30 Ways I See Love Differently At Age 30

By

birthday cake
One writer revisits books, movies, songs, and her own experiences to form new perceptions of love.

8. Love is worth the pain. "But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing floor, into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears." —Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

9. Don't hold back. "I'd been afraid to really connect, fearing that I was dealing with someone who wasn't as great as he appeared, or that my beauty and its need to share itself could be rejected. In the end, isn't the result the same? Whether he was good or not, I held back, and now I don't have him." —Kristine Gasbarre, How to Love an American Man 5 Sexual Myths That Are Holding You Back

10. You have to love yourself before you'll have the capacity to love others. "Until I learned to love myself, I was never ever lovin' anybody else." —Madonna, "Secret"

11. Love deeply. "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." —1 Peter 4:8

12. Adjust your focus slightly. "General opinion is starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there—fathers and sons; mothers and daughters; husbands and wives; boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends." —Hugh Grant, Love Actually  How to Give & Receive Dating/Relationship Advice to a Friend

13. Love is an investment. Choose wisely. "In these bodies we will live; in these bodies we will die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life." —Mumford & Sons, "Awake My Soul"

14. Follow your heart? Not exactly. My heart doesn't always know what it's talking about and shouldn't be the final authority.

15. Uncertainty happens. "After a while, I figured I was in love, but I kept my fingers crossed when I said it, in case I was wrong." —Jillian Lauren, Some Girls

16. Letting go is the hardest. Know when it's time to let go of someone you care about, and then be brave enough to do it. 3 Steps To Letting Go Of A Relationship That Is Not Working

17. Love isn't perfect. Sometimes, it's destructive. "We're going down, and you can see it too. We're going down, and you know that we're doomed. My dear, we're slow dancing in a burning room." —John Mayer, "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room"

18. You can't change him. "We may as well say good-bye because neither of us will ever be any different from what we are this minute." —Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt

19. Loneliness is a part of life. "When I get lonely these days I think, 'So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.'" —Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love A Diagnosis For The Lonely

20. Go slow and put others first. 

21. Don't be an emotional prude. "I don't want to be a sexual prude. But I wonder if by pretending that sex is emotionally and morally no-strings-attached, a person becomes an emotional prude. An emotional prude uses sex to escape the commitment and vulnerability required in genuine relationship." 
— Tyler Blanski, Mud & Poetry

22. Love = Forgiveness. It's that simple. It's that difficult.

23. It's OK to be single. "We confer a lot of status and respect on people who are getting married… But there's nothing inherently more responsible or more admirable about being married. I'm thankful to be celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary this summer, but at the same time, I have a fair amount of friends whose marriages are ending—friends whose weddings we danced at, whose wedding cake we ate, whose rings we oohed and aahed over but that have been taken off fingers a long time ago." —Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet

24. It's worth it. My dad always told me that some of the hardest things in life would also be the most worthwhile. I'd say that describes love perfectly. 10 Dating Red Flags That Prove He's Not Worth A Second Date

25. Give love instead of seeking it out. "Love is an action. It is something I aspire to bring to the world, rather than something I feel that I am owed." —Jillian Lauren, Personal Interview

26. God is love; the biggest, best and most overwhelming kind. "God is an experience of supreme love." —Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

27. Love is everything. "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." —1 Corinthians 13:2 5 Places To Find A Smart Guy

28. Our sense of love is heightened in moments of sorrow. 

29. In the final moments of your life, what will you be thinking of? "When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge. They were all messages of love." —Hugh Grant, Love Actually

And finally, I leave you with this thought:

30. "Relationships are, alas, beautifully, not bound to my theories about relationships. They're better. They're real. They follow no formula." —Tyler Blanski, Mud & Poetry

PARTNER POSTS