8. The Way we Love

8 Nov

I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, fall hard and fall fast and throw myself into the all-consuming love that takes over my heart. In other words I’m the epitome of a hopeless romantic, doing anything and everything I can for my significant other. I’ve learned the error of my ways over the course of my relationships, working to tweak and perfect my ability and love-style.

Last week during a mini-trip to Barnes & Noble with Darling, she asked me if I thought I could ever love the way I loved in my last relationship.

Good question, right?

{image via WeHeartIt}

The short answer is no. I don’t think that the love we have and the way in which we love will remain the same from one relationship to the next. That would make for a rather dull existence and uninteresting stories.

The long answer, while still no, is a much better answer. I believed I learned a lot in my last relationship: what not to repeat, what to improve upon, how to improve my capacity for love to allow someone in and yet I’ve learned how to protect myself, how not to lose sight of myself and who I am and want to be. I believe that each love in our lives is unique, each bears a different kind of love, a different kind of purpose. I believe that each time we fall in love, we love better, harder, smarter. Just like no to snowflakes are alike, no two loves can be alike. Everyone is different and in my opinion (and experience) each love is better than the last. Despite the heartbreaks I’ve endured I am always looking forward to the next time I fall in love: excited for what it holds, what it will teach me, the possibilities that lay before me.

What do you think? How does our capacity to love change over time and after heartbreaks? Do you believe we get better at love?

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23 Responses to “8. The Way we Love”

  1. Kathleen November 8, 2010 at 6:21 am #

    I think you said it perfectly. Other than my husband, there is only one man I really loved, and it wasn’t mature. The love I know now grew from that, as well as my other experiences, and is so much better because of it.

  2. Maddy November 8, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    I like how you compared relationships to snowflakes….no two loves are the same! That’s not to say that they are more or less, just that they are different. I think even though you may learn from a previous relationship, you can love and hurt in many new place too! I think above all, I know it sounds corny, is to cultivate that relationship with yourself :)

  3. mandy November 8, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    I love this post, Nora. I agree with you, each love prepares us and makes us smarter. Shows us what to do differently, how to open ourselves up without losing who we are. I can honestly say that I’ve only fallen in love twice. The first one was immature. The second has endured, changed, and taught me so much. Each love is unique, different, and incredibly special.

  4. Liz November 8, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    Oh I 100% agree. I used to be so blinded by love that I would overlook things – important things – in a person and in myself just so I could hold onto it for a little while longer. I made way too many sacrifices, cried way too many tears. Looking back, it’s almost embarassing how stupid I was in love. That said, I learned so much. Each love IS different; each person holds a special place in my heart. I don’t believe we were meant to only love one person our whole lives and I’ve never really understood people that don’t love freely and often. Maybe I overuse the word though. Recovering hopeless romantic here. :)

  5. emjaye November 8, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    I think after a heartbreak it’s easy to say, “next time, I’ll do/not do this.” But loving is such a basic function that we really can’t change how we do it, so when we find ourselves in that situation again, we fall right back into loving the best way we know how.

    It’s tempting to look at past situations and disect what worked and what didn’t work to change for the next situation, but I’m a hopeless romantic too and believe that eventually I’ll find the person who understands how I love, can be loved that way and will love me how I need to be loved.

    I’m going through heartbreak right now and think I definitely needed this post, thanks Nora!

  6. Heather November 8, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    I do believe our experiences change us, some for the good, some for the bad. In the case of love, I think it’s for the better. We know what to look out for. It makes us love better. I believe we grow and become better people from it.

  7. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair November 8, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Definitely, no two loves can be exactly the same because no two people are the same. Speaking from a long relationship (almost 6 years) I think that love even changes in ONE relationship because two people change a lot as they grow older and wiser and their life circumstances shift!

    Interesting post :-)

  8. Stephany November 8, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    I love this post and definitely agree with you! No two loves can be the same because we’re all entering these relationships at a different time in our life, with a different mindset, with different experiences. And with a totally different person! (Although, I think we can even love the same person differently as we grow and mature.)

  9. Lisa of Lisa's Yarns November 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Yep, I whole heartedly agree. Each relationship teaches us so much. It changes the way we love our significant other and the way we loved ourself. So I try to not view relationships that didnt’ work out as ‘failed relationships’ because they teach us so much. I wouldn’t want to go back and re-live my last relationship and the aftermath but wow, it taught me a lot, and for that I am thankful.

  10. Suburban Sweetheart November 8, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Absolutely. I think there are people I’ve been in love with in the past in a way that seems wildly immature, much less than the love I’m able to give now. I’m tempted to scoff at those loves, to think that I didn’t know what I was talking about – but when I think back on them, & who I was & where I was in my life, I know I loved as much as I could, for me, at that time. Does that make sense? It may be less than what I could give now, but I can’t fault any past version of myself for not having grown like that yet!

  11. Becky November 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Just like no two snowflakes are alike, no two loves are alike. Beautiful.

  12. Amy --- Just A Titch November 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    I think that learning from past relationships is one of the smartest things you can do. Everyone is different, every relationship is different.

  13. Habbala November 8, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    Yes. Totally agree. You can’t love the same, ever. But you can love again, and better.

    I love you. Speaking of love.

  14. Manderz November 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    I’ve never put much thought into it, but I definitely think that love changes from one relationship to the next. It grows and evolves.

  15. E.P. November 8, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    Beautifully put, lovely. And I completely agree. We take so much from one relationship to the next that the love changes… but it’s a good thing. And when you DO find that next guy, he’ll be a lucky one for all the things you both have learned. And because you’re freaking awesome.

  16. AshleyD November 8, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    This is an awesome post. And I agree. I don’t think any two loves are the same, or ever could be the same. Even if we tried. People are too different. And we grow and learn from each love, so it makes sense that future loves will have their own “personality”.

  17. Jessica November 8, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    Hmm good question. I think some relationships do scar us forever, but in the end, we never give up the hope of loving purely. That’s what I hold on to.

  18. Elizabeth November 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    I think even in a singular long relationship love changes–the way Eric and I love now is certainly not the way we did 7 years ago. We’re not the same people we were, and that’s a good thing, otherwise I’d be awfully bored right now.

  19. Dream in Grey November 9, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    I agree with most other people, i don’t think you can love the same way twice. you will only cause yourself hurt and problems and endless comparisons.

  20. Megan November 9, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    I think it’s only natural to love differently each time. Sometimes, your heart becomes more guarded, your feelings become more mature, you might think differently in a new relationship.

    And I agree with Elizabeth. Even in marriages, love changes over the years. Husband and I have been married for almost 2.5 years now, and the love is different (in a good way) than it was when we met or started dating or were engaged or even in our first year of marriage. It’s always changing, and I think that’s good.

  21. Kyla Roma November 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    I love the idea of each love being a little different- I think that it’s so much about the two people involved that it couldn’t possible be the same from each relationship to the next. For Jesse and I, our relationship and love is always changing, and I think that means you’re growing. It’s a good thing in my books :)

  22. Ashalah November 11, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    I’ve only been in love once–maybe twice. They were vastly different relationships and vastly different feelings. I love how you say that each love is unique, it has to be. I unfortunately have a rather cynical view on love, but I still have hope. I don’t want to give up on it, not yet anyway!

  23. terra November 14, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    I absolutely agree. I think as we grow up and learn from loves we take lessons with us and apply them to future relationships. I think other relationships things are also easier the older we get and the more experienced with love we get, like respect, compromise and forgiveness. Those things were hard to apply to my early relationships, but now I think they come much, much easier.

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