As a romantic, I’ve never really had a problem with this.
In fact, in the VIA survey of character strengths, I got ‘loving and being loved’ as my biggest strength.
I was a little disappointed when I got that as my biggest strength, to be honest. And when my partner tells me all the time that he loves how caring and loving I am, while it’s nice to hear, I feel like it’s not such a big deal.
But actually, it is. I guess it just comes naturally to me, but I’ve come to see that I’m lucky for that.
Without allowing myself to be vulnerable and open with people, I don’t think that I would make the connections with others that I can. Not to mention, with my partner. He and I fell in love very quickly – within a month. We’ve been close ever since.
I think one of the reasons I have such a great relationship is that I’m open to sharing who I am, in all forms. I let myself be vulnerable, again and again. I’m vulnerable in the sense of showing my true self and hoping it will be accepted, and vulnerable in the sense that I love my partner so deeply and allow him to love me so much, that it almost seems like a risk – if I should ever lose him that would crush me.
But how else can you truly love someone else? Hiding parts of yourself, keeping a wall up, second-guessing your happiness in preparation for the worst case scenario?
I think it takes courage to really love someone – to wholeheartedly let your guard down and risk being seen, and to risk letting yourself get used to having someone love you, getting used to relying on them.
But the rewards are so worth the risk.
And opening up to loving others and being loved has meant learning to love myself. I’ve been lucky in that my partner loved me before I truly learned to love myself. He taught me how to love myself, and in so doing, I’ve allowed him to love me even more.
In what ways do you allow yourself to be loved?
In what ways do you love others?
How do you stop love from coming into your life?
How would you like to love others more?
Note: this post was originally part of a series of 30 life lessons and journal prompts for my 30th birthday. You can access the rest of the lessons and prompts here.