Different Kinds of Love
Valentine’s Day is near and many will be scurrying about, making big plans, buying gifts, preening for dates, and making romantic love the center of their Universe for at least a day. Then there are those who see this day and cringe, heartbroken they are single. Some will be missing somebody they love, or hurting from unrequited love. Valentine’s Day can be a blessing or a curse, and the days and weeks leading up to it can create a lot of anxiety and hurt. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a different approach. It begins with a reexamination of what love is.
Many have been programmed since childhood to focus solely on romantic love and finding THE one. As children, we were paired up boy/girl/boy/girl. Children’s toys have bride kits for little girls, and baby dolls that call them “Mama”. Boys are to be handsome, strong, brave, and all other things that go into being a “good protector and provider”, and their toys support that with warrior sets, and focus on superhero toys. Schools have dances as big events that focus on even more romantic pairing.
Is it any wonder that once we reach adulthood, so many make finding romantic love the number one focus?
Then the concept of the soulmate is thrown in, complicating things. The concept of the soulmate is an ancient one, and one great thinker who addressed it was Plato in his Symposium. Humans had originally been part male, part female, and had four arms and four legs. Humans attacked Olympus, and Zeus understood humans did not need to be destroyed, but made less powerful, so he split them in half. Thus, human beings search for their “other half” and seek to complete themselves with somebody else. The story further states when these two halves find each other, it is wonderful and they want to stay together.
But Plato said something else very profound in this writings. “The truth is that we isolate a particular kind of love and we appropriate it for the name of love, which really belongs to a wider whole.” This brings up all sorts of topics.
Is a soulmate necessarily a romantic partner? Is it just somebody we have sex and kids with? Does it have to be somebody we live with? Does it have to be somebody we are with all the days of our lives?
A soulmate is just one kind of relationship we have with somebody we love. Romantic love is just one of many kinds of love. Our soulmate is not necessarily a romantic partner. It can be any kind of relationship.
If you think of all the kinds of love relationships, and all the people in our lives, romance doesn’t take up as much of our lives as we might assume. Our first relationships are with parents or the people who raise us, and our siblings. We have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We have friends, and friendly acquaintances. We have peers at school and as we get older, we have relationships with people at jobs. We are blessed with teachers, and mentors. We will be blessed with people we also teach and mentor. Some of us raise children. Then we have relationships with our god, gods, goddess, or goddesses, and spirit guides. We keep contact with our beloved ancestors when they pass on, and we are fortunate to have guardian spirits. Some of us have pets who become family, and we have relationships with nature spirits. Some of us have relationships with plants, and the Earth.
Enough cannot be said about all of these different kinds of love relationships, and no one kind of love relationship is any more noble or important than any other.
Our soulmate can be any of these amazing beings! Some of us are lucky enough to have more than one soulmate, and it’s quite possible somebody we are romantically involved with is not our soulmate at all!
But is this myth about being split in two correct? All of us are complete human beings born whole within ourselves. The programming from society to mate and have that be the main focus of relationships can be unlearned, and replaced with appreciation of all love relationships besides just romantic ones. Over focusing on romance can cripple other relationships and set one up for unnecessary heartbreak. The feeling of aloneness based on being single can be crushing, and it’s no wonder some grieve loss of an ex who really was not worth the time.
As ways towards unlearning over focus in romance, affirmations and wisdom regarding love and greater focus on love of the self are how to get started.
“It is better to be alone than to be alone in a relationship” is the best piece of advice after a horrible breakup. One need never stay in a bad relationship just to have a relationship. The ability to be free from an unfulfilling relationship frees us up for the possibility of future love. Never ever make the mistake of remaining in a bad romantic relationship just because you don’t want to be single. You will be pleasantly surprised how soon you feel better once you walk away from an unfulfilling romance.
Remember that not every relationship is meant to last forever. Some swear people are brought into our lives to teach lessons, and then the leave once they have done their job. Not every relationship can be reduced to simply “learning a lesson” but the mindset is still valuable. When a relationship has run its course, let it go. Immediately.
There is no ONE lover for us. it cannot emphasized enough. Almost all of us will have multiple lovers we share intimacy and good times with. The belief ONE person is our destiny can lead us on a wild goose chase, desperately searching for this fabled golden boy or girl who will make all our dreams come true and be the answer to all of our prayers. That ONE does exist in a way. It’s YOU! You are the ONE for you that you will spend your whole life with, and who fulfills your destiny! Isn’t it wonderful you don’t have to search?
Think of all the wonderful people in all the wonderful relationships you have been blessed with in your life. Think of all the good times you have had with them that take up more of your life than romantic relationships do. What a blessing! Remember all of this anytime you find yourself over-focusing on romance.
Think of who you are, and if you have to, make a list of all the good things about yourself. Think of all the good things you bring into your relationships, and how much the people you love and experience life with benefit from having you with them. Know that you are not only the ONE you spend your whole life with- but you are also your own best friend. Think of ways to be the best friend to yourself that you possibly can, starting with appreciating and valuing all that makes you YOU. Never, ever forget these things.
Think of how society programs us to build our lives around romance. Understand this is an animal instinct focused on – this sounds ugly, but it’s true- keeping the species in existence. If nobody is having babies…humanity will die out. Many people only find meaning in their lives is by having babies and raising them, and they have nothing else at all for their whole lives. Is this all you want for yourself in this wonderful world? You were not born simply to make other human beings. Each of us are born to LIVE and experience a great many things that simply being romantically involved with somebody who we make babies with does not provide. It’s true, babies are wonderful, and kids are amazing, but that’s not all there is!
Remember growing up when some kid, whose name you probably cannot remember, dumped you, and you cried to Mom and Dad? Mom and Dad probably said “It’s their loss.” Guess what? Mom and Dad were right! You are on this earth to live an amazing life, and if somebody does not want to be included in that - too bad for them!
Life IS amazing. Life is beautiful. To be here is a miracle, and to be out there, doing things that create change in this world is to be part of this miracle. YOU are a miracle! Remember this anytime somebody does not realize it!
You are a blessing in your love, and in the love you share. You love many people in many different kinds of relationships. In those relationships, may your joys be many, your sorrows be few, and may you never, ever be limited in all the ways you love.
To get a reading with the author click here: Saoirse