Calling all hopeless romantics…
Am I the only one who has gone from being the girl who poured her heart out… to the one loving her husband quietly and from an extremely socially acceptable distance?
Why is it that we are so fearless in proclaiming love for another as teenagers, and then become timid about our love as we grow older?
So often, teenagers are made to feel foolish for believing in love and for speaking proudly of their partner and the plans they have together.
I always thought it was heartbreak that made this so much more difficult to share over time… but for me heartbreak did not take that course. I am still married to my high school (actually, middle school) sweetheart… and it’s challenging sometimes to admit my feelings for him publicly… Despite getting engaged at 17, and how happy I was and how willingly I shared my news with anyone and everyone.
I wouldn’t hear a word against it. I knew what I wanted. 17 year old Jessica respected her elders and loved them dearly, and considered their advice carefully, and then went on and made her own decisions. Always. I’m proud of that.
But that makes this new silence even more confusing! It’s not a feeling of shame or doubt, it’s more like it just feels socially unacceptable. It reminds me of the princess training in Disney movies saying, “it simply isn’t done.”
The other night, my husband and I went out with some of his friends from work. We were definitely the babies of the bunch, but there was this other couple a few years older than us and they were so clearly passionate about each other. It was beautiful to see, and it really brought this to the front of my mind. I’d been noticing already how much more challenging it has been lately to share my affection publicly. Vulnerability is usually something that comes easily to me… And my feelings for this wonderful man are still very much alive.
So what happened?
Would you believe me if I said what is really going on actually had very little to do with my feelings for my husband or our relationship?
It wasn’t about us at all.
It was about how I was spending my time- especially who I was spending time with.
Part of creating a life you love and also loving and caring for yourself is surrounding yourself with environments, situations, and people who bring value and love and light to your life… and knowing that you can choose to turn away from situations and people who do not serve you.
That turning away doesn’t need to be a judgmental thing. Someone else is not wrong or bad simply because they aren’t aligned with the life you are creating for yourself.
Who we spend our time with has a massive impact on our mindset and mannerisms, which leads into our habits and eventually into the reality we build ourselves. I’ve been spending time almost exclusively with people who don’t show their emotions- on any front but especially not in romantic and loving ways.
With my husband working 60 hour weeks and us living with his family- who also all work quite a bit and who are much more private and personal with their emotions than I have ever been, I really forgot what it felt like to be openly loving and affectionate. It’s been so long that it doesn’t come naturally to me lately, and that’s really made me sad.
But the worst is over now.
Because now I know. Now I can see what’s going on, and because I’ve acknowledged it I can change it. That’s the power of realizing our own faults, shortcomings, disappointments, and failures- once we see ourselves where we are, we get to make a decision. We have the power to change course.
I’m choosing to bring open loving and support back to my life in every aspect, but most especially when it comes to my marriage. I’m choosing not to hide my own light just because the people around me choose not to show theirs as openly. I’m not choosing to judge the people around me; truthfully I know why they choose to hide so much of their light and I understand. But for me, this changes now.
And that feels amazing.
How does it feel for you to share your love? And what about other emotions? This is exactly the sort of emotional resistance and longing we work through in my private coaching.