How To Learn To Accept Love
Recently we published a piece listing signs that you might struggle with accepting love. We don’t want to write about a problem without offering a solution, so here are 14 ways to learn to accept love!
Give it time
Too many women expect a man to prioritize them, when they’ve only been dating very briefly. That’s not realistic, of course, and the moment a man won’t cancel a weekend with his best friends in order to be with the woman, she leaves him, complaining that all men are selfish. Look: no sane guy is going to make you the center of his universe after only a month or two. He, just like you, has to get to know someone before letting that person in.
Start with text messages
That’s a luxury we have in this day and age! If you’re not comfortable starting a verbal conversation with, “Let me count the ways I love you,” just send your partner texts telling him how much he means to you. He’ll pick up the conversation in person later, but technically, you’ll have initiated it. Eventually, you’ll feel safe saying those things in person.
When in doubt, say “Thank you”
When your partner tells you how much you mean to him, or compliments you, consider it a rhetorical comment. He doesn’t need your opinion on yourself. He just wanted to give his, now say thank you.
Be conscious of compliments
Force yourself to get in the habit of saying compliments when they come to mind. If you struggle to accept love for fear of rejection, you’re probably used to acknowledging something nice you think about your partner, and then letting the moment pass. Say those things out loud, and the payback will make it all worth it, and make you less afraid next time.
Next time you’re feeling down, call your partner
Instead of seeing your depressed days as times you should hide yourself from others, think of them as an opportunity for your partner to be there for you. You’re not a burden. Your partner enjoys being there for you. No, he doesn’t enjoy that you’re depressed, but he enjoys being the one to bring you back up again.
Remember that you’re not always in the mood to be loving
It will be tempting, when your partner doesn’t respond exactly the way you want to your affection or compliments, to retreat back to your old ways. But think about yourself: some days you’re stressed out, or have something on your mind, or feel a little low and don’t feel like being loving. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your partner. And the reverse is true, too.
Act on your urge to be affectionate
You might think, “Well maybe he doesn’t want to be near me right now” when the urge to grab your partner and kiss him comes up. But newsflash: he wouldn’t be already near you (you are in the same room, aren’t you?) if he didn’t want to be near you. Your affection isn’t a burden to your partner: it’s a gift.
Hang around friends who love you
Spend a lot of time around your friends who always compliment you—the ones who know you really well and can tell you exactly what makes you special. For some reason, we believe it when our friend’s say it, but not always when our partners do. But if you hear it enough from your friends who you trust, you’ll start to accept compliments from your partner more, too.
Let other men flirt with you
Don’t do anything inappropriate, but when you’re out at a bar and men want to have a conversation with you, let them. Tell them all about yourself and let the compliments role in. It makes little sense but we’ll often believe compliments from strangers more than from those close to us. That’ll give you the confidence boost to believe your partner when he compliments you.
Know that your history is not a good sample size
If you point at your past breakups and heartaches as “proof” that all relationships lead to pain, then you’re not a very good theorist. What about all the relationships in the world? A good amount of those turned out great. Your own past is not a good sample size to judge all relationships on. Not even close.
Know that heartbreak won’t kill you—it didn’t last time, right?
If you ask yourself—I mean really ask yourself—what the worst thing is that could happen after a breakup, you’ll realize the answer is pretty much just, “I could be sad for a while.” But it won’t kill you. So stop running from love as if it could kill you. It didn’t the last time you ended a relationship, remember?
Say “Yes” to yourself
When you want something nice, buy it for yourself. When you feel like taking the night off from going out and watching movies in bed instead, do that. When you feel like going out dancing, do that. Remind yourself that you are worthy of things that feel good, including love.
Know that asking for help doesn’t make you weak
Just because you let someone be there for you doesn’t mean you can’t be there for yourself. Everybody enjoys an extra hand in everything, even if they could do it themselves.
Watch dogs and children
They love without fear because they haven’t learned to fear. A dog or little child runs to the door and hugs you the second you come home. That’s how we should all behave towards our loved ones. Fear of rejection is just in our heads. Sadly, for many of us, childhood is the last time we experience love accurately, knowing there’s nothing to fear.