Is Love Worth it? It's Messy, Sometimes Complicated - But Always Worth Pursuing
You will meet many different versions of love on your journey. Cherish all of them.
As the Founder of a dating app, I feel almost obliged to let you in on some of my own personal secrets. I mean, how can I honestly expect you to trust me with your love life, if I'm not willing to openly tell you about mine..?
Well, today, I'm going to talk about 'love' - that mushy, lovely-dovey word.
I friggin' love LOVE! Love intoxicates me, and I would drink it in abundance if I could. I'm great not only at at being in love, but also showing love, and giving love.
So, with all of this love - why am I unable to find it for myself?
In truth, I've actually been in love 'seriously' three times, and infatuated probably more times than I can remember. On reflection, looking back at the times whereby I have felt I have 'loved' someone - in hindsight, that was just lust, and biology trying to trick me into 'procreating' aka 'having sex' with people who in the longer-term were not for me.
That's the problem though isn't it? We all mostly 'fall' into relationships, paying very little attention into how compatible our date is when it comes to a longer-term commitment - not only that, due to our own lack of emotional self-awareness, we often fall for those who simply reaffirm our beliefs about ourselves i.e. I'm not enough, I'm un-loveable - so you attract those who want to push you away - as you can imagine this is a receipe for disaster. Yet, we can all gravitate towards what we believe to be true and before we know it, we're just caught up in the inevitable confirmation bias - you see this a lot when the anxious and avoidant attachment styles come together.
Back you love - me, well I have been incredibly fortunate in my life to have had only good experiences when it comes to love. My partners have be mostly trustworthy, kind, and loving - helping me to not only know, but also experience healthy relationships. Each of my loves have shown me what I deserve, what I want, what I need, and what I can give....
My first love.
I dated this guy in my youth - he was slightly younger than me (a common theme it would appear that has continued throughout my life...) and if I am honest, he is the person who showed me what love is really all about: I suppose you could say that he set the tone.
He lived close by, and we dated on-and-off for about two years. He wrote me romantic love notes, and made me feel like I was the most important person in his world - he loved all of me. In truth, I can't remember how it all ended, especially 'finally'.... but I think we both eventually grew apart and I moved away. But the break up, I recall, was heartbreaking. He was the first person to ever break my heart, and the person in to whom I lost my virginity.
(Now, I believe my father reads these articles. Dad - please stop reading now...!)
So, back to losing my virginity. I must say, I am truly grateful to my first love because I think (upon reflection) if you could want a great experience when it comes to the first time you have sex, then this was the best you could hope for. I trusted this person with everything I had. He also turned up for me, and put up with a lot of my sh*t (and at 15/16 I was a real pain in the ass..!). I adored him; I will always adore him. He showed me that relationships are supposed to be both give and take, that boyfriends should be kind and trustworthy - and he taught me to LOVE romance, love notes, and passion.
My second love.
This was my longest relationship. For a long time, I thought this person was my person. But in reality, we were very different. We loved each other very much, but for the long-term, staying together would have eventually led to a lot of unhappiness.
He was kind, loving, and supportive and we shared almost four years together. (He also put up with a lot of my sh*t...) I adored him and his family- and I always will. I think when you have loved someone so deeply, to not acknowledge the friendship you also had when you are no longer together is a great shame. I am very lucky to have shared some amazing times with this person, so whilst we no longer speak, I still have very fond thoughts and memories of him.
He is now very happily married to a lovely woman and they share an adorable little girl. Nothing can make me smile more than knowing that he did end up finding his person.
The third love.
Now, this was the BIG one. This one came out of nowhere. BUT MY OH MY. This one was the kind of love you see in the movies - the kind of love everyone talks about, but some never experience. The love everyone wants to have.... YET, sorry folks, this one ended too.
He was much younger than me. In hindsight, it's possible that I was maybe even his first love - but we shared a love for one another which was passionate and loving - a very intense love. He would also write me love notes, couldn't go more than three days without seeing me (he worked in banking so this was a difficult goal to achieve at the time), and would look at me like a big ol' puppy. I mean, it was dreamy. We made big plans, he said he would be with me forever... BUT then it all fell apart.
This one was messy. In fact, it was a messy three years until we finally made a complete separation three years ago - with no contact since. Even then, we only eventually partied ways after I found out he'd actually being dating someone else for two or so years - whilst also regularly maintaining contact with me. So, I told his current partner what he'd been up to, enough was enough.
As you can imagine, they both took it badly, but it provided an opportunity for me to finally escape his affection. You see, I have an awful habit of wanting to remain friends with loved ones. I see so much in people, that I forget that when you break up, the person you once loved, are no longer that decent person that used to love you back. He took advantage of my kind nature, and would come tiptoeing back always asking for more than the friendship I was offering. I was free and single so why they hell not flirt - by this point, I had no desire to be in a relationship with him - but the chemistry between us hadn't ended with the relationship, that was still alive and kicking. I feel deep down, he just struggled to fully let go of what we had, too. I don't blame him, I understand - intense relationships don't come around often, and despite the person not being right for you, it doesn't stop you loving the way it made you feel.
Despite the messy ending, this is a relationship I will always look back on with love and affection - I don't think I could ever also stop loving that person. Of course, he is no longer 'that person', and I doubt I would even find him that attractive now. He's also the only person I have ever loved, that I no longer like.
To summarise why we broke up, when it came down to it, history, backgrounds, different life stages, lies, family expectations, job/career aspirations.... they all got in the way. BIG love, doesn't mean forever love. I know that's hard to hear.
I believe he is still with the same person, also someone who works in finance. They both have similar backgrounds, so she is definitely more suitable, too - and I wish him well.
Love is a crazy thing, and it makes you do crazy things - including holding onto it when you really should let it go. Sometimes love is boring, predictable, and down right chaotic. Sometimes love doesn't make sense, two people together don't make sense, but love is always permanent. It's just as transient as life.
With that in mind, my thought are this: Love always. Don't wait, don't wonder, don't waste time. Love with everything you have, with no excuses.
You will meet many different versions of love on your journey. Cherish all of them, and love others with all of your heart.
BUT, and it's a big BUT....
'til next time,
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