I Love The Person I THINK You Are.

The title of this may seem a little pessimistic to some but, it is the absolute TRUTH. I want to start off by saying I am a romantic idealist. I LOVE Love! It’s true. I think all the greatest things in the world are derived from Love and all it’s subsets, i.e. Compassion, Kindness, Support, Empathy, etc. I am absolutely one of those people who think the world could be healed with Kindness. I also literally learned love, created my whole idea of what I wanted from and the kinds of love I believed in from “The Random House Treasury of Favorite Love Poems”. Yeah, no joke. It is still the most valuable book in the world to me. I have this belief that there has never been a love poem written outside of an educational requirement that wasn’t real to the author. That means, that absolutely every romantic poem ever read was either based on a real if not “romanticized” experience or a genuine desire or want for its existence. Do you realize what a magic thing that is?! It means that if you have ever read a poem and thought, “Wow! I wish that would happen for me one day!”, that there is or was at least one other person who felt the exact same way! Now… Here is the kicker…

Friends have also always told me I put people on pedestals. I still to this day disagree. What I do tend to do however is be very accepting of flaws. Almost to the point of bypassing them entirely. I would recognize them but if they didn’t outweigh the things I like about a person, well… then so what? The thing I never really considered was that by functioning that way, I might have very well been making my partners feel the same way that my friends did. That I held them up as some kind of idealized version of themselves that they never agreed with or to. And in truth, I have come to realize that that may have been partially true. I found the aspects of them that I liked, talked and raved about it, and created my perception of their identity from it. The problem with that is it can create a very limited understanding of who someone really is. See… The thing is, people want to be loved for who they ACTUALLY are, not for who we THINK they are. And that is where the title of this post really comes into play.

So how do we love someone for who they really are? COMMUNICATION!! We have to talk to them. And we must talk to them with the understanding that we may never know all facets of who they are, and that this relationship will be a continued journey of understanding. So often when new love or infatuation occurs we are quick to decide on who we think someone is that we stop ASKING who they are. When that happens, we end up with a very limited understanding of them as a whole. Even as the relationship continues we talk about the same things, we structure our communication and interactions around those initial understandings. To combat this, we MUST remain open and observant. We must enter every day with the humility of understanding that there is more to learn and we are more complex than we let on. And when we do enter into a conversation with our partner or observe a new behavior, we should do so with as little judgement as possible. Sure, you don’t have to agree with or enjoy every aspect of someone’s personality but, it is in the best interests of both parties to accept those aspects as a legitimate part of the whole. See, actual developments in communication occur when there is a safe space, and trust. If I were to tell you something about me that seemed incongruent with the way you currently see me, there are really two options. You could just accept the knowledge that there is an aspect of me you were previously unaware of or… you could judge me for it. And we all know when someone is judging us for it don’t we? Sure, there may be the surprise that comes with any new revelation but we also notice that slight downturn of the mouth, pursed lips, or a slight sense of distance that develops when someone doesn’t approve. When those reactions happen, it is a sign to the brain that this person disapproves of the GENUINE YOU. Do you want to open up and share more of yourself to someone who disapproves of you? I know I don’t! So, if you really want a fulfilling relationship with a WHOLE person… Talk often, learn, and accept as many aspects of the person that they my choose to reveal. People, like kaleidoscopes are the most amazing when you can see all of their colors.

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