Being in love is art. Every artist is different, each painting unique. Some masterpieces are created in a day, others take years to perfect. I’ve learned that the art of love carries this same uniqueness. I fell in love with someone in under 30 days, and in this month he has taught me more about myself than any man I’ve ever been with. He has helped me redefine what it means to love and to be loved. Below are a few things I’ve learned while on this journey with him:
- It don’t take a whole day to recognize sunshine. If you feel it you feel it. Whether that happened in a week, 3 months, or a year. When and how you feel love is up to you. Stop letting societal “norms” dictate when you should feel.
- We are so quick to give our bodies yet so guarded with our emotions…as if you can really disconnect the two. We unprotect our bodies with complete strangers, yet fight to protect our hearts from people we know (and care for) as if heart ache hurts worse than incurable STDS or unwanted babies. I don’t know when sex became more acceptable than love, but our culture has its priorities fucked up.
- Love is reciprocity. You can’t have anything real without it. Your lover should be willing to give to you freely, and you to them. I’ve always been the giver in every situation I’ve had. I’ve always left feeling used, drained, and depleted. That’s because my efforts weren’t matched. In all honesty, I didn’t think it was possible to be with a partner who would fill me up the way I did them…. so I settled.
- Love is freedom. I was taught that love was possessive. He’s “mine” or I’m “his”. But if you place your lover in a box, how will they grow? How will you grow? You remain confined to these blanket terms and conditions that may or may not fit your situation. Don’t be afraid to redefine what love looks and feels like for YOU. TV doesn’t have the answers. Our parents don’t have all the answers. Trust your own heart, and allow space for growth (for both of you).
- Communication and transparency are key. We talk everyday. We talk about what this is, where it’s going, how we feel, what we think, what we like, what we don’t like. There is no darkness or confusion between us. Talking about it ensures both parties are on the same page, and if you aren’t.. you have the option to leave since you know what the deal is.
- Let go of the fear. We are so afraid of getting hurt, of being cheated on or abandoned that we don’t allow ourselves to love fully. I may get hurt. He may not be the one and I’m okay with that. I’ve never walked into a museum with the assumption that I’ll be able to take my favorite piece home and have it forever. I go into museums knowing I’ll be inspired, knowing all fall in love with some pieces and have to leave them there. That doesn’t take away from the inspiration I gained, my appreciate for each piece, or the memories I have. People are the same. If it doesn’t work out, there will still be a gain for you in the midst of it all.
I’m in love guys, and it feels great. We really are striving to change the narrative of being in love…especially for black millennials. We created a tumblr page that sort of documents this process of falling in love (the good, bad, hurt, and awkwardness of it all). If you care, follow along on this journey.