Today I’m grateful to announce that I am officially a published author! My friend, Tyler Ward, author of Marriage Rebranded, has been collecting marriage advice for Millennials, and asked me to contribute. I happily obliged, and now my work is being published alongside some of my heroes, in his book called Marriage Hacks.
The following is my contribution. I wanted to share it with you. If you like it, you’ll love the rest of the book. Check it out here:
How I Discovered Love Is Not Weakness
On December 11th, 2013 I found myself in a car driving through the back roads of Georgia with a stiff back and weary eyes. I had spent the last two months of my life sleeping on couches, driving from city to city with my friend, Melissa, as we searched the United States for the most passionately in-love couples we could find.
We were nearing the end of our journey, and as always, I had no idea what to expect from the couple we were about to meet. I had no way of knowing I would receive the most important love advice of my life.
When we arrived at Joseph and Anne Gaston’s home, we were treated with 60+ years worth of stories and experiences. They told us how they met and how they fell in love. They recounted the struggles that came with working in the medical field while raising a family, how they had to sacrifice important things so the other could pursue their dreams.
Conversations like this are what I live for—rich in stories, personality, and practical advice. These are the reason I started recording these stories in the first place.
As we were winding down the conversation, we asked the Gastons if they could leave the world with one bit of love advice, what would it be?
Without missing a beat, Anne said,
“Don’t be afraid to be the one who loves the most.”
I felt the air get sucked from my lungs as the power of her words sank in.
I had always been taught that “the person who cares the least always has the most power.” We tell ourselves that not caring—not loving—means we get to dictate the pace of the relationship and the level of commitment. We believe the person who cares the least worries the least, stresses the least, and has the most freedom to do as they please.
We say that loving makes you weak and vulnerable. It makes you a captive in your own relationship, subject to the feelings, moods, and desires of the one you love.
One simple sentence by an 80-year-old woman changed a lifetime of belief for me.
I suddenly realized that love is not weakness. It’s power.
Love is the fuel that makes relationships work. Loving someone more than they love you is not stupid or crazy or foolish. It’s the bravest thing you can do in this life.
True love is given without conditions or expectation of reciprocation. We can love others even when they are imperfect and flawed. We can cherish them, serve them, and forgive them even when they break promises, say unintentionally hurtful things, fall short, or forget.
Love is unfair… and that’s what makes it so amazing and beautiful.
When we aren’t afraid to be the one who loves the most, and we find a partner who is also committed to loving big, we get the experience of receiving love even (and especially) in the moments we least deserve it.
That is what true love is all about. Don’t miss out on true, deep, meaningful, connected love.
Don’t be afraid to be the one who loves the most.
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