I’ve been thinking lately about the difference between romantic love and friend love. Both are wonderful, and although they are both forms of love, they have quite different feelings.
In romantic love, we feel more excited, thrilled and “on a high.” But romantic love is also prone to some pretty ugly feelings, like jealousy, feelings of owning the other person (or being owned), being judgmental, worry, and insecurity.
Friend love doesn’t usually have those ugly sides, and I am wondering why. We are much more likely to accept our friends fully, to embrace their differences or quirks, to look forward to time together with a calmer, less-emotionally-fragile vibe.
When you love your friends deeply, it is a beautiful, wonderful thing! The same is true for romantic love, but only if you can keep ownership and jealousy out of the way. I think that’s why friend love is so powerful — we have no illusions that we “own” the other person or that he or she should give something exclusively to us and no one else. Because we accept them fully and they us, we feel more comfortable and free to be ourselves. In the early stages of romantic love, we feel so much pressure to impress and perform, but if we instead focused on openly accepting the other person, the relationship would evolve into an amazing-friend level of love. However, in order to accept another, we need to first focus on being our true selves and accepting ourselves fully.
In many ways, this is how it is with my husband and I. Our friendship since getting married has grown to amazing-level, in large part because we accept each other. We are friends first, and I know he can tell me anything and I will listen without judging, feeling insecure or taking it personally. He does the same for me — listening and accepting me, and I feel so incredibly comfortable. It makes me think that acceptance is an essential ingredient in love — whether friend love or romantic love — and without it, the ugly feelings can creep in.
Of course, to accept another, you must accept yourself. Get over your hangups! 🙂 Love your body as it is, and celebrate its amazingness — there are hundred of chemical reactions going on every minute. Cheezies make you think, and soda pop makes your heart beat. Healthy food makes your muscles, nerves, and blood vessels strong. Whatever shape your body is, it is amazing!
Accept your quirks, too. Everyone has their little obsessions or particular ways of doing things, and yours make you unique and cool. Before conveyor belts and assembly lines were invented, everything made in the world was unique and individual, but in today’s society, we can get a little too interested in conforming — in being like everyone else. We wear clothes that are mass-produced, but make no mistake — you are one-of-a-kind, so feel free to stop applying other people’s standards and ideas to yourself.
Every relationship is one-of-a-kind too. It doesn’t have to fit in a box or be easy to explain. Every friendship is unique and special, and when we take care of ourselves and accept ourselves, we are able to be more present, uplifting and loving.