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When I Understand Happily Ever After Doesn’t Exist, I Start To Understand Love

When I Understand Happily Ever After Doesn’t Exist, I Start To Understand Love

Have you been having a hard time with love lately? Maybe you’re wondering where the spark in your relationship went or why your last relationship ended so badly. If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably been hoping for the perfect relationship. The one without any disagreement, the one that’s all smiles and laughs and hugs and kisses.

You’ve been hoping for this because that’s what you’ve been told to expect. Do you remember all those fairy tales you read as a child? Remember how they all ended with, “and they lived happily ever after”? Well, guess what? That just wasn’t true. We were all lied to. Let that sink in for a minute.

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If you’ve been waiting for your happily ever after and it just isn’t coming, there’s an explanation. Keep reading…

“Happily Ever After doesn’t exist…”

Romantic relationships are not magically fairy tales with happily ever after endings. And if you go into a relationship with this idea, you’re setting yourself up for failure. That’s because the idea of romance and love changes the longer you’re together. Lots of people think that this changing romance signals the end of the relationship, but that simply isn’t true.

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For example, Mark Manson asked for relationship advice from couples who had been happily married for 10 years or longer. One of the respondents, Paula, had this to say: “You are absolutely not going to be absolutely gaga over each other every single day for the rest of your lives… You’re even going to wake up some morning and think, “Ugh, you’re still here….” She goes on to say that sticking through this feeling is important because it’s only temporary. Some days you’ll be hit with so much love for your partner that you won’t know how to react. And that kind of love continues to grow over time. [1]

Remember, nothing is perfect. All the irrational love you felt at the beginning of your relationship will wear off and become something different. True love is having the confidence that you can make mistakes and be an imperfect human and at the end of the day, you and your partner still choose each other. [2]

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“True love is choosing to accept someone even if you can’t fully understand them.” – A Beautiful Mind

Don’t be confused. Just because you accept your partner and all of their faults doesn’t mean that you fully understand them. And they almost certainly do not fully understand you. But, none of this matters because you have chosen this person as your life partner. Accepting this person and making this choice doesn’t come out of need, but rather out of want. You choose to be with this person because you genuinely like and respect them.

“Life isn’t always romantic. Sometimes it’s realistic.” – Ezra Fitz, Pretty Little Liars

If you are in a relationship for the happily ever after, you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to know true, unconditional love. True love is making a conscious decision to be committed to just one person. It happens when your commitment is not dependent on your present situation in life. You know that this person will not always make you happy and the opposite is also true. But, this is the person that will be there for you when life gets difficult and who will rely on you in turn. There is no happily ever after and the moment you accept that, you will begin to understand what love really is. Unconditional love is difficult, especially when the butterflies in your stomach disappear. In fact, as Mark Manson puts it, “It’s unglamorous.” [3] Despite this, true love brings meaning and happiness to your life.

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Featured Image Credit: Couple on the Beach via Josh Willink

Featured photo credit: Josh Willink via pexels.com

Reference

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on September 17, 2019

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

1. Spend Time with Positive People

If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.

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2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

3. Contribute to the Community

One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

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Some recommendations for you:

5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

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Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

8. Offer Compliments to Others

Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

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9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

10. Practice Self-Care

Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

More About Staying Positive

Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via unsplash.com

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