Things I’ve learnt about Love at 24

I recently re read the autobiography of Dolly Alderton, “Everything I know about Love,” after writing about each year in her life she writes a chapter summary with all the things she learnt about love that year, and I thought I’d write my own version. I am by no means writing this as a definitive list about love, but only my thoughts about it right now. I’ll probably look back at this list and laugh in 10 years…

In no particular order, here we go:

If someone isn’t making an effort with you, give them the benefit of the doubt maybe once or twice, but then leave it. You can’t single-handedly force a relationship no matter how hard you try. When someone is pulling away from you, let them go. Resist the urge to put in more effort or work harder at it. You shouldn’t need to persuade someone to be with you.

Sometimes things just don’t work out, you could both be incredible people, but just not compatible and that’s not a reflection on either of you so don’t start wondering ‘what you did wrong’ or ‘how you could be better’.

The shape of your body or the figure on the scales has no bearing on whether you’re single or not. Losing weight won’t make you more loveable. We’re all already loveable and complete.

The love and support you get from your friends and the love and support you give your friends can be the most fulfilling relationships and make you realise there really are so many different types of love. Call your friends, tell them you love them and thank them for putting up with all your shit.

Don’t get your bikini wax if you don’t want to, men really do not give a shit about how hairy you are down there. (But if you want that Brazilian for yourself then go get it girl.)

Never ghost anyone, literally all it takes is a simple text explaining that you’re just not feeling it.

Listen to your gut, its never usually wrong. Even if you ignore the niggling feeling, it’ll eventually prove you right. Also listen to your friends, they have objective insights into how that other person is making you feel.

The first few months of dating should probably feel light and joyous. If you’re constantly overthinking, anxious and unsure, then it’s probably not the right fit. Maybe time to let go. Even though you might feel like its not right, it might take you a long time to action anything. That’s fine too, take your time, act when you’re ready.

Be honest with others and yourselves with what you want. Say what you want early on, sooner rather than than later. Talking about your feelings is bluddy hard and it takes a lot of courage but practice makes perfect and you’ll feel better for it after.

When your relationship ends, It’s okay to cry and be sad even if your relationship wasn’t made official or labelled, they still meant something to you and you still felt something. Your feelings are completely justified, no need to hold them back. It’s fine to mourn the loss of the potential future you could have had together.

The strongest love I’ll ever receive is probably that from my parents.

There’s no need to pretend like you don’t have feelings in order to be the ‘chill girl’, it’s okay if you’re not fine with ‘seeing how it goes’. We’re humans, not robots, we have feelings and that’s totally natural and absolutely justified. If someone can’t handle your feelings then that’s on them, never worry about being ‘too much’ or ‘too intense’.

Just because ‘on paper’ someone seems perfect for you, that’s not enough. It’s more important about how they make you feel. There’s a difference between the idea of someone that you have created/projected and what that person is like in real life.

Your life was fine before that person, and it’s going to be great when that person leaves your life too.

People will go on about self care and self love on irritating Instagram posts and captions, but it’s genuinely so important. Practice it, read about it, nurture it, watch your thoughts, observe your patterns, notice what makes you feel good. We are responsible for our own happiness.