What Love Is (and Isn’t)

I came across a post that made me feel sad, and I just feel the need to respond to it. So here goes …

1. People post things in social media for different reasons, and we should not try to interpret or judge everything that we see. If we put meaning in everything we come across, we’re really doing ourselves a disservice. So don’t judge, and don’t make assumptions.

A lot of us post our pictures with our significant other for our friends to see. What’s our intent? Surely mine is different from everyone else. And posting our happy pictures does not mean that we’re boasting that our relationships are perfect, because no relationship is and will ever be. In all relationships there will always be struggles and difficulties and to think otherwise is foolish. But this is what’s true: in love, difficulties are a natural part of getting to know each other better. With the right attitude, even differences bind two people closer. Anything worthwhile requires hard work, including relationships.

2. True, there will never be a perfect relationship, ever. So don’t sweat.

3. If you can fall in love, then falling out of love is also a possibility. If you don’t want this to happen then take good care of your relationship. Love is like a living thing – you need to nourish it for it to grow and glow.

4. Not everyone is out to hurt you. Ask yourself, do you always intend to hurt people? I’m sure your answer is no. So don’t entertain this thought as it makes you think negatively of other people. The truth is, people just make mistakes and if we love them it naturally hurts us when they make poor choices or wrong decisions, especially when it involves us. Well, being hurt helps us mature emotionally, so let it be. Feel the hurt, cry, and then move on. That’s how life should be lived. And it’s not good to think ill of other people. That’s unhealthy.

5. Marriage is not for everyone. True. Because marriage requires so much from each person. It requires total commitment, a lot of sacrifices, it even requires giving up so many of the things we love for the sake of our partner and our marriage. Marriage is more than the wedding ceremony. It is more than the prenup photoshoots. It entails a lot of “growth pains” … It sometimes requires us to be selfless …

So before jumping on the wagon, ask yourself first if you are ready for a total commitment. Do you love the person more than you love yourself enough to share who you are totally to him or her? If your answer is in the affirmative then you’re ready for marriage. And don’t forget, it’s not just about you. Ask yourself: does the person you love love you just as much? If the answer is no, or you have doubts, then you better pause and think hard. Now here’s the thing, do not assume. Ask him/her. Talk about your expectations and your commitment. Talk about the things that matter to you and to him/her. And do this well ahead before you decide to get married. These questions needs to be asked while you’re still dating, not when the wedding date has been set, or worst not after the wedding ceremony. When you do this, you can walk the aisle head high, wearing your most beautiful smile.

There are among us those who tried, and failed, for one reason or another. I hope one day soon you will find that special someone who will complement you, someone who will love you for who you are, and someone you can love for who he or she is.

And if you choose to remain single, then that doesn’t make you less of a person or it doesn’t mean you’ll be unhappy. It is a choice you made and people ought to respect that.

6. Well, I believe in forever, and I know that love is forever. And for some of us, despite our imperfect marriages, forever is not enough.

7. Let go when there’s no use holding on to something that’s not worth your love. But only after giving it your all. So that when things get better, as they always do, you look back with no regrets and you can truthfully say you gave your all and it just wasn’t meant to be.

8. Why so negative? There’s so much beauty in being in love. If you’re in the right relationship (meaning you both recognize that you’re two imperfect people but you are committed to each other and to working out the differences), it brings out the best in you. Love inspires you to become the best that you can ever be. Honestly, it turns everything beautiful and bright.

9 and 10 Our relationships can last a lifetime, or it can last only for a day. It all really depends on us. Again relationships require total commitment and a lot of hard work. And I know one thing that’s true, love is always worth it.

Lastly, the main thing to remember is this: as important as finding the right person is being the right person. Always remember that!

ps. Nag bulag si Channing Tatum and his wife Jenna Dewan … so? It’s their love story that has ended. I know couples who have been married for more than 50 years who are still in love with each other. So the bottom line is this: we have in our hands the ability to make our relationships work. Let’s give it our best shot! It’s worth it!