Definition of ‘LOVE’; an intense feeling of deep affection.
Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection, to the simplest pleasure.
But what if Love can turn out to be a curse? What happens when it takes over your mind and you have no clear way of thinking?
Is it just the process of a breakup or is it just your mind playing tricks on you?
To explore this question, I’m going to share a recent experience that happened to me where I was stuck in between two loves, by that I mean being in a current relationship but wanting to be in another.
Now, that may sound awful but hear me out. I was in a ten-month relationship with my now (Ex) and I was struggling with intimacy, my sexuality and above all just being comfortable around him during the ‘fun times’
A few months ago, it occurred to me that it wasn’t him who was the problem, it was me. I didn’t know what I wanted as I was so confused and was staying in a relationship to please other people, not myself.
Now, that’s when I put a stop to this relationship because I knew it was wrong of me to continue dating him if I didn’t have any feelings for him anymore, what kind of person would I be?
Now, onto the other relationship I wanted. I met this other person a few years before my ex. We used to work together, we got on like there were no worries in the world. We shared likes, we shared dislikes it was just an amazing feeling to be around them.
They say, if a person gives you butterflies, that’s the one for you. And well, I didn’t believe back then, but now I truly believe in that statement. As they did give me butterflies and they still do every time their name pops up in a conversation I just feel like I’m on cloud nine.
Sounds like a ‘teenage romance’ right? But, that’s the way I can only describe it as I felt this was the right decision to make. I was finally putting myself first for once because usually, it’s the opposite way around.
Now, in the aftermath of breaking up with my ex, I knew what was coming. My family would be questioning why I ended the relationship. And of course the actual partner at the time.
But you know what I did? I just said it as it was; “I’m sorry but I don’t have any feelings for you anymore and I feel this is the right thing to do as I don’t want to use you”.
Because I wanted him to be happy, and get into a relationship where he was loved truly as he does deserve that. But it just wasn’t me who could do that for him.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, what would you have done if you were in a similar situation as me?
Let’s start off with the childhood dream; Once upon a time, I was fascinated with vampires, and that intrigued me and I wanted to become one. So, the adventure started there, and that’s when I researched Vlad The Impaler ( Dracula ).
From that, I've always had a love for vampires whilst growing up, and to now actually visit Vlad’s castle where he lived was beyond a childhood dream coming true.
The emotions that I was experiencing whilst walking up to the castle were running through my head it was kind of hard to walk. But I managed to get to the top and in we went. Exploring the rooms of the castle, seeing the artwork there that was once Vlad’s.
Next, we got to my favourite part of the castle, the courtyard. It was beyond beautiful and it even had a well for people to throw their money into! But the thing I liked about this area was when you stood on the pebbled stone and looked up at the castle roof. It was a sight I’ll never forget.
Now, onto the second bit of this article. The reason I’ve included two subjects in this article is that it was experienced on the same day so I thought it would just be suitable.
So, how is love “just a dream?” Well, for me it was happening over several years I just didn’t realize it. See, the person I travelled with to Dracula’s castle was a good friend of mine that I used to work with, but due to circumstances, they had to move back to their hometown.
This meant that I couldn’t see them, but also we lost contact for a while. Within the time period, we worked together we both grew close and didn’t realize we actually liked each other. Sucks right?
So, after 4-5 years we got back in touch and decided to meet up and make a trip out of it and from there we just became closer and closer. Actually realizing what we had both been missing over the years.
After having two trips together, we both came to the terms of, yes we do like each other but we didn’t want to ask each other as we were both anxious about the outcome. So, that’s when we went on our trip to Dracula’s castle.
The week of the trip I had been giving a few hints to my friend about how I really liked him and how I would love for him to ask me out. But, it just wasn’t getting through to them.
The day finally came, we talked and they explained the reasons for waiting for so long to ask me and it seemed reasonable and I understood where they were coming from.
So, when they finally asked me, I was like “Is this too good to be true?” I hesitated due to the reasons they gave me but overall, I knew that this was what I’d been wanting for, those 4-5 years of being clueless.
I just wanted to say to them, FINALLY! But, deep down it was like my heart stopped and everything paused for a few minutes. I was happy that all this happened within one day, who would believe it?
Was it all just a dream?
Have you ever witnessed a couple break up due to one of them lacking self-love? Witnessing that growing up never failed to confuse me. It confused me how someone can dislike oneself, when they could never become someone else. As I got older, it finally became clear to me that self-esteem issues are very real and valid. Unfortunately, I figured this out firsthand, my self-esteem took a big hit within the last three years of high school.
The transition of self-pity did not happen overnight. In fact, it started in middle school and continued to grow until it was no longer avoidable. It is fairly normal to feel self-conscious in high school as it is a tipping point in most of our lives. However, I spent so much time fantasizing that I was somebody else, that seemed to hold off any feelings of hatred towards myself for the time being. This is not healthy. At all. There are plenty of ways to deal with loving yourself, and wishing you were someone else is not the solution.
I was very fortunate to have enough self-awareness to realize the amount of self-hatred I had was not normal. Nobody should feel as though they are not enough, and they constantly change themselves to become more appealing. I have dealt with many aspects of self-esteem issues, my body image being the biggest. Overcoming these three problems has proven that the journey to self-love is difficult, but so rewarding and satisfying once you have achieved it.
Physically, I never felt like a pretty girl. I struggled with my weight and acne for years on end, they always made me feel the most insecure. The societal standards for beauty are so high, it is very easy to feel ugly in your own skin. Constantly comparing myself to girls who were deemed as beautiful according to society’s standards proved to be detrimental. I realized that once I stopped holding myself to these unfair standards, I found beauty within myself, which matters the most. It is essential to stop caring so much about what others think, at least for things that are out of your control.
Overcoming my body issues were the biggest hurdle of my journey to self-appreciation. I have tried many things to control my body weight, hoping that losing weight would eventually make me pretty in the eyes of society. Diets, fasting, exercising, and avoiding mirrors were not foreign concepts to me. I would force myself to drink apple cider vinegar because it was said to aid in weight loss. I became so obsessed with the idea of being beautiful in the eyes of everyone , I turned into someone unrecognizable. The process to self-love was not a short and easy one, but it feels good to be comfortable with myself. Once I realized that nobody’s opinion actually mattered, then I started to see the beauty in myself. Granted it will not happen overnight, but hopefully one day you will see yourself as the beautiful person that you are. Society is messed up, it carries unreal standards for people of the upcoming generations and puts them in a position of self-hatred, just because they are not “beautiful”.
The best remedy for myself was to read about other’s experiences. Knowing that you are not alone can truly help the healing process be a little more manageable. There are a lot of self-help books and articles that you can access online to read about other people learning to truly love themselves. Although none of these sponsor us, they offer fantastic advice! Here are some ways you can achieve self-appreciation:
· Lyftly- An app where you can anonymously post stories about how you are feeling, and you get the chance to connect with other people.
· seventeen.com – Clicking on this link will take you to articles that contain celebrity experience with body positivity and self-love. You can even sign a pledge to treat your body with respect.
· Write positive sticky notes – As cliché as this sounds, having something positive to read from time to time can really boost one’s confidence!
· whosthecutest.com – Click on this link to find out who the cutest person around is. You will not regret it.
· Love yourself – I know that this is the final step to your journey. It is not the easiest thing around for a lot of people, they struggle with a lot of self-deprecation. The moment when you can look in the mirror and truly love the person in front of you, you have won the game of Life.
Self-love is an expedition that many will embark on. It is too effortless to fall into the hole of self-pity simply due to the fact that society has high standards. I struggled a lot with truly loving myself due to the fact that I could not maintain body positivity. It got to the point where my own reflection was avoided by me. However, realizing that I am not alone, and others’ opinions do not matter I was able to achieve the highest form of self-love. To anyone reading this article: you are beautiful, and you deserve to love yourself. At the end of the day, you cannot expect people to love you when you cannot even do it yourself. As Robert Morley once said, “To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.”
Being in a relationship is great, especially when you love the person so much that you want to spend every minute of every day with them. It can also be hard work and it can also get in the way of things such as school, family, friends and sometimes the time you need for yourself. Sometimes a little break is what you need in a relationship, so you can take time for yourself and think and focus on important things such as your family, friends and school work. This is an alternative from actually breaking up properly. A break can last as long as a year or as little as a couple of weeks. Sometimes when everything gets a bit too much in your relationship and you can’t take any more, a break is the best solution to the problem because it can give you and your partner time to think about what you want from each other. It also gives you time to take a breather and have some time to focus on yourself.
There are no specific rules on how a break works, it’s down for you and your partner to set down rules on how you want things to work out. For example, if you or your partner could see other people during this break or if you should stay in contact or not. This is why communication is vital, because otherwise, your partner may not understand where you're coming from. How are they supposed to know what you want from them if you don't tell them? You can’t get mad at someone for doing something that they didn't know they weren't allowed to do.
A break is another great way for taking time for school. Sometimes your schoolwork is so much more important than a relationship, especially if you're taking your exams/finals. You don't want your relationship to get in the way of the grades that you need for your future. Now I'm not saying to break off your relationship completely and if you don't you will fail at school. What I'm saying is, sometimes you just need some time apart to study and focus on getting the grade you need. For example, I’ve been in the same relationship for 2 years and it just so happens that this year is my final year of school which means I have my GCSE exams coming up and these grades affect the rest of my life. They are extremely important and I need to study extremely hard for them. This means that I'm going to have to take a break from seeing my boyfriend so much. This doesn’t mean that I'm going to not see him at all, it just means that I will be seeing him a lot less than I used to. I know that it might be hard not seeing your partner as often, but it makes the moments you do spend together more memorable and I always remember the saying “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.”
We’re all hoping that 2021 will be a better year than the last one, but nothing happens overnight. Valentine’s Day is shortly around the corner. It’s a day where couples normally itch for quality time together at home or out on a date, and for most people this year, that probably won’t - or at least, shouldn’t - happen. Not being able to see loved ones in person can be challenging, and sometimes it can put a strain on your relationship. If this is happening to you, I understand wanting to spend the day together. Yet being apart does not have to ruin your Valentine’s this year, or any date you want to have with a partner when you are unable to meet up in person.
My partner and I have been dating for just over 6 months. Sometimes we are able to meet up in person as he gets regularly tested for Covid-19 through our school, but when he is with his family, the risk to either of our families is too great. We had to celebrate our first major anniversary apart. We both thought this would be hell. Even though we started dating before being able to meet up in person, both of us have physical-touch and quality time together as our main love-languages. To both of our reliefs, our date-night was really fun! I sent him a dessert set, and we ate desert together over Zoom. He also ordered me flowers, so I put them in the frame too.
Figuring out how you want to celebrate can be difficult. My partner and I decided on a more traditional, romantic-type date to mark the occasion, because we mostly have informal calls and binge-watch tv shows on Teleparty. If that type of traditional date is common for you, figuring something different that both you and your partner may enjoy will help make the occasion memorable. Here are some of my favorite ideas for Virtual Valentine’s (or other occasions) dates!
Hopefully, you and your Valentine date are able to make the most of the day! Staying apart from each other has been exhausting, but it definitely has forced me to find joy in activities I otherwise wouldn’t consider. And remember, no two couples are alike, and you and your partner get to decide what your romance looks like. As long as everyone is having a good time - and hopefully able to have some conversation - it doesn’t matter if a date is “conventional” or not. You give it its meaning.
Love well, and Happy Valentines!