What is it like being in love?

I know a lot of people don’t believe in true love. What is that anyway? And what criteria does a relationship have to meet to be recognized as the true kind of love?

The select few that do believe in it probably have a set image in their mind of what they think it ought to be like. Growing up, we have an ultimate idea of love and what it’s supposed to look like. We’re raised to aspire to a certain standard. Society has instilled this idea that if this isn’t what your love is like, then it isn’t love at all. You know what I’m talking about. The so-called “chemistry” between two people that appears to be so effortless and natural. They never fight, they just spend all their time relishing in “true love” and all the benefits it has to offer.

However, if you’ve been in love you know that that’s not reality. Fights happen often and when they’re bad… They’re bad. Things are almost never perfect and when it seems like they are, it doesn’t last for very long. Being in a relationship is never effortless. It takes hard work. I think that’s what a lot of people don’t understand.

I have to admit that in my generation it’s difficult to find people that have stable and long lasting relationships. I don’t know if it’s always been like this, but I feel like a majority of people don’t think they have to try anymore. They encounter one problem and they automatically think “this person isn’t right for me! This isn’t true love.” And just like that they end it without even trying to work through the problem together. They expect it to be perfect and that’s just not reality.

It’s literally ridiculous the amount of people who attempt to discourage me from pursuing what I think is real and true. Friends, family, people I look up to, and even strangers who don’t even know me at all. I have had teachers in high school tell me straight to my face that my relationship is definitely not going to last. “Friends” who think that they know more about my relationship than I do, regardless of the fact that I’m the one experiencing it and not them. That being said, I certainly value and take into consideration the opinions of my loved ones. However experiences like this make me realize the very fine line between being realistic and being cynical.

People automatically dislike me and everything about me without giving me a real chance. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing wrong… I already know that I’m not an especially likeable person in general. I’m not the charismatic and charming girl that everyone gravitates toward because she’s so lovable. I’m unbearably awkward. I have trouble speaking my mind. It’s always been difficult for me to open up to others. I understand if you dislike me because just like everyone else, I’m human and I have imperfections. However if there’s one thing I am most proud of in my life, it’s my relationship with my boyfriend. I know a lot of people won’t understand this so I’m going to try and come up with some sort of clever analogy. We’re like a marble statue. We started out as nothing special; just a chunk of stone. But over time we’ve both worked so hard as a team, putting in so much time and effort to shape what we are today. We’re hand-carved. There’s nothing like us in the world. We’re definitely still a work in progress, but just like a painting there’s a certain charm to the process.

Even so, people always have a distaste for us. I’m constantly trying to figure out why that is. Sometimes things might go a little out of control, but for the most part we keep our relationship between the two of us. And yet, people still judge us relentlessly. I’ve always been the type of person who feels as though they require the approval of others. I try so hard to satisfy others’ opinions of me and yet time after time I fail miserably. My relationship is no exception either.

Yes, we have problems. But those problems are so trivial compared to all the good things that have come from us being together. Affection, support, understanding, loyalty, honesty… And love. When I think about it, I don’t think I’ll ever understand why others choose to see the worst in us when it’s literally overflowing with good.

Maybe it’s because people judge based off of what they see. However, I think they should start practicing going off of what they feel more often. I constantly see couples that seem so happy and perfect. But is seeing really believing? Who knows what happens behind the scenes. I can’t judge them at all. I’m not in their relationship. Only they can experience that so I clearly don’t know. But what I know for sure is what I feel. I feel happy when I’m with him. Even if I’m not with him, just thinking about him brings a smile to my face. I feel so secure knowing that he’s my best friend and that he always has my back. He brings me comfort that nothing else does, even from over 1000 miles away. Sometimes I can’t help but gush about him to the people around me because he makes me so happy.

In a couple of months we will have been together for almost 3 years. I fully acknowledge that I have no idea what the future holds for us. We’re still young, inexperienced, and in comparison to this huge world full of wonders we know nothing. Regardless of these past three years, I still don’t know much about love. All I know is that I’m doing my best.

Some people may argue that time is not a factor in love, but I find it entirely relevant. Time and time again, our love has proved true to me. Although I’m constantly making a mess of things, he always forgives me in due time. We are definitely not perfect. But that’s what makes us real.

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