In the bible, God laid out the terms and conditions of love. He told you what it is and how it’s supposed to feel. Now if you believe in God, you should already know that if you seek Him first, He’ll give you the desires of your heart. If you’re not religious, then I’ll just say that love happens for you because you plan for it to.
Love isn’t an accident. I also don’t subscribe to the fairy tale that love will find you when you least expect it. Like anything else, love is a conscious decision. You don’t fall in love with every single attractive person that pays you attention, right? Something in them doesn’t allow you to choose them. Ever so often, God (or the universe) will place someone in your life that fits the blueprint. He or she is everything you’d want in the ways that matter. You go about the vetting process and start dating. Things become more serious and before you know it, they have an extra set of work clothes and a facial scrub at your crib. You made a choice to let them in.
Somewhere along the way though, people get scared. They shudder at the possibility that maybe this person is the missing piece of the puzzle. So they start sabotaging what ordinarily could be a great relationship. I should say we because I’ve done it before too. In order to maintain that emotional distance that makes us uncomfortable and doubtful, we start to find fault where there is none. You settle into the routine of a monogamous relationship – one that you chose to enter into – and it becomes too much. The fear you have about love will cause you to create reasons to put the brakes on, what in reality is, a normally progressing relationship. The person that once made you happy is now the bane of your existence.
Love, when it’s right, is extremely simple. But there are many people walking around thinking that loving relationships are supposed to be hard. Maybe they grew up in a tumultuous household where love was absent. Maybe they’ve spent their entire adult lives being an option or being the only one fighting for a non-existent relationship. Past experiences have birthed the ideal that “real” love is supposed to be difficult and stressful and dramatic and draining. Quiet as kept, some people enjoy that type of love; like your girl Olivia Pope. But that’s just not normal. It’s not acceptable to be a masochist bounded by the weight of your fear.
Love isn’t perfect because we’re not perfect. People make mistakes and the one you love the most does have the power to hurt you. However, not everyone is calculating and conniving. It’s in fact sad that the general consensus is relationships are a game of one-upsmanship. Some of us thrive on being a**holes while hiding behind the facade of “being real”. That mentality has contributed to the dating pool being littered with people who are unreasonably guarded. Trust me, all it takes is one person to ruin your entire perspective on love and relationships.
I was told a few weeks ago that “when you choose love, you gotta expect disappointment”. That’s what started me to do this 3 part series. It sounds like a pessimistic outlook to have. Yet the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. While love is a decision, it does reach a point where it’s out of your control. It’s like predicting weather. Weathermen are sometimes right and other times they’re wrong. Sure it’s a 50/50 chance that your relationship won’t make it. However, why would you choose to stress yourself about the likelihood that it won’t, instead of putting your effort in the 50% that it will? As easily as you’d prepare yourself for a torrential downpour, why not be equally prepared for a clear day with the beaming sunshine?
The counterpoint in this is when you have bad love, it changes your makeup. It leaves scars that take a while to heal. It’s often a bruised ego that hurts more than the love deferred. When you’ve spent a chunk of time with someone and saw them as a viable option for that last name change, it does something to your soul when it all falls apart. Bad love will leave you jaded and uninterested in future deeper connections; the same way Olivia keeps evading the senator with the Cosby sweaters. As long as someone doesn’t truly know you, they can’t hurt you. And if they can’t hurt you, you remain in control. Coming from a guy who used to think this way, it gets old after a while.
Unfortunately we don’t have the foresight we need to get it right the first time. You have to get some dings in your armor when you suit up for love’s battlefield. Yes, some choices in life do have consequences. But love is a choice we make completely on our own. Be optimistic, but don’t be stupid.
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