you can reach places you never imagined you could climb.
The right love should make you feel as though you are appreciated. It should not make you feel as though your accomplishments, your feelings, your perspectives are invalid. The right love should make you feel special, without grand gestures, material items, societal necessities. It should make you feel whole without a single item. The right love should be exciting. It should feel like the day before Christmas morning. It should fill you with absolute joy, exhilaration, enthusiasm. It should not make you feel as though your life together is a chore. A constant “edge of my seat” for what is going to go wrong. Waiting for the other shoe to drop.
When you’re in love with the wrong person, you know it. You know it in your gut, in your bones, in your soul. You know that you are unhappy, on a deep, dark level. You know you are unsatisfied. You know you are unfulfilled. You know you are doing yourself a disservice by staying. Depriving yourself of the opportunity to find the right love for you.