I’m turning 30 in four months, and I’m still single. I guess there are two ways to look at this. There is the: Hey girl, you do you, you don’t need no boo! approach. Or there’s the: It’s okay, your person is coming! mentality.
I usually hover somewhere in the middle, but I’ll admit that some days are harder than others. I have my fair share of friends and acquaintances who’ve given up on love, or at least on what they think real love to be. But even after a string of failed relationships, false starts, and broken hearts, I can say proudly, happily, wildly, that I believe in love.
I only say those relationships “failed” because they didn’t end up in me finding my life-partner. But in all honesty, none of them were “failures,” because they taught me more about myself, what I’m looking for, and what I understand real love to be. Even though my last two attempts both ended in heartbreak, I’m convinced that if there are men out there who are amazing, someday the one meant for me will come along.
In the meantime, I’m content to watch love unfold around me in all its different forms. Love is many things. Here are a few ways I see love in my life right now:
Love is my experience in a family with many happy marriages. I’ve been lucky to witness this example of love from my parents, my aunts and uncles, and all my cousins. I’ve had so many unique examples of what a loving marriage looks like. If I were to add up the total years of marriage on my mother’s side it would be somewhere around 400 combined years (it’s also a big family). That’s a lot of love, and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.
Love is friends who will drop everything and come over at a moments notice after just one phone call. They will bring flowers, chocolate chunk ice cream, a balloon. They’ll lay with you on the carpet for two hours when you don’t feel like getting up. They’ll rub your back when you cry, listen when you talk, play songs with inappropriate lyrics just to make you laugh. This is the good stuff.
Love is watching new parents. I’m at a time in my life when my Facebook feed is filled with small children. I could be bitter about it, or I could rejoice with those families and their newfound happiness. The best part for me is seeing how becoming a father changes a man. They learn how to serve their wife and newborn with a gentleness that is beautiful to watch. As the child grows, you see the dad doing ridiculous, hilarious, unexpected things you never thought he’d do. But it’s wonderful, because it’s for love of their child.
Love is having male friends who remember to show you your worth without a hidden agenda. How lucky I have been to know men like this. Men who tell me I am beautiful, compliment my talents, open my car door, pay for my food, check up on me with a text or a call—friends who love me for me. The best part is, I trust they mean it because they’re focused on making me happy—they not just focused on dating me.
Right now, these are the relationships in my life that show me what love means. I choose to believe that either love exists, or it doesn’t. I’m pretty sure this is enough proof that it exists. Just because I’ve had some bad luck, difficult situations, and love has not shown up offering me a ring, I still believe in it. I still have hope, for me and for you. Love is real, it’s all around, and there is more than enough for the giving and the taking. I believe in love because I see it all around me.
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