This time around, we were asked: “How do I know when it’s the right love? I don’t want to waste my good years and my chances at a good career on the wrong person. I don’t know if I want to find “the one” at uni.”
The only thing we don’t learn to put a label on, how to recognise, or how to control, is love. Everyone loves differently and needs different things in life, so we really have no right to try to tell someone what love should be. But since you asked –
Let’s start the schoolin’.
Your mother has always told you she loves you, but nobody has pointed to your mother, nor has she probably ever pointed to herself and told you that she is what love is, or told you you had to love her. That would sort of come along the way of being dependent on each other. So, love is an action verb without a physical action – well, sort of.
It is attached to others in your life, it’s an emotion, and a feeling, but it won’t be a choice when it happens. Although, we each have the ability and freedom to match information to our ideas about romantic partnerships and what we want from them, that isn’t always the same as what we biologically and emotionally need – that’s why nobody understands love.
Shakespeare, Dickinson, Keats, Poe, Brontë, and millions of unrecognised authors have tried to capture love in a moment, a poem, and describe the feeling, but none have quite managed. If they had, there would not be reason to write about it.
If they had, you would not have sent this question to us. If they had, there would not be a million Buzzfeed quizzes like: “Find out when you will get married”, or “How long will your relationship last?”, because we really don’t need to know.
The Five Love Languages is a book by Gary D. Chapman that attempts to account for the different types of loving by grouping us by preferences. Like many personality tests have done before, he gives us a little quiz to determine what we like and need in relationships with others. Chapman suggests 5 main styles of love: words of affirmation, acts of service,
receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Of course, we all need all of these to some extent, as he mentions, but we allegedly have a preference for one.
With all that creative and philosophical speculation about love, there is one thing we can’t deny: it is backed by science. You will know real love in your bone(s).
Our advice is, stay woke. Choose wisely with your heart and head, but it’s okay if it does not work. Who you are does not change detrimentally if something happens in your love life unless you blame it, and let it.
It has been implied that who we are is somewhere underneath a bunch of wild experiences and experimenting, and that is not the universal truth. Finding yourself can also mean finding who you are with someone else. Be open to love, be serious about it if you do want to find it, and if it doesn’t work, just say thank u, next!
To answer the second part of your question, we can confirm that it is very possible to juggle work, uni, alone- or free-time, and a relationship. We are young, we are hot, we are finding ourselves, and we can find love. Chances are you already have. One day you’ll be old and done and ready to settle, but is that the big love you want? Thank u, no.
Love is literally everywhere, but different for everyone, so finding someone who you vibe with emotionally and biologically is a brain-wrangler. There is probably not one person out there for you, not ever the one, but chances are you will meet someone one day that you will never forget and always love. Hold onto that or you will regret it.
That tugging feeling of “meant to be” is probably really a “meant to have babies”, or “meant to start a business together”, or maybe even “meant to learn from the pain”, but those are all going to contribute to your life, and it doesn’t mean it’s not real love or “the one” – it is, for now.
Give it when it feels right, because when you make time for everything, and accept things with open arms, it will never subtract from the value or success of your life.