I met my twin flame when I was 15. We started dating after a year. The first few months were perfect, the stuff of dreams. And then the arguments started, the imperfections appeared out of nowhere, and it wasn't fun or easy anymore. So I left.
Love wasn't supposed to be like that. I truly believed the changes were signs that the love wasn't real, that I had been mistaken. It took me 3 years to accept the lifelong pain of never speaking to him again, and another 14 after that before I broke down and found him again.
If only I had known at 15 what lies those kid's movies sold us, things might have been a little smoother.
The Perfect Love
You've probably had a similar struggle, believing the difficulties of a relationship are the red flags of a failed love. Maybe the feeling started to wear off, that "puppy love" turned into frustration, anger and pain. The fire left the bedroom (and wherever else it had been), leaving you feeling lonely together. That's what it looks like when love fades, right? Not exactly.
There's a few studies about this, specifically the idea of believing your partner is a soulmate. It assumes this magical romance where everything happens like it does in your favorite romance movie, and if it doesn't then clearly it isn't love. That idea actually causes more problems than it avoids.
Imperfect Love (That Lasts)
Real love isn't a feeling, it's a perspective. You love your parents, even when they say hurtful things, right? You love your children even while being so frustrated with them you're all too happy to send them to bed. So why would love be different for romance? In good times and in bad, after all.
Those moments when the feeling of love seems so distant, real love is tested. Can you still try to see from their point of view? Do you still put the toilet seat up so she doesn't fall in? Are you going to work toward a resolution, or will your emotions in the moment dictate whether the relationship survives the night?
At 16, I was too young to expect that sort of commitment of myself. Teenagers are often too impulsive (and I definitely was) to hope for that kind of forward thinking. Love forged through those years is difficult at best, and marvels of the modern world. But what about at 26? 36? 46?
The idea of love being easy and without arguments, pain or challenges to overcome is not just naive. Even if you find a relationship like that, it means there's no growth possible. Because growth is painful, and a satisfying partnership is one that can weather the storms within and outside the relationship. Growing together while also being true to your individuality is one of the most satisfying balancing acts of life.
Nothing easy is worth doing, and nothing worth doing is easy. Though sometimes all the effort you can give isn't enough, it's better to try and know than to not and always wonder 'what if?'
Dedicated to the pursuit of truth, happiness and wholeness.
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