I have been told countless things about relationships. That they should be easy or require a great deal of work. That you will find a special person when you least expect it, or that this person is right under your nose. I was taught to believe that relationships were contracts for compromise. I was trained to think that this meant relationships were intended to be compromising. I think many people have forgotten that relationships, both romantic and friendly, are there to build you up, not shake your foundation.
I like to think of the heart as a mason jar full of all of the great and beautiful things we think and feel about ourselves. I used to think it was normal, and healthy… to take the love from my jar and give them away to people I wanted to embrace. It was peachy for a while; putting others first… but eventually your jar runs dry, and you begin to realize that there is no love left for you.
I was never taught what love is and more importantly… what love is not. I want to you to remember that your jar of love should always be full.
Here is a list of things relationships should not feel like… learned the hard way:
- Sunday Night: The pit in your stomach the night before a day of classes. The guilty, gut-wrenching “why did I leave my work for the last minute?” You wonder why you do this to yourself, what did you do wrong this weekend to put you in this position? Your relationship should never make you feel guilty, stressed or make you doubt yourself. You never deserve to have a pit placed in your tummy…no matter what you did or did not do.
- Getting The Wrong Drink At Starbucks: You waited fifteen minutes in line to grab your favorite drink and if you are anything like me I am sure it ends in a seven dollar charge. You thank the barista and carry your caramel-covered bliss back to your car. As you lean in for the first sip, you realize it tastes like the bottom of a shoe… they messed up your order. You were expecting a sweet, comforting escape… but were stuck with a bitter cup of nasty. You feel guilty throwing it away, considering you spent an arm and a leg on it, so you gulp it down because you have to. You don’t deserve to settle for a cup of anything you don’t love. You should never feel obligated to stay with someone because you have invested time or money into them. You do not owe anyone a damn thing. If I were you, I would have marched right back into that Starbucks and let them know that they let you down, and if they can’t fix your drink you will take your business elsewhere. Throw a fit. Say what you feel. You can gulp down all of the bitter coffee in the world but you will still crave something sweet.
- A Family Road Trip: Your brother fell asleep on your shoulder and he drools. Your dad thinks that blasting music from “back in the day” is ok. You are stuck in the car for another 10 hours and you are ill from the motion. You feel like you are getting nowhere, and you are bored out of your mind. There should be progress every day in your relationship. You should never feel bored, trapped or drooled on. Your friend or significant other should feel like relaxing after a long day at work. They should feel like crawling into bed with a tub of ice cream. They should feel like home.
With this short list I would like to leave you with one thought:
“Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion; today is special.”
Don’t waste a second of your special day with someone who brings you down. Don`t waste your love on those who do not deserve it… keep your special jar filled.