In my whole existence, I guess I learned a couple of things about love. One is that it is a relative term. We all have our own ways of defining it, each unique and connected to our love languages – how we give and how we accept. I consider this one of the best and profound realization I had thanks to the love of my life. This same person who I was with almost half of my life also taught me that in some cases love is not something you find but rather something that will find you.
We were best of friends since high school. For the longest time, a romantic relationship did not really seem possible between the two of us. Despite having the same principles and set of rules in a relationship, we never see each other as our better half. Maybe because we were already too comfortable being friends. Also, it’s scary to think that it might not work the way we want it to. And, I guess the timing was not really on our side for eight years, not until valentine’s day of 2019.
At that point in my life, I can honestly say that I stopped looking for love. In our circle of friends, I was that single friend they go to for relationship advice, the friend that volunteers to be the fun aunt of their future children and bridesmaid to all their weddings. Never the bride, never the mom and never the one who needed a relationship advice. I was enjoying my solitude. It never really felt lonely but that day we spent together in a music festival felt like I never had to find love because it has always been there. It was just a matter of opening our hearts and taking a chance, for me to finally admit that it found me.
It was a long journey for both of us and yet we both don’t regret it. From the heartbreaks we went through with other people, to the healing that we had to do on our own, we are thankful and it felt like it was worth the adventure. Before I was able to come to terms with the fact that he’s worth risking everything with, I had many things I found out about myself. It was a much needed time to reflect, because when you stop looking for love:
1). You can find the way through healing.
After going through pain, there would always be a part of us that will feel empty. It’s not always best to fill that void with a new relationship. The best advice I can give after having your heart broken is to give yourself some space. Detach from your old routines and rest. Accept even the most painful parts to be able to move forward. Never try mending those wounds by risking everything you have once again for love. Assess the state of your heart, and allow yourself to heal first. You’ll come to realize that the time you have given yourself to recover has unfolded how much you have grown as a person. Taking a step back on love does not always translate to cowardice, more often than not it speaks volumes of your courage to protect your heart and guard the person who wants to love you in ways you needed to be loved.
2). You can focus on building your own dreams
Next to healing comes hope. Hope shines its brightest when you just got out of the dark. Once you’ve healed, go back and check on what your dreams are. Answer this question: are my dreams really for me? If yes, then pursue it. Be more persistent to reach it. If not, build your own dreams and make it true. With love comes a clouded judgment and somehow a blurred sense of self. We become too dependent that we tend to look at everything, most especially the future with our partner’s opinion in mind. That is normal, however there is a thin line between considering their opinion for the sake of love and making your life more about them than you. To have goals and aspirations you can call your own is the most fulfilling and rewarding gift you can give yourself. Not finding love, or that someone special will make you realize that you don’t have to rely on some else to know what you can be passionate about and where you can excel in life. You don’t need someone else to tell you what will truly make you happy.
3). You can figure out things you can do by yourself
In the process of getting to know what dreams you have for yourself, you will tend to encounter the question, ‘what will truly make me happy?’ often. While answering this, you will either be forced or you will voluntarily succumb into accepting that your life should be complete as long as you have you. Despite suffering from low self-esteem because of what the heartbreak left you, slowly you try to pick all those broken pieces together and move forward. And with time, you get to learn again the art of confidence and contentment as you try to do things on your own. From date nights to self-love evenings and pampering day, you can try watching movies or concerts alone, traveling to your heart’s content, eating at a restaurant, even shopping with clothes you don’t know when you’ll wear. This alone time is never lonely. It opens your eyes to many possibilities and to the fact that the world is too big to wallow in pain of not having found the right one yet. Your time is in your hands and no one will be there to hinder you to do all those things and take care of yourself. At this point, your top priority is yourself. Improving and growing on your own. Discovering new things that you are capable of.
4). You can know more about what you deserve.
Now once you know enough about yourself. It will automatically translate into knowing what you deserve. This means that all of those time spent for healing and growing will make you firm in your next relationship. Firm, in terms of your worth. It is the best time to figure out what are the things you can compromise and what are your non-negotiables. This is a critical part since it involves the thin line between being ready or not with love. In this stage you should take your time and take into consideration everything you learned about yourself and the past relationships you had. Once you know your worth, you will also learn to never settle with anything less than that. So before even telling yourself it’s worth risking again, take your time into knowing what you really want in a person or in a relationship in that way, it saves your heart from another misery and would save you time for another failed attempt at love.
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5). You can spend more time with family.
It maybe an external factor but I believe family really helps a lot in terms of relationships. It is essential to strengthen your ties with your family. Since our idea of love will usually sprout from the kind of love we were able to experience at home. If there are any issues that needs to be resolved, maybe it is the right time to address it. Rather than, finding love, strengthen the love that you get and you give first from your family. Also, they are a big part of who you are so it is only right to give them time in this journey towards improving yourself. It is also advisable to make them your motivation to continue to move forward. As you go along, having stronger bond with your family will help you strengthen your connection with the person you will deem fit to give your love again.
6). You can enjoy being with friends.
Don’t ever forget along with family are your friends. The journey towards being a better person involves a lot of times that you will fight your own demons but your friends will always be one of the best support system all throughout. If you have a bucket list to fulfill, then this point in your life allows you to get the most out of life and tick those boxes off. Catch up with your friends as you complete the list and make wonderful memories with them. They maybe the greatest hypemen/women to cheer you on with your love life but don’t forget these people are the best distractions there is to make you want to stop finding love.
7). You can find love.
As cliche, as it may get, yes when you stop finding love it does come around. And I can vouch for this since mine took me by surprise. Even if it did come to me in the person that I least expect it or a time that I never really saw coming, it was worth it. This type of love will make us realize why it ever worked out with anyone else. It will answer the question of why you never really had to search in the first place. It will make you realize that it’s okay to halt your pursuit of love, to redirect your time to yourself because if it is real, you won’t have to look for it, it will find you and you will see it, the eyes that will look at you with so much wonder and the heart that will always choose to see the best in you. Maybe not now, but someday.