I really, really think the secret to being loved is to love. And the secret to being interesting is to be interested.
What happens when you fall in love? Isn’t love a beautiful feeling? It’s as if everything around you is all rainbows and butterflies, and nothing can ever take that feeling away from you. Love is symbolic. Love is love. As for me, I am in love with love, and I am in love with the person I am in love with.
But what happens when you fall out of love, and your whole world crashes down on you? When that happens it’ll feel like nothing really matters anymore and all you want to do is crawl back into your shell and never come out. Nobody has ever talked about the complexity of love and how that one word can change your whole life. With that in mind, it is also a word that is constantly being misused.
Love is supposed to be beautiful. Love is supposed to make you feel like the happiest person on earth. Love is supposed to change your perspective in life. Love is about acceptance.
I remember the first time I fell in love with my significant other. I would tell myself how blessed I was and that I would do anything to keep this happiness.
People say whenever they fall in love there are five stages to it: attraction, dating, disappointment, stability and commitment. Some may deny it but it’s quite true. And this is my take on these five stages.
When it comes to physical appearance, everybody clearly has their own preference on what they look for in a partner. To me, it’s simple. If you’ve got a good heart, it’s more than enough for me. And if you look good, well, that’s a plus for me. At the end of the day, my love story was all about falling in love with someone who had both, and I have to say that I am blessed.
In every new relationship, the first thing every couple will experience is the honeymoon period. It’s where the couple enjoys each other’s company and wants to experience many things together for the first time.
When it comes to my relationship, we got completely comfortable with each other immediately. It’s as though we knew each other all our lives and it was just right. One of my favourite memories of us would be when we visited the botanical gardens and just spent the whole day walking and talking. It was one of the best days of my life and truly, I would do anything to go back to that day.
There were so many firsts and one thing that kept it interesting was when both of us would plan something spontaneous.
As time passes, one of you will have to face the unwanted truth about your partner’s secret or past. Regardless, I don’t wish anyone to go through it. Also, fights are completely normal especially when you’ve been together for a long time. I’m not saying that you should fight often but whenever it happens, you have to accept it.
One thing I’ve learned is that if the foundation of your relationship is rock solid, then you have nothing to worry about. Fights will occur and it depends on how both of you look at things. I had my fair share of disappointment and sometimes I wish I didn’t have to go through it, but there’s just no way to avoid it.
Fights can either make you or break you and that’s one thing you should always keep in mind. Your words and actions may jeopardise your relationship hence the saying, choose your words wisely.
When you’ve gone through the hard times in your relationship, that’s when you can move on to the next phase which is stability. And that can only occur when both of you have fully accepted each other’s flaws and behaviour moreover having nothing but love for one another.
Stability is when you know everything about your partner. You know everything from their dirtiest little secrets to happy moments. Down the road, it’s all about focusing on the positive things in life.
That can only happen if both of you are completely honest with each other with no hidden secrets. Because if you’re not, then there’s a high chance that you’ll never get to this stage or even make past it.
It’s all about striving together as a couple and building each other to be a better individual. However, it is still each to their own, I guess. If you want to make it work, you will put in the work.
If you have made it to this phase of your relationship, kudos to you. It was a difficult journey but you did it.
Being committed to one person may seem hard but if you’re the loyal type, I doubt it could be. It’s definitely easy to fall in love but when it comes to a committed relationship, you need to go all in. It’s all about trust, honesty and openness towards each other. When someone gets serious into committing, the main goal is security.
In my case though, I genuinely thought my partner and I have already reached this mark. Unfortunately, it’s just a case of misbelief as I ended up alone at the finish line. Here we are back at the third phase (disappointment) and as much as I want us to reach this mark together, a relationship is a two-way street.
Fall in love, be happy because everybody deserves it. However, if you’re the type of person who can never be able to commit to one person for the rest of your life, then do your partner a favour and let them go. I always believe that there is someone for everyone. And if you haven’t found yours yet, be patient. Love works in mysterious ways.
As for those who are still fighting for your relationship, try as hard as you can. But if it’s going to take a toll on your well-being, then my advice is to let go, too.
To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you are the world. If you can’t do the work and put equal effort to make a relationship work, leave.
Pictures by Priscilla Du Preez, Pablo Merchán Montes, Jess & Gabriel and Kristin & Marcus
This article is based on the writer’s own views.