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#Relationships: 5 Things That Shouldn’t Define How Much You Love Each Other

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At some point, I want to conduct a survey, asking people to look back at the relationships they had to ask themselves if they still think they were in love when they thought they were. Has it happened to you that you move on from someone and feel that you didn’t love them after all? Honestly, I think because there are several love languages, we cannot define love in clear terms. For one of my best friends, love is her husband ordering her a yoga mat as a quiet gesture of care. Another friend loves that her husband and she share a wonderful social life together. For me, it’s simply feeling home with a person and being comfortable enough to bare my heart. Of course, that’s for the sake of simplification. We are much more complex and the human heart likes to make relationships seem tougher than decoding an alien message.

We have pre-conceived notions of what love is and we stick to that. I have had so many ideas about love and I still do. It’s not like I have achieved love enlightenment but I am thinking, reflecting and improving. When I was younger, I thought if he loves me, he will talk to me every day and tell me how much I mean to him. I thought it was showing grand gestures of love but God knows I am far from doing that right now. Why? Because I did that and it still didn’t work out. I have created handmade greeting cards, written meaningful verses and made all those cheesy videos for my ex. Now, I just feel love isn’t in these cards. Although, a little effort does go a long way.

Why do we stick to definitions of love that just don’t mean anything? Honestly, till date, I cannot put love in a box and say that this is it. But throughout the years, I have learnt what love is not. I have figured that love can be love even with the absence of these things and the presence of these things doesn’t guarantee it. Before I confuse you, here are 5 things that shouldn’t define love or the quality of your relationship.

1) Ability to commit

I think it’s pretty juvenile to assume that love is enough for things to work out. Sure, I wish it was. But we are flawed, our innocence has been adulterated with those several failed romances. And here we are, thinking hard before even taking a small step towards commitment. In fact, just because you dearly love a person doesn’t mean that it is also feasible to commit to each other. I know that I am very fond of them but I also know that we want different things from life. So it’s either we go our own way but have admiration for each other or get together, have a difficult breakup, and despise each other for the rest of our lives. It shouldn’t be this way but it is and it really doesn’t mean that the person is an asshole if they couldn’t get into a relationship with you.

2) Whether it lasts long

They say the success rate of marriages in India is high because they measure it in terms of divorces. But does the longevity of a relationship define the quality of it? I don’t think so. How many of our parents are actually madly in love and not in the marriage for the sake of convenience and societal pressure? I am sure there are many. But the number of Indian couples just dragging it out is also huge! Look at all those cases of dowry, marital rapes and domestic abuse. Women living with misogynistic husbands would usually opt out if they could. On the other hand, a short-lived relationship could be beautiful and intense. As long as you had love and respect in your relationship, it doesn’t matter how long it lasted. And if it lasted long, it doesn’t mean it actually was love.

3) Digital PDA

We know social media isn’t a reflection of reality, else we’d have a place for skin problems and hairy legs on it. The other day, my best friend was telling me (okay, we gossip a lot!) about her friend and her husband. Apparently, things aren’t all cool in their loveville, and she hates his guts when he thinks he can make decisions for her. But we follow each other on Instagram and they look like #couplegoals, to say the least! This dichotomy doesn’t define how close you are. Also, I don’t care if you post 10 pictures with me calling me your bae and all that, if in real life, you don’t even know what colour my eyes are.

4) Flattery and romantic words

Yes, I enjoy getting compliments and once in a while, I’d love it if he says I am his baby and how much I mean to him. Of course, just writing this out makes me feel single AF right now but hypothetically if that happened, I’d enjoy it. However, do we really want someone to just keep buttering us up? Unless you’re gonna top me up with some whipped cream and lick me clean, I don’t want it. Love isn’t how much he sucks up to you. Love is having the guts to tell you, hey you’re being a dumbfuck right now. It is being honest and giving you constructive criticism too, because you can trust them. You know they aren’t doing it to take a stab at you but because they care. I want feedback. Don’t just tell me I am right when I have been a bitch to my best friend. Call me out. Don’t tell me you can do anything for me and then act as if I demanded your kidney when I ask you to do a tiny thing. Statutory warning: Choose your words wisely.

ALSO READ: 5 Silent Ways He Cares For You Deeply

5) Addiction to each other

I have been in long-distance relationships. In fact, if I can really say I loved one guy it was this one who didn’t live in the same country as me for most of the year. On the other hand, I have also been with someone who met me every day and it was fun because I didn’t have to do the difficult bit of learning to be by myself. But nope, that doesn’t qualify as love; that’s addiction or habit. Love doesn’t change if you don’t see each other every day. You want yourself and the other person to have that space to grow and you’d want this love to be a catalyst and not an obstacle in it. So when you find yourself getting addicted to someone, it might just be your hormones or a need for emotional companionship. Take it slow and wait it out.

ALSO READ: 5 Reasons Millennials Are Afraid Of Saying ‘I Love You’ And Take An Eternity To Do It

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