So what does it mean to love someone the “right way”?
I already covered parts of this idea on a recent blog post titled What I Learned About Love From Loving A Christian Woman.
I mentioned in that blog that it took me a really long time to figure out what loving someone the right way looked and felt like.
So many relationships where I was only 70 percent invested in the relationship and was constantly tangling one toe outside the boundaries of our relationship.
Times when I wasn’t in the right personal place to love them to the capacity they deserved to be loved.
And other times when I didn’t love them enough, I loved them but just wasn’t in love with them. No matter how much I wished that I were, I wasn’t. So my love fell short and I lost relationship integrity by trying to love against my heart.
To make it clear: love is an action.
It’s not what you say to the person. Anyone can fucking say, “I love you”. Words don’t mean squat about your commitment because words can be said on impulse in the heat-of-the-moment without having any footing, or they can be embellished or even manipulated to mean something more than they really are.
Words are simply pebbles of sand that can be easily cast away in the wind. It’s what you do with those pebbles of sand that tell the true story.
You have to take those pebbles of sand and build the biggest and most beautiful sand castle on the entire beach before those pebbles of sand begin to actually amount to anything of substantial meaning.
Love as a word is entirely fleeting. Only when the actions behind the words come into focus can the words begin to find their footing and begin to take shape.
When we continue to take action towards strengthening that love and allowing it to prosper within the relationship: we’re loving someone the right way.
When we take that love for granted, or perform actions that potentially poison that bond and purity of our relationship: we’re loving someone the wrong way.
Rule #1: Only be in relationships you’re 100% into. Whomever you love, deserves 100% of your heart.
Most important: don’t do a relationship halfway.
Don’t get involved in one unless you REALLY, REALLY want to be in that relationship. If not, you’re far better off just being alone and working on your own shit.
Relationships will never be 100% perfect. But your commitment to that relationship and that person has to be 100%.
I see so many couples out there that are sleepwalking through their relationship.
I can spot these couples from a mile away.
I’ve been in that relationship. I’ve been that guy who was playing a part, who loved someone but wasn’t in love with them, who was just riding the wave because the hassle of making a bold move and getting out seemed far too daunting.
Going through this experience drove home the fact that you have to be ALL IN. These “half” relationships or relationships where one or both parties have simply found a level of “toleration” or a level of love that they can simply fucking “live with” is not respecting love and the person you are supposedly sharing that experience with.
These types of couples get OLD FAST.
They turn into old, shitty, married couples before they’re even old or married. They reach a point of no return (or so they think) and they just shift into cruise control and ride it out. This just leads to complacency and a direct route to unhappiness and a false reality for what a relationship should actually feel like.
By staying in a relationship you’re only partially satisfied with, you’re disrespecting that person because you’re staying with them when they are not getting 100% of your heart.
What happens in these relationships — like what happened in my case — is the relationship eventually self-implodes from the inside. Things either turn very toxic (there is an unhealthy dynamic in the relationship that isn’t being talked about), someone cheats, or both people turn very bitter and end up resenting each other for holding one another back from real happiness.
Or even worse, they just become numb to the fact that they’re far less happy than they’re capable of being.
Most importantly, when you stay in the wrong relationship and continue to partake in a relationship that doesn’t feel 100% right, you’re not loving the right way.
This is one of the most common mistakes people make, and one of the most common reasons why people continue to be unhappy in their romantic lives.
THEY IGNORE THEIR INTUITION AND LOVE AGAINST THEIR INNER TRUTH.
It took me so many hard lessons and heartaches to understand this. It’s one of the easiest things to understand, but one of the hardest things to actually do.
People who are the happiest and have the least amount of drama in their romantic lives are incredibly skilled at listening to their inner truth and making sure their outer environment replicates what they feel on the inside.
When something doesn’t feel right, they treat it and remove it from their life before it has the chance to grow into a tumor that continues to grow and spread until it begins to affect their mental and emotional sanity and well being.
Emotional assertiveness…having the strength to deal with confrontation head on in order to make yourself happier and your life better because you know it’s not just the right thing for you, but the right thing for them as well.
The sooner you deal with the truth that is in front of you, the less severe the pain is. The longer you wait, the more opportunity the pain has to become infected.
Rule #2: How You Speak About Your Partner Sets The Tone For Your Relationship Energy
You know those couples that have bad relationship energy?
There’s an uncomfortable and toxic distance between them.
Someone is constantly bickering about the other one. They’re always talking about everything that is wrong with their partner and the latest thing they did that drove them crazy.
That’s a bad habit couples get into who have stopped appreciating the relationship they’re in.
Either get the fuck out of that relationship. Or start speaking about your partner in a way that is going to bring you closer together. But stop complaining about them. It was your choice to get into that relationship, and it’s also your choice to continue to stay in that relationship.
When we get into a habit of not speaking out of love we slowly chip away at our relationship and wear it down.
Alternatively, do you notice how the happiest couples have such good relationship energy?
The happiest and strongest couples have such respect for each other, both as lovers and people. They don’t undermine each other, speak down at one another, but rather, speak so highly of one another like they’re Jesus Christ levitating on god damn water.
There have been numerous studies done that prove that the least happy couples were constantly in “fight or flight” mode when around one another. In other words, there was tension, which was created by them constantly not speaking out of love, which ended up creating a volatile energy between the couple.
The building block of this is how the couples speak about one another, and how the couples speak directly to one another.
This is habit-forming.
It’s something you need to continue to work towards. It’s something that both sides need to be committed to improving because they want to continue to build and grow their love, and continue to improve the energy of the space between them.
So, really think about how you talk and think about your partner. The amount of people who are in relationships who can often depict such a negative image of their partner is mind blowing.
Yes, there are going to be things that drive you crazy about your partner. But if you continue to linger on those things, you lose sight of the best things that drew them to you in the first place.
To love the right way and respect your relationship, embrace the negative, you made the choice to be where you are. And instead, make a choice to continue to harvest everything about them that you love and you’re so grateful to have in your life.
Rule #3: Don’t Even Come Close To Crossing That Line In Your Relationship
How often do you see people in relationships that still seek attention outside of their relationship?
Whether it’s a flirty conversation to give them that novel rush of excitement, that social media friend who always likes their photos and helps them to still feel hot, or that male friend who they swear is just a “friend”, but come on, they would probably be banging them if it weren’t for their relationship getting in the way of some lusty love making.
This happens for so many reasons…they’re tired of their own partners, they’ve grown complacent in their relationship, their partner doesn’t fulfill the entire quota so they need to find the other missing parts in other people without losing that stable partner who fulfills 2/3 of their relationship needs, or they’re simply a flirt, an attention whore.
They allow this attention to exist in the atmosphere because they do not respect their relationship enough to remove it. Even worse, they might not be able to function without it.
They have stopped depositing love into the bank account. So the health of their relationship starts to wane and dwindle as they continue down a toxic path in their relationship.
I have been like this in the past.
While I was in a relationship, I had girl “friends” that I sometimes talked to. Sure, they were just friends, technically. But I thought they were attractive and the conversations would have probably been much different had I been single at the time.
But by doing this, even though they were seemingly harmless interactions, I was disrespecting our relationship.
So I’ve seen first hand how this kind of behavior can build below the surface like a fungus until it eventually starts to rot and create havoc in the relationship.
To really love someone is to love them without ever needing to acknowledge outside attention or admiration.
Because simply loving them should be enough, right?
When you allow room for this kind of contact and these types of exchanges, you’re slowly jeopardizing what is most sacred with every attention-seeking, moment of weakness. And often you’re doing so without even realizing it.
There is a line in a relationship.
Some people get close to that line.
Some people tight rope that line and hang onto their relationship by a thread.
But to love the right way, is to never even get close to that line. You need to protect your relationship. You need to protect your love.
If you still demand and require outside attention, then the person you’re with is not the right person for you and you’re staying with them for the wrong reasons, or you need to seriously look at the way you love.
When you respect your relationship, and do not seek attention of others that aren’t your partner, you grow and strengthen your love for each other.
Your love for your partner is respected, acknowledged that your heart is taken and spoken for, which makes your love even purer than it was before.
Love isn’t easy, but only by engaging in that level of respect for your relationship, do you give it a fighting chance of amounting to something great.
I understand the temptation. When you’re together with someone for a long time things can become routine, and sometimes you miss the newness of something unfamiliar.
Sometimes being in a relationship can feel like you’re living in a fucking zoo in a 10 ft. by 10 ft. cage, and it can be nice when a wild animal comes galloping in from the jungle and starts sniffing around your zoo cage and gives you a big ole growl that says, “Hey you, I see you, if you weren’t inside that fucking cage with that other stupid zoo animal lying beside you, licking their own genitals because you’ve clearly grown tired of them, I would totally drag you out into my wild jungle and have my way with you.”
But look at your actions. Every time you tell someone, “thank you but I’m spoken for. My heart is spoken for,” you’re depositing love into the love bank, acknowledging to yourself and others how much your relationship means to you and how committed you’re to protecting that sacred space that is strictly reserved for you and your partner.
And you see, over time, those pebbles build up and begin to create one badass-fucking sandcastle.
That’s how you respect your relationship and love the right way.