Love is More than Romance
Our world places a lot of emphasis on chasing romantic love. Society goes so far that we're essentially asked, "Without a partner, what's life really about?" What's worse is when you find yourself the ever-single person in your group of friends. Picture going out with your friends, and everyone's happy. Still, your friends make an endless string of references to their partners. You know they're all going home to see or chat with them when the night ends. Suddenly, the excitement of being with friends wears off because it's not about your group… there are other players. Everyone in the group has someone who prioritizes them the most, except for you.
Who doesn't want to feel extra special to one person? To feel unconditional love? Believe me, I get it.
Hollywood and Bollywood teach us that life's ultimate goal is finding your forever partner through an epic romantic journey. Even worse, Desi parents pile on the pressure asking, "When are you gonna get married?" and "When are you going to grow up and be responsible?" It's as if getting married is an obligatory part of being an adult worthy of respect [which you deserve regardless of your relationship status]. The sinking feeling of loneliness can really bite. Loneliness can leave you asking, "Am I ever going to find that? Will anyone ever love me like that?"
Trust that you deserve it. Trust that you are worthy of it. If you want to find a loving relationship with a partner, go out and look for it. BUT, in the meantime, know that love exists in more than romance books, fantasies, and romantic relationships.
Now, hang on. You might be thinking this is bullshit. It's the same thing people tell you when they're in a relationship while you're not. Just hear me out…
I spent years, and I mean YEARS, dreaming, wishing, and hoping for this same stuff. And while I haven't always been single throughout the years, I can assure you that I wasn't happy, loved, or fulfilled even in a relationship. I was sooo busy chasing a loving relationship and a partner who would care for me that I was missing out on seeing love anywhere else. Honestly, that chasing just made me more miserable.
Chasing romantic love made it hard for me to even accept love of any kind. The bitterness of singledom cast a shadow on my life. And I couldn't recognize that love is actually everywhere, not just in romantic relationships.
Love IS actually everywhere. I mean that. When we allow ourselves to experience the kindness that comes with interactions in our daily lives, our hearts, and minds become open to the possibility of more than romantic love. It helps us recognize the warmth of love. It means putting yourself into a state of receiving instead of expectation.
Expectation creates anticipation. When that anticipation is unfulfilled, we're inevitably disappointed we didn't get what we wanted. Allowing ourselves to look for the glimpses of kindness during a conversation with the cashier at the register, a chat with a friend about how rough their day was, or while simply looking in the mirror and seeing the beauty and not the supposed flaws… we might actually be able to see love in all the ways.
So here are my 3 tips to begin setting yourself up to receive love:
- Look in the mirror daily and start sharing compliments with yourself. It's okay if it's weird and uncomfortable. But give it a try anyway; it WILL get easier!
- Look for kind moments throughout the day in any interactions you have. Greet people with a smile, even when they're cranky. It'll relax you & maybe even them! Even conversations with Amazon customer service or the staff at your usual restaurant can have a little love in them.Find things you appreciate, 3 little things, at the end of EVERY day. See what YOU DO have. Pay attention to what brings a smile to your face. It doesn't matter if it's watching the same show you've seen 800x on repeat and half-pay attention to. Be thankful.
- I'm not telling you this is the quick & easy path to finding your partner. It's still an irritating and nuanced dance and not a science. BUT I'm saying YOU DESERVE to see and experience love regardless of your relationship status.
Can you see that, too?