My parents separated when I was just 15 after a turbulent marriage. To say divorce was the best thing for them is an understatement. While my father flung himself head first into a rebound fling that later resulted in another marriage, my mother took a higher approach, she set off into the world and she found herself.
Maybe it was my young impressionable age or my parents drastically different approaches to life and love that influenced me; but as the older I’ve got, the more I’ve seemed to admire my mum’s non tolerance to bullshit in relationships. To date, she taught me some of the most valuable lessons I could have ever learnt when it comes to matters of the heart. Here are 6 love lessons I learnt from my mother.
1. You Deserve The Best
Like most mothers do, mine is constantly telling me I deserve everything in the world, and this is extremely important to remember in love. She worked hard to teach me and my brothers that we deserve nothing but the best, from education, to what to expect in a partner. If someone isn’t realizing your true value and honoring it, then kindly show them the door. Once you realize your own self worth and how important you really are, you will attract someone who also shares this value.
2. You Can Leave at Any Time
Maybe it was the divorce that prompt this. But life is too short to stay in an unhappy relationship. Life is supposed to be about happiness, joy, and laughter. Not misery. There’s no magic spell for happiness but the easiest way to stop being unhappy, is to cut the unhappiness out of your life. There is no excuse, nothing is holding you back but yourself. If you aren’t happy, then change it. It’s as simple as that.
3. Love Yourself First
Watching my mum be by herself for so many years and refusing to settle into a relationship for the sake of it, showed me the true potential of an independent woman. She changed her career, got a degree, and made a life for herself away from a relationship status. She rediscovered herself outside of marriage and it was truly inspirational. It taught me that you have to be comfortable and happy in your own skin, with your own life, and then focus on your romantic pursuits. Because all else will fail if you aren’t truly happy with yourself first.
4. Don’t Forget Everyone Else
From the minute I turned 13, she drilled into my head.
“Boys may come and go but friends will stay forever.”
And it’s true. Many of time I’ve thought I’ve found the one, only for it to end in disaster and have myself thank my lucky stars, I still had my family and friends by my side. There’s no reason to ever lose contact with anyone else in your life because you’ve found a relationship, some loves of our lives can be temporary, and it’s not worth losing our family and friends over them.
5. Never Settle
If he doesn’t give you butterflies, if he doesn’t treat you well, if he isn’t honest or kind, don’t settle. Don’t make yourself excuses or bargain with yourself for the sake of a relationship. Never settle for anything less than what you want and deserve. If you want someone who calls you, kisses you goodnight, and likes to visit your family, then don’t settle for someone who won’t do this. Go out there and find your perfect package, because within reason it is possible and there’s no need to settle for anything less.
6. Money Doesn’t Matter
There’s a famous saying in our house, “I’d rather share a can of baked beans with someone I love, than have a five course dinner in Paris with someone I didn’t.” And it’s something I truly believe in. Money isn’t everything in life. It’s the people who matter most, someone can buy you the world but that will not buy you love and affection. It taught me to be humble, to appreciate people, and not to be materialistic. Money can’t buy happiness and it certainly can’t buy love.
Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com