3 Things I Learned About Love From The Women In My Life

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My sisters have always told me that before I love someone, I have to love myself. And they're right.

Looking back on my life, I have to say that I am one of the luckiest people in the world. Unlike most, I'm lucky enough to have three women in my life who give me love and relationship advice anytime I want it, no questions asked—I'm talking about my three amazing older sisters. For the past 21 years, they've each given me some key advice in the love department that has really helped shape me into the man I am today.

When I first read Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I couldn't help but be drawn to the famous line "We accept the love we think we deserve" because of the fact that my sisters have always told me that before I love someone, I have to love myself. And they're right—This is something all people should learn! In order for someone to love the real you, you have to love yourself. At a young age, I was taught to only accept the best from myself and those I love. By actually living up to this, it's only made me more motivated to surround myself with people who not only want the best for me but want the best for themselves.

One of the second lessons that they instilled in me is that any woman that I have feelings for should always be my friend first before anything. I know sometimes it is hard to be friends with a girl or guy that you are in love with but trust me when I say that this bond will actually grow into a stronger love. The famous German philosopher, composer and poet Friedrich Nietzsche once said that "It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages." How can you truly love someone if you aren’t friends with them? Friendship should always be a priority for love.

But the most important thing I learned about love is that it just pops up on you; no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to force it because it'll find you when it's ready. Sarah Dessen even wrote something that is consistent to what my sisters-turned-love-gurus stressed to me: "There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidently, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment." Whenever I'm feeling down after a bad breakup, my sisters never hesitate to let me know that love is right around the corner (and will smack you in the face when you least expect it). Love is something you just can’t control.

My sisters have always been the catalyst to my love life. Because of them, I learned how to just set my feet and wait for the love of my life to come around and change my life for the better.