Lessons from the lens of young love

5 min read

Feb 27, 2024

When I was a teenager, I had gathered enough experiences to become gradually sure of one thing: that I was not the kind of girl that would one day swoon over a wedding ring. 

After all, what exactly was so intriguing about the thought of a couple of lives intertwining? I saw no reason to fuss over the perfect white dress, nor did I find cake tasting to be a good use of my time, energy, and money. To me, the whole agenda of wedding planning was a time-consuming, frivolous affair — one that I was not eager to take part of. 

Despite this, my mother often sat me down to show me her wedding band and her engagement ring. I thought it silly of her to try to convince me otherwise, as she had tried on several occasions to make me more open-minded to the thought. But whenever she did, she held her ring so dearly that she almost had me convinced. Regardless, to little sixteen-year-old me, a ring would one day represent long-term commitment. Likewise, long-term commitment meant permanence — but even permanence itself could never be guaranteed. 

“What if things change in the long-run?” I asked myself. “What if the person I choose wakes up and no longer chooses me? What if one day I commit to someone who is not fully committed to me?” The possibilities were endless. I couldn’t help but be sent down a spiral thinking about all that could happen, and the lack of assurance to this is what truly frightened me. But it was then that I realized, perhaps, I was not really afraid of commitments. Perhaps I was afraid of the possibility of change. 

It was not until I experienced love on my own that I had come to realize that change was inevitable. Unfortunately, relationship dynamics can change in the long run. Likewise, the honeymoon phase might only last a couple of months, and you will absolutely come to question whether or not you and this person will make it to the finish line. But you know what? Loving someone also made me realize these three things. 

Love is Maintained

My first few sentiments on love contradict almost every cliche in romcom history. There is no such thing as love at first sight, nor is there such a thing as a love that will last forever — that is, if it is not well-kept. Likewise, to be committed to someone is not just to promise them that you will stay. Committing to someone means taking the time to learn about what love is to them. 

For instance, you may think that you are loving your partner right. You may be showering them with gifts and telling them that you love them every second of the day. Yet, you might wonder why they are not receiving this message. This is simply because not all forms of love translate as “love” to your partner. Perhaps they are simply looking for something that is unique to them. You might enjoy the gift-giving and the words of affirmation, but they might be looking for your time, your presence and your simply being there for them. 

To maintain love is to know how to love. But the truth is, loving your partner does not guarantee that they will feel loved by you. Love is therefore something that should be learned, applied, and of course, kept alive. 

Love is A Choice

One can say that learning to love is only the first step. So long as you have learned how your partner experiences love, you are bound to know how to love them well. Still, one can say that knowing how to love them is not enough. You can know how to love your partner, but still neglect their needs. Likewise, you can know what they need but unconsciously choose to make excuses for not meeting these needs. Thus, it is choosing to love your partner that truly solidifies the relationship.

Loving someone made me realize that to maintain love there is a need for consistency, and thus, commitment is a continuous choice to be there.  You choose to love them even if there are a million other circumstances pulling you in other directions. You choose to show up–you choose to love them even when it is difficult.

Love is Not Fragile

This brings me to my last realization about love. When you have learned how to love your partner, and when you constantly make the choice to love your partner, you will realize that love is not, and should not be, fragile. But don’t get me wrong, I mean not to say that love should not be handled with utmost care. I only mean that relationships are, by nature, difficult to manage. 

You will have fights. You will wonder why things have changed. You will have doubts. Your commitment will not survive on love alone. Still, to love someone means that you accept that there are days where you will have to pick up the pieces and restructure. There are days where you will have to communicate, and there are times where you will have to start again. 

Let it be known that some of my sentiments on commitment still linger. I may be more intrigued by the idea of a wedding gown and a ring now that I am a young adult; but I do believe that permanence is indeed never guaranteed. This, however, does not mean that love with commitment is unattainable. One day, you may just stumble upon someone who makes the concept of long-term commitment worth every shot. Likewise, you may find someone who will teach you that love, however difficult it may be, is something that you will not want to miss out on. When this time comes, remember these three things; learn how to love them, choose to love them, and do so even if things become difficult. 

 

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