How We Experience Love and What Love Means are Very Different
When Love Doesn’t Stand a Chance
The journey to finding love is filled with highs and lows. When I look back on my love life, I remember times of being on top of the world feeling great, hopeful and excited. During the highs, love made me happier, softer and cautiously optimistic. Then when a man I really liked didn’t feel the same about me, a dark cloud of sadness and depression set in like an unwelcome guest. During the lows when love was painful, hard and disappointing, I was skeptical, my walls became higher and I tried not to be bitter.
Love made me happier and bitter, softer and harder, and cautiously optimistic and skeptical. My experience of love led to dismal results in my love life. How I experienced love and what love means are very different. Yet I collapsed them to mean the same thing – love is hard, painful and happens for everyone else, but me. This is the story I told myself.
How Painful Experiences Define Your Meaning of Love
Heartache from relationships not working, disappointment from not getting asked out again, being disillusioned from a cycle of bad dates all add up, causing us to view love through the eyes of pain, creating a false impression about the true meaning of love.
For instance, let’s say your man tells you how much he likes you, yet doesn’t make much of an effort to spend time with you. You really like him and want things to work out. Instead of leaving this red flag relationship, you stay longer than you should, hoping things will change. When things don’t work out, the story you might tell yourself is: “How could he do this to me? How could I let myself be fooled again? Men hurt me. I’m tired with love and ready to give up…”
If you’ve been repeatedly hurt and let down by love, you’ll tend to guard yourself because you associate pain with love. This meaning you’ve associated with love will prevent you from finding love. True love only happens and thrives when you’re open, hopeful and inspired.
Give Love a Chance
Give love a chance by separating your experience of love from the meaning of love. Define the most positive, uplifting and inspiring meaning of love for you. If you’re having a hard time coming up with your definition of love, try adopting this one in the meantime. Even if you’re not religious, this definition is all encompassing.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” — I Corinthians 13:4-8a
To keep from falling back and responding based on heartache, disappointment and disillusionment, ask, “What would love do?” Respond based on the positive meaning you’ve given to love and watch your love life improve dramatically.
P.S. If you’re getting lackluster results in love, take the Love Indicator Assessment. You’ll receive a free 6-page report that shows where you’re at with love, the reasons you haven’t found it yet and what you can do to immediately improve your love life.