So many people ask whether millennials “believe in love.” As a generation that has been liberated in more ways than one, the dating pool seems shallow and complicated with the additions of social media and online dating and so we wonder, “Does this generation still hold love in high regard?” Well, very quickly I would say yes because when presented with examples like Jay Z and Beyonce or Michelle and Barack Obama, we all swoon with affectionate tweets and Instagram timelines full of their pictures so where is the disconnect?
I never set out to write about love. If you know my story, you know that my first book, Dear Love, was only about love based on notes I was writing on Instagram. There are enough relationship experts right? I mean some of them even give relationship advice without successful relationships. But I digress. It all started because of how much I was learning about God’s love for me. That was the starting point and it started to ooze into every part of how I related to others as well.
Love is not ownership. The moment that we try to control other people with our love, we lose. I always reference God as our greatest example of love. He is love to me. But he never tries to manipulate us with it. He gives it to us freely and repeatedly even in the moments when we are failing to be lovable. The freedom in that provides us with a deep love of God that can’t even be fathomed. The fact that he loves us in spite of ourselves. We need to understand the importance of loving one another without the need to control and without judgment.
I find, so many people talk about wanting relationships, but like the epitome of self-sabotage, Molly, from Insecure on HBO, we’re worried about all the wrong things and blaming it on everyone else. We see her aimlessly chasing relationships based on status, meanwhile the guy that is into her without the degree, gets major shade. AND she’s a clinger ladies and gentleman so she probably could have found love with some of the “prestigious” guys too but anyway *eye-roll* I am a self-professed Twitter rat and so I saw some things sliding across my timeline that I was like hold up, let’s talk about this.
Successful relationships take two, willing participants, period. This is what I know. I know that no matter how much I am learning about how to be a better woman, my husband also needs to be learning what it takes to be a better man. So often, these relationships are one-sided, and it’s time we stop fooling ourselves into thinking someone is as invested in us as we are in them, when they’ve made it clear that they are not. Have you ever heard the saying “trying to fit a square peg in a round hole?” That’s what it sounds like when I hear people talk about relationships that clearly they are the only one in.
My husband is a recovering drug addict. I say, “recovering” because although he doesn’t use drugs anymore, he’s still learning how to not behave like an addict. You may not know what I mean by that and maybe it sounds harsh to you, but I promise I don’t mean anything bad by it. My husband spent years creating a habit of disregarding empathy for personal protection. He’s better at taking care of his own needs than he is other people. It’s just the way it is.
Love is something that so many of us say that we want. I’m talking intimate relationships here. We’re in the weirdest space where love seems hard to find so many people kind of shrug it off. Yet, deep down they still really desire it. I guess in the words of Kev Carr, love is still very relevant. Whether it seems like it is easily obtainable in today’s dating pool or not, a key factor in really allowing yourself to receive love is to be open to it.
It surprised me how completely unaware we can be about the atmosphere that we create. The other day, I was talking to my mother about how comfortable my 20-year-old niece is talking to her. She confides in her and I see that. One of the conclusions that we came to in that conversation is that so many people feel comfortable talking to my mother because they rarely feel judged. I guess often, they feel they are getting an objective opinion and it causes them to open up. This got me thinking about the importance of creating a loving space in our relationships for our loved ones to feel comfortable.