Friday, 17 November 2017

Lessons in Love



L O V E - that four letter word that means oh-so much.

I've always been a hopeless romantic. From falling for the happy endings of Disney films as a child to swooning over the love stories in the Young Adult books I was usually ensconced in as a tween, love has forever been at the forefront of my mind. I always believed that there was such a thing as true love (despite a period of declaring that all boys were gross and that I would rather die than get married - we all went through that phase, right?!) and I still do, to this day. But, I also think there are lots of different types of romantic love, too.

When I was the ripe old age of fifteen, I fell in love for the very first time. It was that scary, all-consuming, Romeo and Juliet, obsessive, dramatic love and I fell for it, hook, line and sinker. When you're that age, love is everything. Even if you're probably too young to understand it, you fall down a rabbit hole of smooshy love songs, kissing in the rain, 'I can't bear to be apart from you' love. It's a love that consumes you, like everything does when you're a teenager, and it's almost dangerous in its vivacity. It's the love I read about in those very YA books, and there's something so enticing about how unrelenting it is. For me, though, looking back, I think it was more the romanticised idea of that kind of love that appealed to me, and whilst I'm glad I got a chance to experience it, I'm so incredibly glad it's over with now.

My second experience of love came when I hit 17. This love couldn't have been further from my previous experience with that powerful four-letter word. This time, there was no kissing in the rain, no love songs or drama. This was a forced love - a love I wanted so bad through being scared of being alone. It's a love that went on for four long years - but, looking back, I can't really remember any stand-out moments from that time. I sometimes wonder if I was ever really in love then - it was more like two people being so afraid of being alone that they stayed with each other, and loved each other, despite not actually being in love with one another. It was a type of love that nobody deserves, and so, after four years, I made one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, and walked away from it. It wasn't hard because of the love I felt for the person, as harsh as that sounds, but because I was walking away from the comfort blanket I'd had wrapped around me for so long. I was going it alone again, and that terrified me.

My third, and, hopefully final, experience of love came out of nowhere. It hit me like a lightening bolt from across a crowded dance floor and the butterflies I felt then have stayed with me ever since. This love is so different from the first two - it feels so real. It's so different, in fact, that it almost feels bad even comparing it to the previous two. I'll admit, that first encounter felt like a dream - not just looking back, but on the night itself - as we parted ways I honestly felt like I'd found my soulmate. Now, over five years later, I'm even more sure of that. This love is special because it's not all grand gestures, The Notebook-esque moments and love songs. It's the simple things, like just being together. It's walking around the supermarket together, arguing over which show to watch on Netflix, laughing over the other one's questionable outfit choices. It's knowing that the other person has got your back, no matter what. It's sticking by each other even when times are tough, and coming out the other side stronger than ever. It's real, and that's what makes it so different from those previous experiences.

I honestly believe that everybody deserves to feel true love, and experience it in the best possible way, at least once in their lifetime. I also believe that spending your time settling for anything less simply isn't worth it. If you have that sinking feeling in your stomach that this love isn't the right one for you - get out, no matter how hard that might feel. Free yourself from it so that when your real, true love walks through the door there is nothing standing in your way.

Outfit deets: 
Dress*: Joanie Clothing (it's old but they have some amazing pieces right now!) 
Love balloon*: Party Delights
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