“If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with,” has held true to be one of the most classically praised lines of all time.
Through this quote, we're told to embrace life fully in its present, and to let go of the nostalgia of our past and the anticipation of our future. How, though, could we possibly love the one we're with if we desire external admiration?
When we're stuck in a situation of uncertain independence, somewhere between single and looking, we find more often than not that we allow an overwhelming expression of vulnerability out of spite for being “alone.”
But being alone is exactly the practice most of us have yet to allow ourselves to master, and the only thing we have to blame for that is ourselves.
While it holds true that society can pressure us to find stability in relationships by a certain time in our life, it holds equally true that society has discovered a newfound pressure for embracing individuality.
And when we are in a place where we are without anyone else, loving the one you're with simply means putting aside the need to be loved by someone, and love yourself instead.
It's savvy and cliche to “love yourself,” but all in all, it's exactly what we know we need but are too stubborn to admit. Why is it that we think when our love lives are monotonous, we must have all other things completely and totally in check?
Embracing yourself isn't just about finding your passions and doing what makes you happy; loving yourself is strictly seeing the world through your own lens and allowing yourself to decipher it as you go.
The overall acceptance of all your emotions is part of the whole deal. Knowing exactly who you are, and when and how you feel the way you feel, is the true meaning of finding self-love.
We constantly find ourselves confusing an undiscovered love for ourselves as unhealed wounds, blaming our solitude on a failure to close out feelings from our past.
After months of disconnect with my ex, I let the absence of a current relationship from my life allow me to go forward with attempting to relight a most definitely burnt out flame.
Despite my prosperity and happiness since we had last spoken, I gave the situation just the right amount of justification that it needed to happen. With every hesitation that swept through my mind, I kept finding a reason to go forward with my ex anyway, and the craziest part of it all was that I knew I wasn't in love with him anymore.
Why did I let the fact that I didn't love anybody push me to try and find love with a bad anecdote from my past?
The answer was in the question, after all: I wasn't with anybody that I loved, and I mistook my ex limply reaching out to me after lost time as a chance to find love within someone else again. When really, the love I was looking for was in myself the whole time.
Sometimes, we're so blindsided by our expectations of others that we forget to expect anything from ourselves. If we set a standard of loving ourselves, it will naturally unfold within the next person you decide to date.
When you find that you are without the love you desire from someone, remember to love the one you're with. It may seem difficult at first, but it will get easier to love yourself, and it will be exactly what you need.