Relationships: The Balancing Act of Love

Photo by Andrew Wilus on

You can grow within relationships. You can grow outside of relationships.

For me, a lot of growth occurred outside of relationships. Post breakup, there was always a struggle of, “Am I speaking with my mind or heart?” Your heart wants one thing, but your mind wants another. Finding that balance is never easy.

At the core, I’m a very empathetic person. I’m always imagining myself in other’s shoes.

As they say, your strengths are also your weaknesses, but on the other side of the spectrum.

You’re empathetic towards others, but forget to be empathetic with your own feelings.

Being in a relationship, it takes two to tango, it’s a two way street, however you’d like to interpret it, but it’s true.

Now that I’m able to objectively look at previous relationships, you start to notice patterns. There are definitely parallels.

I have to be fully accountable for what I said (or in my case, lack of what I said) to my significant other. I truly believe things happen for a reason, even though it may not be obvious at the moment.

But as an adult, I also want to grow and improve for the next relationship, you know? I don’t want to continue patterns that aren’t beneficial for both parties.

For example, the importance of love languages. According to Gary Chapman, there are five love languages that individuals give and receive love:

Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and Acts of Service

(I highly suggest taking the quiz to learn how love languages may play a part in your life)

After realizing my primary love language (quality time) and secondary love language (words of affirmation), things just made sense.

Instances that happened in my relationships, times where I was upset, reflected those love languages.

Your love language will sometimes evolve from a lack of this “love” previously. For example, growing up I didn’t really receive words of affirmation from my parents, so I ended up seeking it within my relationship.

In my last relationship, which lasted 4 years, I could count on my hands how many times I said I love you. Although I did love this person, saying those words did not have the same meaning to me than for him.

I recognize there’s a balance. You may need to receive love in a certain way, but you also need to express your S.O’s language as well. It may not be natural, but it’s all a work in progress.


My Relationship with Valentine’s Day

Photo by Shamia Casiano on


You don’t have to be in a relationship on 2/14 to be happy.

2/14 isn’t about sulking around about not being in relationship, but is a reminder to love yourself as well. It is a day revolved around love, not necessarily with a significant other, but to show self-love as well. Whether if that’s treating yourself to a show you’ve ALWAYS wanted to see, going to your favorite restaurant, or even binge watching your favorite show. Be happy.

The marketing around 2/14 is crazy. Every store you walk into is literally lined with roses, chocolate, cards, and candy.

Yes, I understand the feeling of receiving gifts on Valentine’s Day from previous relationships. I have also had expectations on this day myself.

I am guilty of it.

But now as I grow older, they’ve started to fade. A $50 bundle of gifts isn’t representative of someone’s love to me. Don’t get me wrong… if your girl loves those things, by all means go right ahead. 2/14 is just another day in the year that marks love. There is a whole other 364 days that could mean so much more.

I, too, am still learning to love myself each and every day.

It only takes one step. Just one.

“As I began to love myself, my relationship with everyone changed.”