We thought we knew the ins and outs of falling in love. Little did we know that all of our attempts at falling would change who we were.
The narratives around love overwhelmingly come from a woman’s perspective. But stories are more interesting when heard from both parties.
As we enter into a new decade, it’s important to reflect on all that we have learned about love in the last one.
I asked a few black men to share their lessons of love from their twenties.
I know this may sound really cliché, but I would tell my twenty something year old self to learn and practice self love. More specifically, if you learn how to love yourself first, everything else will fall into place. I can recall a number of times when I chased after love, and couldn’t recognize my self worth. This was my subconscious attempt to fill a void or areas that I never worked on in the first place. So, if I understood how to love myself earlier, my experiences would have been more rewarding, rather than unfulfilling. At thirty-two, I have finally learned how to love myself, and fully capable of loving my partner.
Your twenties are an incredible time to connect, learn, and most of all live. Love starts with yourself. Prioritize getting to know yourself and treating yourself well, and you will be amazed how that will enrich every other part of your life, especially your relationships. No one really knows what they are doing so remember that some actions of others probably have nothing to do with you. But do not be afraid to stand up for yourself in love or make excuses for potential partners. Stay focused on being present and do not look so hard for answers or overthink about what the outcome could be. Each relationship and experience is part of love’s journey – approach it the new with excitement and the old with gratitude.
If I could give a twenty year old me love advice it would be that emotional intelligence goes a long way…
Meeting a new love interest is always fresh and exhilarating. You’re both full of desire and passion, but once you get past those initial feelings is when things get hard. Instead of listening to your significant other when they say that want to spend time with you, you blow it off because you don’t value your own time. Instead of realizing that their needs are important you simply see it as nagging. And you can’t express your own needs and what you want from the relationship, because you don’t know about yourself.
So to twenty year old me I would say don’t be selfish. Be aware of who you are and have the maturity and patience to understand your partner.