This is part 5 of my 10 part Life Lessons Series, where each week I will be taking a lesson (in random order) from 10 Life Lessons From 30 Years, sharing my own personal experiences with that lesson, and expanding it into a more detailed post. This week, Life Lesson Number 5:
Love should never be a guessing game. Someone who is genuinely interested in you and has your best interest at heart will never leave you guessing as to their true feelings for you. Anyone who leaves you guessing is either uninterested or manipulative– run, don’t walk, in the opposite direction. And while we’re on the subject, kindness and humor are hands down the two most important qualities to have in a partner.
TRUE LOVE IS NEVER A GUESSING GAME
This is a difficult post for me to write, it’s never comfortable to admit the ways in which you were once naive, or foolish, or manipulated. But out of all the lessons I’m sharing, this is one of the ones I wish I’d understood when I was younger. But girls are taught that if a boy pulls your pigtails on the playground it means he likes you, and all the popular movies about complicated heroes who just need the love of a good woman to mend their ways dominate the narrative, so here we are.
IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD
Like most people, I’ve had my fair share of terrible relationships and non-relationships. And to be quite honest, the vast majority of these relationships occurred in my head. I spent my teens and early twenties assuming that love was a guessing game. One where you obsessed over and analyzed every single text, email, sign, or look from the person in question, sure that you would be able to discover the depths of their true feelings for you.
When they were mostly distant, with crumbs of affection and caring, I latched onto the crumbs and discounted the majority. Not seeing the manipulation—that I was being given just enough to keep me invested, convinced that they were only distant because they were scared or because it was “complicated.”
NO MORE BLANK SPACES
So what I mean when I say that most of my relationships were in my head is that I would take all the blank spaces and fill them in with my own imaginings and longings, guessing at their feelings and desires.
It wasn’t until I’d been through the ringer, several times, and reached a point and an age where I decided to put myself first, and then happened to meet a GREAT guy, that I realized that love was never supposed to be a guessing game. The right person is never going to leave you pouring over texts and emails, trying to decipher their every smallest indication about their feelings for you.
YOU DESERVE BETTER
So if you ever catch yourself trying to justify a person’s actions, or dissecting their smallest emoji for deeper meaning, consider that perhaps they don’t have your best interest at heart. That no person worth your time is going to leave you guessing or wondering about their feelings or intentions.
A person who has your best interest at heart, is never going to leave you a trail of breadcrumbs to follow, or leave blank spaces for you to fill with your own imaginings. They will be clear with you in their words, and consistent in their actions, and you’ll suddenly realize what you’ve been missing all along.
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Carina Covella is a writer and currently working on her forthcoming memoir, Love Dogs, detailing her six month transformational journey from Hollywood through India. Carina graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University cum laude with a degree in Art History. She also attended the Sorbonne in Paris and studied opera at the Manhattan School of Music through the university exchange programs. Until recently she lived in Mill Valley, California with her wonderful Welsh boyfriend Anthony in a house nestled in the trees, but now they’re off on a two year adventure around the world. When she’s not writing or traveling, she loves to cook for her friends and family.