A few days ago I was having a conversation about love and relationships with my 8 year old daughter and she hit me with this…”I want someone who will love me for me and not for who they want me to be”. That’s word for word. I was taken aback by her statement as I didn’t expect it from an 8 year old.
I’ve been thinking about her words for a few days now. In my mind I’m questioning each and every relationship I’ve ever been involved in and wondering whether I loved them for who they were and not for who I wanted them to be. For those I loved anyway.
How do you love someone for who they are? Is it by accepting them flaws and all? Not judging them for who they are or what they are? How? This is pretty difficult if I do say so myself. I mean, we all have certain standards and traits that we look for in our significant others. Sometimes those things might not be there at the beginning but those can be moulded into people. But…is that loving someone for who they are?
You meet a girl or boy and they make you feel a certain type of happy way. You find yourself deeply in love with the person except you don’t like…the way they dress or the way they eat. Or the fact that they put cereal in milk and not milk in cereal. You know…the small but big things? So you buy them clothes so that they start looking how you want them to. You tell them you prefer them without their make up on. You make breakfast for them so that you don’t have to grind your teeth watching them make it. And so on and so forth. It looks innocent but ultimately we are changing the small things that make the other person them.
Earlier today I had a conversation with a friend about dating. I asked her about the new man in her life and she said she had “put him on the shelf”. I asked why and she said she didn’t like how he does this or that. How he is stuck up in an awkward way and how he is not sophisticated as he pretends to be. Basically, she hates his pretentious self. Well, I don’t know the guy so I couldn’t say much but I got a feeling he is a great guy who happens to have a few small but big things that make him sorta unattractive. So…would she find him more attractive if he didn’t have those issues? Would she learn to love him for who he is and not for who he thinks she wants him to be? I don’t know.
And sometimes the small but big things can completely change the way you view yourself and the way you view love.
My first attempt at something that looked like love, was me constantly being told I was either too intimidating or I dressed inadequately. There was no mention of clothes being bought for me, I just had to…fix it. I felt like I wouldn’t be loved if I wasn’t a certain way, a way that wasn’t me. I left that relationship quick as I could but the next one I found myself in, I was faced with the exact same brick wall.
I began to think maybe there was something wrong with me. I was even sent a book on how to be perfect!
Loving someone for who they are certainly isn’t easy. It’s not about settling for what you don’t like, but it’s not exactly looking past flaws.
Maybe it’s the decision to love because of flaws? After all, our flaws are a huge part of who we are.
My daughter left me asking questions I either don’t have answers to or are scared to answer. I’d like to hear what you think. Please leave a comment.