(This is a special guest post by the author, KT Elgin.)
Often we consider how we learn to love and consider and reconsider the lessons we have learned about how to love.
It occurred to me that my father, who has been a constant in my life, taught me my first lessons of how to be loved.
He and my mother have been married for close to 45 years and I watched him first love my mother. He still compliments her everyday and calls her just to say I love you.
As a little girl my dad told his three girls that we were reminders that God existed. So as women we believed we were valuable.
Now admittedly, we were all spoiled just a bit by my dad, but he would say it was because we were deserving. So as a woman, I understand that I am deserving of love. Today these lessons of love I learned from my father are what help to guide me in my journey to finding my own husband. However, the lessons I have recently learned on how to love, I have gained from my nephews.
My nephews have taught me that loving a man requires patience and reassurance that helps to subside their spoken and unspoken doubts in themselves.
This is not to say that men are balls of insecurities, not at all. Because for everything my beautiful nephews doubt about themselves, they are quick to remind me of all the things that they are the best at doing.
But there are those moments, if you are fortunate enough for them to trust you to open up and share; you quickly realize how the world diminishes the number of outlets for them to express their fears and concerns, without their masculinity being questioned.
When my youngest nephew asks, “do you think that was a smart answer?” And I tell him I think that was a “brilliant answer,” I mean it.
I don’t say it just to placate him, but I really have found that this 6 year old really does have some brilliant responses, but he is unsure of just how smart he is. In comparison, when in relationships with previous partners I felt they didn’t need me to affirm them, hell they were men, right?
But the lessons in love I have learned from these two boys, I am thrilled to take into my next relationship.
I will remember that in the moments that he trusts me enough to share his fears or doubts with me are to be treasured.
I understand that although he may lose the innocence of my 6 year old nephew and how he asks the questions, may change; my earnest response that reminds him of just how good I believe he is the right response.
I have learned that instead of thinking,” you’re the man right?” If I believe him to be the right man for me, he requires thoughtful delicacy in how I respond in that treasurable moment.
The lessons of how to be loved learned from my father, combined with how I will choose to love, that I have learned from my nephews will make the next man I fall in love with very lucky.
Loving is a choice, but loving someone as they deserve to be love requires constant reflection on our own lessons of love.
We must be willing to correct or change lessons that fail us and refuse without exceptions to yield lessons that we know to be right.
I look forward to hearing from you and what lessons you have learned along the way on your journeys to love.
What do you think? What lessons have you recently learned about loving. Share some of your experiences in the comments section below. (And let’s link up on Twitter: @attractandkeep.)