The more you get to know someone, the easier it can be to pick on their weaknesses and forget about the strengths you loved so much in the first place. Just look around at couples you know. How many of them are bringing each other up, focusing on one another’s strengths? How many of them are picking up on the negative qualities and focusing on those instead? One of the enormous things I’ve learned about true love is that is veiled in positivity. When you truly love someone, you focus on what you love about them, not on what you don’t. It’s taken me a while to realize that negativity is bad news, and it took me even longer to notice that there was no place for it when it came to love.
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Over the previous nine months, I’ve had some pretty tough days. I’ve had days when I felt like I couldn’t get up and go to work because I was so unhappy, but you know what? Through it all, there was one person who could, no matter how low I felt, help me rise above whatever I was facing and encourage me to see the sun peaking its head through the clouds. There was one person who reinforced the idea of positivity and reminded me that I would get through even the toughest of times. And you know that? I did. I made it through some rough spots because he was close upon me, making me smile and reminding me that, even when things were bad, there was always something good and amazing in my life: his love.
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I’ve unveiled a universal truth about love: it can stand alone. There can be love without the other elements I’ve mentioned above. That love can be real and it can be meaningful, but it is not the kind of love you want to give your whole heart and soul to. True love, the real kind that both gets your blood pumping with excitement and has the ability to stand the test of time, comes not alone but hand-in-hand with respect, trust, honesty, and forgiveness. If you don’t have those things in your relationship, then you don’t have true love and you’re missing out on some of the vital elements that make being in love worthwhile. Love alone can be wonderful, intoxicating, but it alone cannot stand the test of time. It’s taken me quite awhile to determine this, but it’s something I now know for sure.
Like most who have been in love, I know that I love is hard work. It starts off easy and carefree until reality sets in and then there you find that there are just two people who are alike in some ways and different from others and who have to find ways to interact with and love one another in spite of their differences. Love is work. But, I’ve learned, the work you have to do for the one you love shouldn’t be a complete drain on you, making you question or wonder if all of the stress and strain is worth it. No, the kind of work you do for love should come naturally and should be worth it. When I look back at the work I’ve put into my current relationship, I don’t envy any of it for a second because I believe that any effort I’ve put in has been returned to me. Love will be hard, but it should never be too hard. I’ve discovered that, if you’re hurt more than you’re happy, you’re not with the right one.