Real Love

Unfortunately, wisdom is seldom gained any way other than from making stupid choices. I’ve gained quite a bit of wisdom throughout the years. For instance, in fourth grade I learned that short hair wasn’t for me. In fifth grade, I learned that parachute pants would not always be totally awesome. Still having a hard time with that one.

In all seriousness though, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is not to waste my time or my vulnerability on just anybody. The price paid for that mistake is usually a good dose of humility with a side of duh. The flip side is to know when someone is completely worth it.

Is there a way to side step “learning the hard way”? If that exists, I obviously don’t know how it works. It also sounds fairly boring.

Lately, I’ve seen quite a few beautiful, strong, smart women learn the hard way as well. (Thanks, social media!) I say to these women….I appreciate you not leaving me out there on my own. Also, messy loves company and you’re always welcome to sit next to me…unless you don’t drink because then it’s awkward. It’s Sunday brunch; I’m on my third Michelada, you’re drinking orange juice with NO champagne. I don’t get it. That’s not brunch, that’s breakfast. You might as well eat a bowl of Grape Nuts and hey, bring your Reader’s Digest along because if you’re going to be awful, be all the way awful. You and I have nothing in common, sister. Go with God.

However, for you lovely ladies who will Bloody Mary it up in the morning, let’s chat…

What do you attribute your lack of wisdom to in those duh moments? What is it that clouds our judgment?  Can we blame Disney? Although, I never bought into the princess saved by prince charming bullshit, I’d like to blame them for perpetuating that stupidity.

Ok, fine. Here’s what I think it really is…and this might surprise you.

It’s not just the guy’s fault. I know. Don’t ban me from the girls club for life. I’ll still wear pink on Wednesdays!

Men and women meet through all sorts of circumstances and very often, things don’t work out. It’s what happens afterwards that has me puzzled. Fingers get pointed, usually the middle ones. It’s like someone has to be blamed. People can’t just walk away and move on. Why? Simple, we’re hurt, sad, angry, and defensive. 

Most of all, we’re disappointed. This goes for both people in the situation. You thought the other person was better, more than who they turned out to be. Maybe you were looking past their flaws because you wanted it to work so badly and everything was so perfect those amazing first 3 weeks.

If you happen to be in this perfect stage right now, let me burst your bubble a little. That guy/girl who seems damn near perfect right now, farts. OMG. I know! They even poop…and it does not smell like roses.  Someday, they’re going to steal the covers and monopolize Netflix time. Imagine the horror!  They won’t always hang on every word you say or think everything you do is adorable and that’s exactly when it gets beautiful. Pick your jaw up off the floor and focus.

The truth is sometimes it doesn’t work out with someone because they’re not your person, plain and simple. They’re not your lobster. (If you don’t get that reference, you need to rethink all of your life choices) You just might need to call it, soak up the wisdom you’ve gained, and move on. 

The other truth is that some people want easy. They don’t want messy, they don’t want real. Those people are missing out. Beyond the annoyances of sharing a bathroom, having miscommunications, and accepting the other person’s flaws is real love. Real love is harder to find because it isn’t found at all, it’s created. It’s waking up every day and deciding to love an imperfect person because they’re worthy of your love and for some reason they think you’re worthy of love too. 

Loving another person completely is accepting them as they are with no agenda to try and change them. If you’re wondering if you’ve found the right person, ask yourself, can you live forever with them the way they are today? That shouldn’t take you more than 15 seconds to answer. I’ll wait……aaaannnd time. There’s your answer.

Real isn’t always glamorous, it’s real. It’s boxers on the bathroom floor, clean sheets on Sunday, helping kids with homework, stupid inside jokes, and being happy that he remembered to put the trashcan out on Wednesday night. That’s the good stuff.

No matter what, you can never love somebody if you don’t love yourself. That sounds cliché, but it’s completely true. The capacity to which you can accept another person cannot exceed the capacity to which you accept yourself. The same is true with love and forgiveness. To me, those three things are what a healthy relationship is; love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Loyalty and trust go without saying, but I’m saying it anyway. If you want what is real, you’ll need all five.

I have by no means perfected any of this by the way, but it is my truth and what I will continue to live by and strive for.

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