When writing, talking, or criticizing a certain topic, we often do so thinking we know enough about it to make it matter. It’s not until we actually make the effort that we realize just how inadequate our knowledge is. It can be distressing and disheartening on some levels, but it can also be revealing.
I’ve been writing romance stories since I was a teenager. I don’t deny that those first stories I wrote were awful. I’ve even gone back and deleted some of them, both from my memory and my computer. They were that bad. I made the effort because I believed I could tell a good, meaningful love story. It wasn’t until I started writing that I realized how much I had to learn.
I’ve learned quite a bit since then, but I don’t doubt for a second that I’ve a lot more to explore. The fact that I’m still single, unmarried, and not dating anyone at the moment is proof enough of that. However, after reading about and writing so many love stories, both as novels and as short stories, I’ve uncovered countless insights into love.
Writing about it, discussing it, and even observing it in people who have found it has taught me a lot. Much of those lessons have found their way into my writing over the years. In the interest of sharing those revelations, I’d like to offer a few of those insights for those still struggling to make sense of this emotion that drives so many people, both in real life and in the world of fiction.
Some may seem obvious. Others may seem corny. That’s to be expected. Love is one of those strange emotions that seems so simple on paper, yet so overwhelming in practice. That’s part of what makes it special. That’s also part of what makes it worth pursuing. Hopefully, these insights help with that.
Lesson #1: Love requires effort, but can become tedious if it turns into work.
Lesson #2: Love is often more opportunity than destiny. Fate may bring people together, but it’s through choice and effort that something comes of it.
Lesson #3: The line between lust and love is often blurred, but becomes more defined when those involved are honest with themselves and each other.
Lesson #4: It’s okay for love to be shallow on some levels, but greater depth is needed in order for it to blossom.
Lesson #5: Being in love means growing and evolving with a person. That means loving someone for who they are and who they’re trying to be.
Lesson #6: Being in love is only part of a functional relationship, but it’s a critical part that can make others work.
Lesson #7: Love isn’t always logical, but genuine love is coherent and consistent.
Lesson #8: You cannot control how, when, and where you fall in love, but you can control the situation around you.
Lesson #9: Being in love, like being in a relationship, is an ongoing feeling. Treating certain parts as endpoints only undermines both.
Lesson #10: In the same way love means different things to many people, the experience of love can be just as different. Even if others don’t understand it, that doesn’t mean the love is less sincere.
Lesson #11: Love is unpredictable, but there are often patterns that become noticeable when you’re honest with yourself and your partner.
Lesson #12: There’s no one right way to love someone, but there will always be many more wrong ways.
Lesson #13: Love build on lies is always unstable in the long run.
There are probably many more I could list or haven’t thought of. If you have some lessons in love that you’d like to share, please do so in the comments.