We’ve all experienced relationships whether it be friendships or lovers that were simply no good for our well-being. We tolerated them, argued with them, and shared experiences with them but most importantly, always stuck by their side. Rationally speaking, you wonder why you endure these emotional challenges. I have a motto, if you will, that “it’s not about how they make you feel, it’s about how you feel about them”. When you truly love someone for who they are, those feelings aren’t easily swayed by how they treat you and make you feel. Sometimes we wonder how in the world did we withstand those toxic relationships, abusive partners, or simply put up with people who negatively impacted our lives. We could be delusional, psychologically impaired, or clouded by manipulation but I believe that underlying all those are a deep sense of love for the other person that triumphs.

“We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man; but this would be nothing if you really liked him.”
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Similar to love is joy. We tend to mistaken joy for happiness and lust for love. But joy is not happiness. Happiness is originated from the word ‘hap’ which is a favourable occurrence projecting a sense of pleasure. Happiness is situational. When you win a game of poker, you are happy but when you lose, you are not. Joy however, is not dependent on the outcome. Real joy comes from a sense of pleasure whether or not you win. Love is much like this concept whereby it is not necessarily dependent on how the other person makes you feel.

The problem with loving against all odds is that you can be open to others who devalue your morals and undermine your worthiness. Love prevails whether or not we are in a relationship but a relationship cannot exist without reciprocal love. Both parties require the kind of love that is exclusive of ‘how the other person makes me feel’ in order to be lasting. This is what is defined as steadfast love. Steadfast because you can love the other person at their worst, most intolerable, unpleasant moments not because how they feel about you but simply because of how you feel toward them.

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