When it comes to love, I’ve managed to live my life as a hopeless romantic and an extreme cynic at the same time. As ever, I’m a walking paradox. In some ways I thrive off of everything romantic, red roses are my favourite things in the world and I cry at almost anything. In the same breath, I’m not that much of a fan of Valentines or anything cheesy for that matter. (Although my 14 year-old-Edward-Cullen-obsessed-self would tend to disagree.) It makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable and an excuse for Hallmark cards and hiked up prices on anything that can be considered in any way romantic.
This time of year always makes me think about my romantic experiences. Through various relationships, some good, some awful on and some that just weren’t right, my idea of love and romance has completely flipped on it’s head.
There will be some people who’ll come into your life and you will instantly think they’re your soulmate. They think the same way as you, they have the same interests and you can honestly relate to them about nearly anything. And yet this soulmate connection can be damaging, and can make relationships go stale very quickly. Being with someone who never surprises you or pushes you to look at things in a different light can leave you stuck in a rut with no where to go. On the other hand, some people will come into your life and they will be the last people you’d ever think you’d get on very well with. They will be people who have different interests and traits that you have, and they will be the people who pull you out of your comfort zone and onto the edges of life that terrifies you and excites you at the same time, pulling you out of your shell and helping you grow in ways you never knew you could. You will break, and instead of rebuilding you, they will push you to rebuild yourself. Their self-efficiency and independence will inspire you.
In the end, fall in love with the person that inspires you.
Ultimately in relationships, we are choosing a person that you would (ideally) want to spend the rest of your life with. That’s the ultimate goal, right? Something that I’ve realised is that that life-long commitment is something you don’t necessarily want to spend with the person who makes you feel every feeling all at once and breaks you down to a point where you feel completely out of touch with reality, unstable and lost in the whirlwind of the Universe. Choose the person who really cares about you and your wellbeing — the person who you are willing to help no matter what they’re going through, and someone who respects your beliefs and doesn’t try to change you.
Choose someone who wants you to be the best version of you that you possibly can be and someone who you will encourage to always strive towards their dreams and ambitions.
Love isn’t always wonderful and happy and light. Sometimes it’s hard and it’s work. It demands a patience and a tolerance you might not normally use and it will leave you drained at times. But the rewards are worth it, every single time.