It was like the movies, when you fell in love. All the songs suddenly made sense. You no longer felt the need to compulsively rewatch Gilmore Girls episodes to fill the gaping chasm in your heart. It was Springtime. So yeah, life is good, and you are in love.
It’s not that life would be bad if you weren’t in love, but let’s face it, for those of us that seek emotional validation and support from others, it’s the bee’s knees. It’s great to be able to give yourself to another person and be vulnerable. Of course, we still get that from friends and family, but there is something different about being ‘in love’ versus ‘loving’ someone.
It changes how you perceive the world around you and impacts upon what you value.
Everything is relative, but that’s even more true when you’re in love. You’re committed to another person and you care about their welfare above, well, most things.
As long as you don’t cruelly abandon your friends in favour of your new significant other (seriously don’t, it’s the worst), it’s generally a good thing to have new priorities and a refreshed outlook on life.
Here are 6 ways that your perspective on life changes when you’re in love:
1. You are more confident and less insecure.
The fact of the matter is that your favourite person likes you, as you are. Therefore, there’s little else that can impact that. Granted, you are slightly at the mercy of your partner’s critical eye, but the people whose opinion you shouldn’t have been listening to in the first place, they’re truly irrelevant now. Party time!
2. It shows you what’s important to you.
All the old insecurities, well, they haven’t gone away, but you have a support system now. Things that used to consume you (probably because you had too much downtime) are less of a concern now. You don’t stress too much about how many runs you go on in a week because you go on a walk every evening after work with your boyfriend. It’s easier to eat well and healthier because you cook together and it’s about enjoying food and life rather than stressing about what you ‘should’ be doing. In short, you aren’t going through life alone, so the small things can be shrugged off.
3. People around you are less of a threat.
This is simple maths, really. When you are happy and content in yourself and your relationships, it’s easier to shrug off things like peer pressure and unconscious competition. You’re less likely to critically compare yourself to other people when you have a full life yourself. It’s a good practice even in a fulfilling friendship, too.
4. You begin to view life through your partner’s eyes.
This doesn’t mean that you merge into your partner and subsume their interests in place of yours (I hate it when my friends basically turn into their boyfriends whenever they get into a new relationships). No, what I mean is that you look at life, aware of both your own perceptions, but also with consideration to the implication on your partner. Essentially, if you see a hilarious Facebook post about three adorable dogs that were rescued off the streets, rather than smiling and moving on, you instead think, “Hey, (X) would love that”. Then, you tag them in the meme and ensure that your whole roster of Facebook friends can bear witness to your online PDA. Your ePDA, if you will.
Or indeed, you may be out shopping, minding your own business, when you see a sloth tote bag that you know your girlfriend will absolutely die when she sees. Therefore you buy it and get ready to blow her mind later on. It’s the big and the little things but both are now reframed in the LoveLens. The world exists in relation to your lover. Melodramatic, yes, but not incorrect.
5. Life becomes an opportunity to make their life better.
Okay, I know I’m starting to sound like a slushy over-the-top 50s housewife, but hear me out. I’m not saying that we put our own life on hold while we are in relationships; far from it. You prioritise your relationship by ensuring that you can meet and anticipate the needs of your partner. That’s just how it works. But it never feels like a sacrifice, and that’s when you know you’re in love, because you aren’t supporting them because ‘it’s the right thing to do’ but instead because ‘it will make them feel better’. You could spend days together and never tire of their company. They could talk for hours about something that interests them and you could easily watch them talk endlessly.
Oh the things we would do to make them smile. It always sounds ridiculous when you write it out, but the reality is that – for better or worse – time spent with your Person is time well spent. Period. Can you drive them to the airport? Absolutely. Do you want to grab a coffee? Obviously. Are you down to volunteer at the homeless shelter with me? ‘I’d love to, and I love that you are the best person I know’. I could go on but I sense I’ve made my point.
6. You learn so much more about your own needs.
Sometimes in the dark recesses of our mind there lies a few thoughts that we would rather didn’t see the light of day. They largely comprise of self-hating angst and irrational stress about things we can’t control. But lots of us grow up thinking that we’re unloveable, or that a relationship won’t ever be on the cards. Therefore, when we eventually get what we’re looking for, we realise how much we can offer the world. Indeed, once you’re comfortable, you recognise your own needs. You also realise that you can communicate these needs, boundaries or desires and have them happily met or discussed. In short, you have proof that you are a good person, worthy and capable of love. It makes self-love so much easier when you have proof.
I’m not saying that you can’t love yourself when single. That would be ridiculous. However, it’s human instinct to be validated. We want to feel desired and desirable. We can know it theoretically, but it all changes when you are prioritised by another person day in, day out.
And that’s completely valid.
Far be it for anyone else to tell us how to love each other.
So yes, maybe people will be bitter or think we’re cringe or too couple-y. that’s their prerogative. The long and short of it is that being in a relationship clears the emotional gutters and puts everything in perspective. With ‘everything’ being life, and indeed, love.