Let’s be clear: love is complicated. We’re not born knowing how to do it right; we learn as we go. From a young age, our families, teachers, and friends start giving us hints about how relationships should be. Some of these lessons are valuable, others… not so much. Cultivating conscious love is a long journey. But here we are, trying to make sense of it all and asking ourselves: Are we loving in the right way?
We all carry these patterns into adulthood, and we can repeat them, avoid them, or evolve them.
WHO PLAYED A ROLE IN HOW WE LEARNED TO LOVE?
- Those Who Raised Us: The First Teachers of Love Our family, with the best of intentions, were the ones who gave us our first intensive course in love. How they treated each other and how they treated us laid the foundation for what we consider normal in a relationship. Sometimes they got it right, other times not so much, but those first lessons continue to resonate in our current relationships.
- The School of Love: More Than Just Books Not everything we learned about love was at home. At school, we also had good social training. The friendships we made and the experiences we had in those halls taught us a bit more about how to connect with others. We learned new social norms and revolutionized how we saw our value in relation to other people.
- Society and Media: Do They Teach Us or Confuse Us? Then there are the media and social networks, bombarding us with images of “perfect” relationships and sometimes impossible expectations. Although sometimes we get good ideas from them, we also have to be careful not to buy everything they sell us.
- Friends: Reflection and Advisors Our friends are like mirrors of our love lives. With them, we share triumphs, failures, and the occasional love advice. Also, in these conversations, we listen and learn about the beliefs about love that this close group of people has. From there, we also create our expectations around love.
ACCEPTING OUR IMPERFECTIONS IN LOVE
Let’s admit it: no one has a Ph.D. in love. We’re all learning, and that’s okay. The important thing is to be willing to grow and improve.
IMPROVING OUR RELATIONSHIP HABITS THROUGH CULTIVATING CONSCIOUS LOVE
So, what can we do to improve? First, understand our own patterns. Therapy can be an incredible tool for this. We can also look for books and resources that offer us fresh and realistic perspectives on love and relationships. One of my favorite resources for building healthy relationships is the Gottman Institute. They have a wealth of resources that can be helpful to create wonderful relationships.
It’s crucial to talk openly with our partners and be honest about what we want and need. But beware, we shouldn’t expect our friends or family to “fix” our relationships. That change has to come from ourselves.
CONCLUSION: CREATING OUR OWN PATH IN LOVE
Learning to love is a never-ending journey. It’s a constant process of self-discovery, patience, and, above all, a lot of communication. In the end, what matters is that we’re moving forward, learning from each experience, and improving not only our relationships but also ourselves.