As a self-described quote whore I was trolling the interwebs for quotes on love to post for Valentine’s Day. There are just so many ways to talk about love that selecting one quote became the most difficult of tasks. Finding one sentence to describe the experience of love is impossible because there are so many versions of it and every person in their interaction with another in this manner will feel something different. Sure there are universal truths, but just for myself alone I could post seventeen different quotes- all probably contradictory to each other because of my own personal experiences in this department.
In my short 31 years I’ve experienced all kinds of love- real and imagined, true and false, reciprocated and unrequited, deep and shallow, healing and hurtful. Love is the most powerful emotion there is (in my opinion) and the nuances of it and the way it changes over time and with each new fall is what keeps it the most important thing we experience in this life. If you think about it, it’s the driving force behind all we do and the one thing that can rock your world or shatter it in one instant. Being a chronic relationship person (i.e. I did not date around a whole lot before walking down the aisle) even I have had such a wide variety of experiences in love- I have had my heart broken and broken a heart or two myself. I’ve been cheated on and been the cheater. I’ve been the first to say I love you and had someone say it to me when all I felt was the desire to high five them at most. I’ve wanted to tell someone how I felt and never did. I have fallen in love with two little furry fellas with four legs and known the feeling that I would do anything to protect them. I’ve been asked by someone to spend the rest of my life with them and said yes.
But there are things I have not experienced too- the mind-blowing love of your own child, the pain of divorce, the thrill of a secret admirer (minus the creepy dude who sent me a picture of himself in ladies underwear after a particular piece of press- that, my friends, does not count). And even if you’ve found love, it changes because people change. And either that love changes with you or it changes in a way that means it’s time to move on. See, as much as I love romance and all it’s warm fuzzy gestures, I’m not a die hard romantic. I’m much more of the “I don’t believe in soul mates” school of thought. I believe there are a lot of people out there that I could be happy with, and so does my husband (so you can stop worrying that I’m going to get an irate call in a minute). I think it’s dangerous to think that there is only one person for you, just as I think it’s dangerous to expect to get everything from one person. My life is made delightfully lovely by my husband, but it’s rounded out by the friends and family that provide things that aren’t in his nature. I can’t expect him to love all the things I do. I can’t have a guy’s guy AND one who loves Twilight, yoga, celebrity gossip, museums and shopping for hours. He doesn’t expect me to scream at the tv during Patriot’s games just as I don’t expect him to do the same during red carpet shows (although sometimes he does join me in berating people’s fashion choices). And as I enter the phase of life where I have friends having babies and getting divorced in near equal measure- trying to predict my fate in love beyond getting up everyday and working at it and believing in it seems silly.
But as it’s said over and over in many ways you can’t love anyone else fully until you love yourself. Despite all my relationship highs and lows, the relationship with myself has been the most tumultuous and continues to be the one I need to work on the most. I find it easier to tell someone else I love them than tell myself the same, and that needs to change. So this Valentine’s Day I am going to show myself some love- probably in the form of chocolate and chick flicks, but hopefully also in the form of confidence, bravery and forgiveness. That would be the sweetest gift of all.