In honor of Valentine’s Day, Pretty Southern is proud to present a series from the heart courtesy of our pal, Miles McClellan. This series originally ran on McClellan’s blog and he was kind enough to share it with you, dear reader. So here’s to love – the good, bad, and all the nitty gritty (sometimes pretty) stuff in between. We present to y’all the first part of a daily series, “Five Things About Love (That are hard to understand)” by Miles McClellan.
Let’s start with some softball. When we’re very young, we crave love for a plurality of reasons, some biological, some emotional, some spiritual, and some societal. Somewhere along the way, especially if we are particularly fortunate in the amount of attention we receive in the midst of our pursuit, we lose sight of one of love’s most obvious tenets.
We think that, when we fall in love, everything gets rosier, everything gets easier, and everything gets better because we have that special someone in our life.
It does not, ever. You are talking about two people that, even if remarkably similar in personality, morality, spirituality, and wishes from life, are both still individuals who were brought up in separate homes and who have lived different lives.
This never paves a smooth road by default. Do some people get lucky? Of course.
But never allow yourself to believe that you have to be that lucky to be happy, or that the right person is the person beside whom you will never encounter discomfort, by whom you will never be challenged, and with whom you’ll never disagree on anything.
If you do, then you’ll be tempted to cut and run at the first sign of trouble. It’s this trap of misunderstanding that the young fall into most often, and it is often the reason for our first heartbreak: We simply were not prepared for the effort love requires.
Sadly, thanks to fear, conceit, or worse, some of us never even become interested in the effort.
Love is not about making life easy. It’s about learning to confront the hard things in life together, and recognizing that many of those difficulties will come from learning about one another throughout your lives, and it’s about realizing that this is something beautiful.
In that sense, it is always nobler to seek a love that challenges you rather than one that placates you.
Miles McClellan is the author behind the psychology, philosophy, and fiction blog How to Throw a Book. Already a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Grady College, he is a student of all things psychological and recently published his first book Vigil of the Ageless.