“We accept the love we think we deserve.” ~Stephen Chbosky
Have you ever wondered why it is that your bright, beautiful, amazing friend has ended up with a douche who treats her like crap? How about that guy who stays with the bitchy creature (I can’t actually call these beings women. It’s insulting) even though everyone and their mother knows that she cheats on him every other month? Or contemplated what could possibly be behind the reasoning that caused that wonderful woman you call your mother to stay with the abusive bastard that is (unfortunately) your father? Perhaps you haven’t. These are fairly personalized, I suppose. And there is a small piece of me that still believes that some of the relationships I see every day are truly healthy and beautiful. They cannot all be decrepit and destructive… right?
If you have read any of my previous posts you have probably gathered by now that I don’t have a very positive outlook when it comes to romantic relationships. You, my loves, are about to fully realize how that negative view actually encompasses all relationships. I’ve never actually written that down, or said that out loud before. Several of the people I treasure in my life are aware of my cynicism when it comes to love, but I’m not sure they realize that I mean LOVE in general.
I believe, firmly and whole-heartedly, that human beings need love to live a full and happy life. I just think we have a hard time giving and receiving love in healthy ways. Society has long played with the concept of love- familial, romantic, platonic, etc.- like a child with a particularly favored color of play dough and it has distorted, twisted love into something patently false and fake. It is something to be bought and sold. Unattainable and elusive, while evoking a sense of desperation and need for such “perfection”. Many of us have accepted that this defines the very fabric of what love is, without ever even realizing it.
Now there’s a depressing thought.
Unfortunately, it gets worse. Not only do we have this warped idea of love always hovering in the back of our minds, we also have these concepts of what is acceptable in the name of love shoved down our throats so often that we have swallowed them.
Your boyfriend hits you occasionally? That’s okay. Your love will change him and in the end he will love you more for it. Your relationship will be stronger, more lasting, and so beautiful if you just weather this storm. And it only happens once in a while, right? What’s a couple bruises and few drops of blood for love?
Your girlfriend shreds your self-esteem and self-worth to tiny ribbons? No problem. Be kind and patient in return (she’s probably struggling herself, you know) and she will eventually realize that she is being less-than supportive. And she is sweet and wonderful most of the time, right? You’re strong and can bounce back in no time, once love saves the day.
Your husband breaks things, yells, and “accidently” hurts his family sometimes? No worries. It’s just because he has a bit of a temper and doesn’t really know his own strength. He just needs more love, more acceptance (his father was a bit of a bastard, you see, and he hasn’t quite dealt with it yet) to soothe the scared little boy inside of him. You love him and he needs you so much, he doesn’t really mean the things he says or to hurt you quite so much. And your kids are young, right? They probably won’t even remember this when they get older.
Your brother is a cruel, vindictive bully? That’s all right. Standing up to him will just make it worse and, besides, your mother is always reminding you of all the hard times he has had to endure. Just hold your tongue and always forgive him for the hurtful things he says. And if you don’t really smile for a few years because of a particularly nasty comment he made about how stupid and unattractive you look when you do, well, it’s a small price to pay, truly. Years down the road he will thank you for being so loyal and accepting; “unfailingly loving”.
Yeah… so maybe those are pretty personalized examples, but I’m sure you get the picture. Perhaps some of you can even relate. The quote I posted along with this sums all of this up fairly perfectly and completely.
“We accept the love we think we deserve”.
I think my heart stopped the first time I heard this and I’ve since adopted it as ~my~ quote. Because it sums up ~me~ in eight words, while also inspiring me to change the standards I have on what it is, exactly, I think I deserve. When I say I am cynical and skeptical when it comes to love, it is not because I believe that true, pure love does not, cannot exist. It is because I have recognized the reality that it is not an everyday occurrence. Most of the “love” we see doesn’t even come close. It is faux love. A mere, rippled reflection of what can actually be. Why? Because most of us don’t know to look for anything different, don’t even realize something more is possible.
I’m not saying real love is perfect. It’s not. Where would the fun be in that? And we are all human. We say cruel and hurtful things, we intentionally hurt each other, we have destructive habits, and terrifying flaws. And I’m not looking for perfection. I don’t WANT a perfect guy, because then he would probably expect me to be perfect and I am so… not.
I want a guy who acknowledges his temper and knows how to control and properly channel it. Get mad at me. Argue with me. But the first time you raise your hand to me, I’m gone. And raising your voice is NOT a necessary piece of a good argument/fight. Don’t always agree with me, coddle me, and treat me like a delicate flower that needs to be protected. If you are angry, BE ANGRY, but understand that I am allowed the same privilege. I will not walk on egg shells around you. I will not pick up broken pieces, repeatedly, with the thought in mind that they will be broken again. I will not be your cure. I will not be the center of your world; please don’t expect to be the center of mine.
Live life with me. Experience it with me. Make memories with me. Be with me for the good and bad moments. Accept me- sarcasm, scars, issues, oddities, dreams, nightmares, fears, achievements, failures. I am human. Be human with me. I can handle a lot, but there are some things I flat-out refuse to.
I deserve a healthy, happy, complicated relationship. I want the fights, cuddles, makeup sex, random thoughts, passionate arguments/discussion, crazy ideas, weird personal quirks and habits… everything.
I do not want perfection. I want real.
I deserve real love.
I believe that exists. I believe that someday, I might even actually find it. And if I don’t, well, maybe that’s all right, too. Because I am learning to love myself the way I deserve. And perhaps that is the truest form of love that exists.
Thanks for reading 🙂