What I’ve Learnt About Love

What I've Learnt About Love

Be My Valentine?

The supermarket aisles are full of pink and red, hearts and teddies, flowers and fancy gifts all embossed with those three famous words… be my Valentine?

It is Wednesday 14th February. A day some will look forward to, a chance to spend some quality time with their significant other, swap gifts, write cheesy messages in cards, perhaps some dinner, a movie or a show… a day full of romance. For others, it is just another day at work, just another day of chores and tasks and scrolling aimlessly through Instagram… it’s just another hump day. With an extra sprinkling of lust.

I have rarely touched on or written about Valentine’s day on here, purely because I feel as if love has never been my forte. Not my thing. But we’ve all been there, haven’t we? We’ve all been in love or felt love in some form. We all know what it feels like to adore something and long for it. We all know that regardless of whether that love we’ve felt has left a scar or simply happy memories, we have all learnt from it. So, this year, instead of avoiding social media in fear of seeing gushy, soppy posts (honestly, I love them really!), I thought I’d rattle my brain and share what I’ve learnt about love. In its simplest, purest form.

What I've Learnt About Love

What I've Learnt About Love

It Should Add To Your Life, Not Be Your Life

When I fell in love for the first time when I was just sixteen years old, it was all I wanted to feel, all I wanted to experience. I spent all my time with my then-boyfriend, was forever texting him when I wasn’t physically with him and always prefered to be with him over doing anything else. Plans with friends got forgotten, I didn’t have any hobbies or any ambitions, I was just ok doing nothing as long as I was with that person. My whole life was that boy, I was a soppy sixteen-year-old who had never been held before, or kissed properly before and no-one had made me feel the way this guy did. It was all I wanted.

And love can be like that. Love should be passionate and make you happy and give you all the butterflies everytime you see that person. But it shouldn’t be your whole life. It shouldn’t become toxic. Obsessive. Forgetting your friends, your family, the things you love to do, you begin to lose all the different attributes of who you are. I’ve grown up a lot since I was a naive sixteen-year-old, and I’ve learnt that the best relationships are the ones that truly add something to your life, becoming a prominent feature in your highlights reel, not taking over the whole thing.

What I've Learnt About Love
What I've Learnt About Love
What I've Learnt About Love
You Learn From Every Experience of It

Being in love can offer you some of the most important and hardest lessons you’ll ever learn. Love teaches you to value yourself, it teaches you how strong you can be, your worth, how selfless you are, your emotional capability, it helps you grow mentally, it teaches you that even though you’ve built your emotional walls so high that even you can’t see over them, one person can come and knock them down instantly, it teaches you how special a connection with someone truly can be, how you can sit in a room doing absolutely nothing and still find things to laugh about, it teaches you forgiveness, it teaches you to trust, it teaches you how to be ok on your own, it teaches you who you are and who you can be.

Every bad relationship comes with a lesson to be a learnt and you’ll be all the wiser and richer for learning it. Growing up, I feared loved, I feared hurt, rejection, loss but all those emotions become a lesson learnt and there is so much value to that. I think the biggest lesson of all is that love is the most beautiful, raw, terrifying emotion there is and toying it with it can lead to the most powerful pain but respecting it can lead to something truly wonderful. Love teaches you that kind of respect for another heart.

What I've Learnt About Love
What I've Learnt About Love
Love is truly Everywhere

Love is coming home from a long day at work and being greeted by your overjoyed puppy. Love is ‘are you ok?’ texts from your friends when you haven’t spoken in a few days. Love is your mum cooking your favourite dinner for you. Love is someone making you a cup of tea just how you like it. Love is knowing your significant other likes strawberry laces so buying them strawberry laces whenever you see them. Love is 3 am phone calls about nothing and everything. Love is watching awful reality shows with you because you like them. Love is watching classic 80’s movies with them because they like it. Love is waiting eagerly at a train station or airport to greet your loved one after weeks of being apart. Love is being there for someone. Love is answering the phone just for a chat. Love is holding open doors for strangers, puppy cuddles on the sofa, love is seeing the best in everyone. Love is love. Regardless of whom the person is, regardless of race, or gender or language, or religion, love is love.

What I've Learnt About Love

What I've Learnt About Love
Loving yourself is more important

This last point is just a reminder that no matter your relationship status or how you feel about anyone else, being in love with who you are is the most important thing. It is no easy task and I’ve spent the best part of twenty-two years doing the opposite and it’s really only the last year or so that I’ve started to learn to treat and respect myself right. We don’t always treat our minds and our bodies how should, and as hard as it can be, having the utmost respect for you is the most important thing. Know your worth and know your strength. You don’t need a significant other calling you beautiful and wonderful, you don’t need that validation from anyone.

You are beautiful, you are wonderful and so much more. Valentines Day is truly an amazing day full of love with a significant spotlight on couples, but don’t let what is essentially a huge marketing ploy make you feel down or out about yourself. After all, those huge cuddly pugs for sale you keep seeing in supermarkets are cute, but seriously, where are you going to put it?! Regardless of how you are spending Valentines Day today, stick a smile on your face, and carry on doing what you’re doing. Love certainly doesn’t need to be defined by its own day.

Happy Valentines Day! How are you spending this special day?


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