Monday, February 20, 2012

how my views of love have changed over the years

I've always believed in love.
But over the years it's meant different things to me.
When I was a child it meant that all boys were princes and all girls were princesses.
It meant that nothing bad ever happened once you were in love.
After all, isn't that what "happily ever after" is supposed to mean?

As I got older, I started realizing that love was a little more complex.
There was a little more depth to it than I originally thought.
Maybe there were other feelings attached to love.
So I changed my view.

When I was a teenager I interpreted love through love songs.
When I had my first truly painful heartbreak I cried and cried 
while listening to "What Hurts the Most" by the Rascal Flatts.
Because in my mind, that song was saying everything that I was feeling.
The lyrics were the perfect representation of everything I felt but couldn't express myself.

Looking back I was never as delicate with other people's hearts as I should have been.
Love is funny that way.  When you don't fully understand it, it can make you a tad selfish.
In high school I was much too concerned with my own feelings and never gave quite enough thought to how I was making others feel.  
The heart is a delicate, delicate thing and as I've learned over the years, 
just because you may not feel particularly strongly about someone, 
that doesn't mean they don't feel everything for you.
Be kind, the heart is a delicate thing.

Starting college I was cautious about love.  
In my younger years I had experienced simplistic love, shallow love, non-committal love, and love that I thought was "real," but eventually ended in disappointment.
I was not looking for love when I came to college.  
In fact I think I was looking for simplistic, shallow, and non-committal. 
I had felt just enough of "real love" that I was terrified to make myself vulnerable to getting hurt.

I had several flings and I gotta tell you I was happy with it.
But then I met Beau.
I went into the relationship expecting little more than flirting and kisses.
{makes me sound shallow doesn't is?}
He was different though.  Unlike the other guys I had dated in college, he wasn't in it for a fling.
And that terrified me.

He expected so much more from me.
I don't know if he realized it, but he pushed me to re-evaluate my view on love and relationships.
He was seriously in this thing for the long haul and though I still believed in love, 
I don't think I believed in it as strongly as he did.  
I wanted so badly to believe that love could be forever, but since all my "loves" had had endings, I just couldn't grasp that concept yet.  
I thought that love had to be something perfect in order to last forever.  
I thought it had to be something overwhelming.
Something that you never questioned.  

The day I married Beau, was the day I realized that a forever love is perfect.  It is overwhelmingly powerful.  And I have since never  questioned our relationship.  
If you let it, this is how I believe love should evolve.  
The second you make the commitment to be with someone forever, 
your view of the relationship has to change.  
Thomas S. Monson once said, "Choose your love, then love your choice."  

Every single day I feel overwhelmingly grateful for my husband and for what he has taught me about true love.
It's not something that can be summed up in a Disney princess movie.
It's more complex than the lyrics to a song, no matter how moving the song may be.
It's not necessarily something easy to describe.  
It's a feeling that you'll recognize though.
It's a feeling that is undeniably wonderful and beautiful.
And when you feel it, you'll understand why you had to feel the all the heartbreak you ever felt.  

Hardly anyone is lucky enough to feel true love without first learning and experiencing what love is.
And often that includes heartbreak and growth.
Love is something to cherish and nurture.
It's something worth putting all your heart and trust into it.
If you'd asked me my views on love just three years ago, I bet they would have been a whole lot different.

That's the beauty of life though.  
It teaches you as you go. 
And love is probably one of the most beautiful lessons I've ever learned.


Jenna said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow- such a beautifully written post, Candace!!!

Leah said... Best Blogger Tips

Candace- this is beautiful! Such emotion in your writing, thanks for sharing!

BenjaminRachel said... Best Blogger Tips

This is beautiful! It's written so well!!

Ross said... Best Blogger Tips

Such a great post! My wife was the same way when I met her and we started dating. She was out to have fun and wasn't looking for a serious relationship. I remember getting into an argument with her and saying "what do you want?". I wanted the long term deal and it scared her.