On Love.

As a self-described quote whore I was trolling the interwebs for quotes on love to post for Valentine’s Day.  There are just so many ways to talk about love that selecting one quote became the most difficult of tasks. Finding one sentence to describe the experience of love is impossible because there are so many versions of it and every person in their interaction with another in this manner will feel something different.  Sure there are universal truths, but just for myself alone I could post seventeen different quotes- all probably contradictory to each other because of my own personal experiences in this department.

In my short 31 years I’ve experienced all kinds of love- real and imagined, true and false, reciprocated and unrequited, deep and shallow, healing and hurtful. Love is the most powerful emotion there is (in my opinion) and the nuances of it and the way it changes over time and with each new fall is what keeps it the most  important thing we experience in this life. If you think about it, it’s the driving force behind all we do and the one thing that can rock your world or shatter it in one instant. Being a chronic relationship person (i.e. I did not date around a whole lot before walking down the aisle) even I have had such a wide variety of experiences in love- I have had my heart broken and broken a heart or two myself. I’ve been cheated on and been the cheater. I’ve been the first to say I love you and had someone say it to me when all I felt was the desire to high five them at most. I’ve wanted to tell someone how I felt and never did. I have fallen in love with two little furry fellas with four legs and known the feeling that I would do anything to protect them. I’ve been asked by someone to spend the rest of my life with them and said yes.

But there are things I have not experienced too- the mind-blowing love of your own child, the pain of divorce, the thrill of a secret admirer (minus the creepy dude who sent me a picture of himself in ladies underwear after a particular piece of press- that, my friends, does not count). And even if you’ve found love, it changes because people change. And either that love changes with you or it changes in a way that means it’s time to move on.  See, as much as I love romance and all it’s warm fuzzy gestures, I’m not a die hard romantic. I’m much more of the “I don’t believe in soul mates” school of thought.  I believe there are a lot of people out there that I could be happy with, and so does my husband (so you can stop worrying that I’m going to get an irate call in a minute). I think it’s dangerous to think that there is only one person for you, just as I think it’s dangerous to expect to get everything from one person.  My life is made delightfully lovely by my husband, but it’s rounded out by the friends and family that provide things that aren’t in his nature. I can’t expect him to love all the things I do.  I can’t have a guy’s guy AND one who loves Twilight, yoga, celebrity gossip, museums and shopping for hours.   He doesn’t expect me  to scream at the tv during Patriot’s games just as I don’t expect him to do the same during red carpet shows (although sometimes he does join me in berating people’s fashion choices). And as I enter the phase of life where I have friends having babies and getting divorced in near equal measure- trying to predict my fate in love beyond getting up everyday and working at it and believing in it seems silly.

But as it’s said over and over in many ways you can’t love anyone else fully until you love yourself. Despite all my relationship highs and lows, the relationship with myself has been the most tumultuous and continues to be the one I need to work on the most.  I find it easier to tell someone else I love them than tell myself the same, and that needs to change. So this Valentine’s Day I am going to show myself some love- probably in the form of chocolate and chick flicks, but hopefully also in the form of confidence,  bravery and forgiveness.  That would be the sweetest gift of all.



40 comments

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more about the there-is-not-a-single-soulmate belief. I have always said I think it’s a lot of luck and timing. Now, I adore my husband and I am lucky that he adores me back, and I don’t ever want that to change. But I think it’s naive to assume that he’s the only person I could feel that way about, or vice versa, or to presume that it will always be so.
    I love your statement about simply getting up every morning and working at it.
    Yes, yes, and yes.
    xox

  2. My favorite post from you *ever*, Erin…beautifully written and so absolutely perfect for this day! I think so many poeple forget about that aspect of love and that SATC quote was the perfect wrap up! Have a fabulous Valentine’s Day!

  3. Here here!! I applaud your initiative and determination in this regard – everyone else knows you’re fabulous but until you fully accept it for yourself you’ll never be able to truly appreciate the adulation!!

  4. Such a lovely post, Erin! Thank you for sharing with us. As someone who also finds it easier to show others love than to love myself, I so get where you are coming from! Carrie Bradshaw seems to be a popular voice for Valentine’s Day this year – that quote is one of her best. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

  5. And that is why I love you (amongst a long list of other things that is added to daily). Happy Valentine’s Day.

  6. Erin, you are an amazing gal…wise for your years. I simply swoon over your design talent and then there is your candor..you are to be applauded. Happy Valentine’s Day. Your hubbies comment is beyond adorable.

  7. So brave of you to share with all of us. Thank you! I’m sure we could all use a dose of self-love and today is as good as any to celebrate that. Enjoy it!

  8. Such a wonderful post–and so very true. I don’t know why we do it, but somehow we don’t always reserve the respect and love and affection that we give to other people for ourselves. Your post is a wonderful reminder that we need to do so, because if we don’t, then we aren’t able to truly love at our greatest capacity…at least that is my two cents on the matter.

  9. Hi Erin,

    I read your blog every day and I absolutely love today’s post. Your blog makes my day!

    All the best,

    Christine

  10. Yes. Believing there’s more than person out there we can love and being a romantic are definitely not mutually exclusive. A great day to remind us of that. Love’s imperfections are what make it interesting.

  11. Wonderful post and wonderful quote.

    As much as I am a lover of love and relationships of all kinds. I, also, am a non believer in soul mates. I love my husband so so much but it’s not because I have some fantasy of us being meant to be – it is because I love him deeply and we continue to put the effort into making our relationship work – and continuing to make sure our relationships with our friends and family stay super important to us.

    It’s really amazing to know you can have a marriage with a man you love and still have equally amazing friendships and equally amazing relationships with your family and that no one relationship has to hold complete control over your life. Wonderful reminder of all the different loves and relationships we can have this Valentine’s Day!

  12. Loved reading this, really. And being a newly mom I can tell you that there is no Love like motherhood, before I use to think that my husband was everything for me (not that he is not) but to be honest, the love I feel for my son is stronger, it’s on a whole new level that I didn’t even know that existed. As you say, people change, and there’s not necessarily one person for you for the rest of your life (guys can cheat on you, relationships can fall apart, etc), but the love of a mother and son is untouchable and forever, no matter what. I think that motherhood is the only love that can survive everything. Being a child of divorced parents I’m clear that people can stop loving each other, but , you can’t never, ever stop loving your child.

    Hope you had great day Erin ;)

  13. Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  14. Beautiful. Very well written, and most importantly, soooo true!!! Thank you for writing this Erin, it helps us know that we are not alone in our way of thinking ;)

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