Love is a beautiful thing. It is also a risky thing. Anytime you take a chance to love, you also take the chance of being hurt, being disappointed, being misunderstood, being taken advantage of… blah, blah, blah. But should that risk stop you from opening your heart? I’ll say NO!!! Now, before you change the channel, hear me out. There’s a lesson in every situation and every circumstance. The old folks used to say you have to take the bad with the good.
Over the years, I’ve been in love, I mean real love, four times; each time has been different and each time taught a different lesson. In case you are wondering, I am a week shy of 40. So I think I have a thing or two to say about this love thang. Young people, pull up a chair to my table and listen.
Being in love has taught me a lot about me. It taught me that I had been holding on to past hurts. It taught me that I built an internal wall around my heart to block out the hurt, which also blocked out people. But what I failed to realize, until now, is that wall never really worked. You can’t block out hurt and pain. Those come along with the risk of loving someone. The risk of giving yourself to another human being to “make you happy”. Hurt is a part of the game because what you are ultimately saying is that I am willing to sacrifice a little of me, to accept a little of you. It’s called “becoming one” and with that comes a little pain.
I am not talking about infidelity or any other form of domestic abuse here. I am simply talking about being in a relationship where you let go of your past and live in the present. There are some lessons from your past worth holding on to, don’t get me wrong. But there are also some old ways of thinking that will not work in your current relationship. It is up to you and your partner to become aware of those old ways, denounce them, and form new ones that work within your relationship.
All of that sounds like mumbo jumbo crap! So before I give you some tips, let me say this: I didn’t find love this time around. Love found me. I wasn’t looking for this man; but it turns out, he had been looking for me. I was totally content in just dating and building the empire to my businesses. I had given up on love. It had hurt me too much. I was too tired and had no energy to pour my heart out to another man only for him to turn around and use it against me. To demean or discredit me behind closed doors. So I told love to take a hike and go play in traffic. Until this man!
So when he asked me out on a lunch date, I was hesitate but I needed a break from writing my next project. From the moment I walked in to the restaurant (that I chose), and he stood to greet me, my heart dropped! I had those little butterflies in my belly the whole date. And when he smiled at me, I melted. Still guarded a little, ignoring the ignition in my loins when he touched me. He was a true gentleman the entire time. Not wanting to part ways, he wanted to go to another restaurant for dinner (yeah, that’s how long we were talking!). But I declined the dinner date. My head (and heart) was swimming and I needed to clear my head! I literally felt like I was in a dream. There’s no way this man could be so understanding, supportive, caring, and attentive! He’s just courting me… how is he for real for real??
A week after our first date, we were madly in love and committing to a monogamist relationship! Never have either of us fallen in love so quickly and so deeply, but can I tell you a secret? We had met years before but lost touch. I truly believe that we were not in the right head space, or heart space, at that time. When we reconnected this time, we were both ready for love and to be loved. Not to mention, I had started meditating a week before meeting him so I was in a really good place mentally and spiritually. I was open and I was ready to receive what God had in store for me in this present moment.
This leads me to my tips for being in love:
Tip #1: Live in the present. Not the past and not plan for the future. Live for the now. The right now. And allow things to come and happen in your life as designed by your Creator. He knows what’s best for you. Trust that by letting go of past pain and make room for new love, new opportunities, and new beginnings.
Tip #2: Listen more, talk less. Stop trying to spew your old way of thinking in a new thing. Learn to listen to his (or her) heart. The heart will tell you all you need to know. Then govern yourself accordingly. If there is hurt there, comfort it and nurture it back to a healing place. If there is love, accept it willingly. You both will enjoy each other a lot better.
Tip #3: Communicate. Not every conversation will be easy to have, but be willing to have those hard conversations. In heated moments, go for a walk. Separate. Walk away. Allow silence to fill the room. And wait for anger to dissipate (it always will), then come back to the topic and discuss without the anger or high emotions. Calm will cure every dis-ease. I promise.
Tip #4: Keep the butterflies flying! Keep the spice in the relationship. Never miss a moment to express how much you love one another. Every moment apart is just cruel and unusual punishment until you are together again. You complete each other. Keep it spicy in and out of the bedroom. My love tells me all the time that he wants to shower me with more love than I can handle. And I let him! Because in doing so, I am returning the gesture. He tells me that I am worth it, that he admires me, that he needs me. Those words hold FIRE and my heart melts at just the sound of his voice. Yes honey!
Tip #5: Learn his (or her) love language. Then follow suit. My love is committed to spending time with just me…outside of the kids, outside of the job, outside of the daily responsibilities of life. He makes sure we have alone time once a month with just the two of us. He watches my every move (and I watch his). He knows when I’m upset, happy, sad, whatever and vice versa. He knows the tone in my voice, the swing of my hips, LOL. Ok I’m going way left, let me bring it back in LOL. We took the time early in the relationship to learn each other’s love language, so it makes it easy to love and be loved when you know the language.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: you’re in a new relationship. You’re still in honeymoon stage. It’s too soon to say you’re in love.
I get it. We both said the same thing. It’s so soon! But guess what, after days of meeting this man, I told myself that I was not going to go into this relationship like I had done before. That I was not going to sabotage it or manipulate him in any way. That if I wanted something different, I needed to do something different. I was ready to live in the present moment, to give love and to receive love. And then I realized that everything I ever dreamed of in a man, he was it! I stopped looking for my dream guy, and he showed up in my life. This leads to my last and final tip:
Tip #6: Love is free. Allow it to happen freely. Without manipulation. Without force. Without preconceived notions. But freely love and love freely.
Love is a beautiful thing and, finally, I am ready to receive all that love has in store for me. God knows it’s about time!
Founder of Matters of My Heart
Author of Damaged Goods and It is Forbidden