We sometimes think we love a person because they’re just like us. Of course, it is the truth, because you are what you love, not who loves you.
Have you heard the phrase, you are what you love, not who loves you? The problem these days is before we even get into a serious relationship, we start identifying with our significant other. We start to forget who we are. Then we convince ourselves of reasons why we fall in love in the first place.
A lot of us have already fallen victim to this—we make people the source of our happiness, and when they go, we get a little lost and a lot unhappy. This is because we want them to be the person we want them to be. Essentially, we want them to be someone who they may already be, but more often than not, they are truly someone else.
Accepting someone else as their true self
You can’t expect to love someone when they can’t achieve the standards you have set. The truth is they should not be held up to a bar they are not aware of. The only thing that’s important is that they are good people, ready and willing to love you back.
If not, then what is the point of loving someone at all? I am not saying we should not love people. We should, but we should love them unconditionally. This means without expecting or demanding anything in return. And do not just love one person or one thing at a time. Love several. Love a lot. Most importantly, love yourself. [Read: Love sucks! 21 reasons why we hate it and yet crave for it]
So how can you love someone who is not you?
The answer is that you don’t. You love that person regardless of whether or not they’re like you. You love them without asking for them to like the same things you do, but you may share those with them in due time. Love them without expecting them to do the things you want, but you may ask it of them when the time is right.
For now, you must learn to accept these things. This is how you should proceed.
You have probably heard this phrase a billion times, figuratively. But the fact this is a popular mantra means it is true. That it actually works. There are several ways to love yourself, and we start with the simple things.
#1 Wake up and literally say, “I love myself.” Make it a habit, until you actually, really feel like you love yourself. There is a reason why teachers in school keep repeating some lessons—for retention. Convince yourself and everything else will follow.
Why am I saying this? Because not everyone has come to terms with themselves. Some have struggled to accept how they look, where they stand in the society, live with the mistakes they have made, or some other factors only they could fully understand. [Read: How to stop loving someone else and love yourself more]
#2 Different people require different ways to love themselves. But there are some common factors already proven to be effective.
Self-meditation helps. A lot of self-help books or YouTube videos provide steps on how to meditate and other similar activities that put you to Zen and quiet the mind. To self-meditate, some do yoga, walk in the park, or even just sit down on a comfortable chair with eyes closed.
#3 Pampering also helps. Take a break, get your hair cut, your nails done, or go to a spa and just relax! Like any other thing, different people have different ways of spending a break.
Some girls enjoy shopping while some guys prefer playing basketball or soccer. Whatever floats the boat, as long as it makes one have a good time. [Read: 15 ways to be someone who always says, I love my life!]
Love does not necessarily have to be romantic. There are other loves as great as romantic love. Love for parents and love for friends are as fulfilling as loving someone in a romantic way.
#1 Make time for family and go visit them as often as possible. If it is so much of an inconvenience, call them or send them a text. Check if they are all right or how they are doing.
These simple gestures go a long way to make them feel loved and cared for. Send your mom flowers or your dad a sleek new necktie, or link your siblings to funny and trending memes. Giving is caring, and it is one of the many ways to show your love for them. [Read: Where there is love there is life: Love makes us better]
#2 Make time for your friends, too. Life gets busy. Sometimes, weekends mean working weekends. You do not always have to see your friends, but it would be nice to hang out at least once a week or every other week.
Hanging out with friends means you get to talk about things other than work and other responsibilities. You talk about other common interests like politics or art or the latest series on Netflix.
Do not forget, though, that when you give love, you do not expect anything in return. Give it for free without any expectation. You’d be surprised to know that the universe somehow conspires to give all these loves back to you, exponentially. [Read: 25 memorable life lessons to perfect your life]
Love your life
#1 Take a break. You know all those music videos and films about traveling and going on adventures and having bucket lists? They work. I highly recommend that you do just that. Give yourself a break and avail of that vacation leave you saved.
It does not have to be anything expensive. It can be as simple as walking around town, taking a new route, and discovering new places. [Read: How to motivate yourself to do pretty much anything]
#2 Go on vacation. Of course, save up for that much-deserved beach trip or that Euro trip you’ve planned for years. New places mean new perspectives, and studies do not lie when it shows people are generally happier and nicer when traveling. It is also one way of meeting new people and learning new things.
#3 Know what you want and need. Loving life is not always about the adrenaline rush, of course. It also means just staying home and watching a movie, listening to music, or reading a book. As I have said, different people have different requirements. You just have to know what you want and have the courage to go do it. [Read: 12 steps to change your life and find your happiness]
#4 Do something new. I understand that doing new things can be quite scary to some, especially those who don’t like risks or are comfortable with routines. That is okay, it is not wrong.
But there is also nothing wrong with going out of the comfort zone and doing stuff that you would not, on a regular basis, do. Life is about taking risks, making mistakes, and learning from it. After all, life is what you make it. If you perceive mistakes as a learning experience, it can be a good thing. [Read: How to be more outgoing – 12 ways to step out of your comfort zone]
Being happy is a process
#1 Live life as an adventure. There will be setbacks, I assure you that. But so what? Life is one hell of an adventure. Heck, a single song generates a thousand feelings. Everything is a process, so is happiness. Just keep going and never let any setback stop you from loving yourself, loving others, and loving life. [Read: 40 fun and upbeat songs to groove you out of that funk]
#2 It’s all about love. And just like a teacher to his students, let me repeat myself: Love many. Love a lot. Most importantly, love who you are, not just the person you love.