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4 Things You Should Know About Love By the Time You’re 35

Image source: Thinkstock
Image source: Thinkstock

Love seems so easy when you’re young. It seems so obvious, so doable. Your mind and your body kind of act in tandem when things are right. Your heart would never lie to you. That’s what we tell ourselves. But if I’ve learned one thing in my 43 years of life it’s this: love is a fickle animal. It doesn’t care who you, how much money you make, what you look like, or even how intelligent you are. Love will ultimately kick your ass. Why? Because that’s what love likes to do.

Love, you see, is an ass-kicking machine.

But fear not, young lovers! I’m not trying to scare you. See, everybody knows that love is worth the trouble, that it’s worth the pain and effort. That’s why every human being is hungry for love, and why the ones who don’t get it or maintain it are often the most troubled among us. So check it out: here are some things that might help you avoid some of the mistakes and oversights that I’ve experienced in my time. They’re not rocket science. They’re not concepts or observations that I came up with solely on my own. However, they are the most vital and critical things I’ve learned (often the hard way) about love.

So dig in and give it some thought.

1. Don’t second-guess yourself.

One thing I’m kind of proud of: whenever I developed feelings for a girl, and she seemed to be having them for me too, I never ever flinched or tried to examine the situation too closely. I basically just threw myself in, headfirst, every damn time.

And did they all work out? Oh hell no.

But that’s the whole point! I allowed myself to go with my heart and my gut and even though there were relationships that eventually ended, I look back on them as incredible learning experiences on the road to self-discovery. That’s an important part of learning about love! You have to love someone and then lose them — in a way — in order to really understand the value of being with someone you honestly want to keep by your side.

So when you find yourself asking yourself questions about why or if you should love another person, just remember this. If you are having that conversation with yourself, you’re probably not falling in love with them in the first place.

2. Love doesn’t have to be forever.

It’s quite alright to fall in love and want it to be as perfect as a dream for the rest of your life. But it’s also perfectly alright to understand that dreams are just that … they’re dreams. And sometimes moving on from one love is all you can do in order to be happy in this world. It’s a stone cold reality I wish I would have conceived back when I was young and flighty and thought the world was a romantic comedy and I was the star. It’s wonderful, you know, to be young and in love. But it’s also a house of cards and that really isn’t such a bad thing. It took me until I was in my forties to get that, but there you go.

The great poet Tennyson once said, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

You’ve heard that line a million times by now, huh?

Well, I wonder why?

3. Sex is never enough.

No matter who you love, if you love them long enough, your sex life will crumble at times. Anyone who tells you otherwise is an assh*le and a liar. Real love, true love, requires you to move outside your feeble, primal mind and to realize that lust and passion are like tides and winds. They are powerful, yet they come and go.

So, communicate with the one you love. Talk things out when the sex seems lost or lackluster. But don’t necessarily think that you’re just over each other physically and that that’s it, and there’s no point in continuing on. People confuse sex with things they take for granted, like food in the fridge or gas in the car, but that’s a mistake. You need to work for food and for gas. And you need to work even harder for the sex to remain, or to come back around after it goes. Understand that it’s completely natural, though, and you will be one of the best lovers who ever lived.

Trust me.

4. Own your mistakes.

Stop seeing things your way.

Just stop.

In love, you need to look at yourself like a character in a book or a film and you need to think long and hard, over and over again, about why it is that you act certain ways and respond to things the way you do. By doing that, repeatedly, until it becomes second nature, you will ultimately rise above your stubborn self and see that you are one of the most imperfect morons that ever lived.

And that is a wonderful thing, believe me. Being able to decipher your own heart and mind is something that only comes with age and experience, and even then 98% of the people who pass through this life never ever manage to do it at all, mostly because they never even try.

Don’t be that person. Be the one who seriously considers your partner’s thoughts and feelings. Be the one who really thinks about what makes them tick and feel the way they do about stuff. Listen, if you carefully consider your partner’s heart and mind, you will avoid so many of the terrible times and the monumental pain that someone like me had to live through before I finally understood the worth of these words I’m telling you today.

Image source: M. Bielanko Private
Image source: M. Bielanko Private
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