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What My Parents Taught Me About Love

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Manhattan chapter.

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have parents who loved and cherished each other- and still do to this day. When I was very young, I remember thinking that everyone had parents like mine, and that one day I was going to meet someone just like my best friend (aka my dad) and be just as happy and as in love as they are.

It’s not like I didn’t know what divorce was. Both of my parents were married before they met, and my mom even had my sister from her previous marriage. I think that I just didn’t want to believe that you could fall in love with someone and then lose it all. But in the end, even if that did happen to me, there’s always going to be someone like my dad there to save the day.

Not to say that my parents don’t fight or have never had any issues; they‘ve had their fair share. But my dad’s patience and my mom’s persistence enabled them to take every issue head on.

My parents started running marathons and training for iron man competitions together. My mom traded in her Mini Cooper (which I can’t lie made me die a little inside) for a pick up truck so that they can take their brand new kayak to Coronado Island on the weekends. What at first seemed to me like a mid-life crisis for the both of them, I later realized was actually them putting in effort into their marriage. They love each other so much that they want this to work. They found new ways to spend time with each other and be the more adventurous than they have ever been. Which I now realize is completely and utterly romantic in every way possible.

I remember one day in the car with my mom telling me that my dad was the best thing to ever happen to her in her life. Nothing in the world could have removed the smile on my face. When my parents were considering moving, I asked my dad if he’d be sad to leave all of his friends that he grew up with and he said, “I have my best friend in the entire world with me. What more do I need?” This brought me to tears. Love does exist, and my parents are living proof.  

Their relationship was what I was after. However, I didn’t realize that not every guy was on the same page as me or even after anything at all for that matter. I soon realized that in today’s day and age, attachment to another person is the ultimate sin. But like everything else in my life, I thought I was an exception to this. It was going to work out for me because that’s just how it was going to be.

I met someone during my first year away at school that had made me the happiest person I had ever been. I fell harder than I had ever fallen for someone. For once I felt like I was wanted and was worth something to someone. It was made very clear early that relationships weren’t his thing, which had been confusing to me because what we were doing really felt like a relationship. But once again, that thought of being an exception to everything kicked in, and in my head I really thought everything was going to work out in my favor in the end. And when it didn’t, I completely shut down.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. My feelings were supposed to matter to someone because theirs mattered to me. How the hell did my mom and dad do this? I became frantic, and started acting crazy. Every other guy that came along I swore was “the one,” but time after time the same thing kept happening. It was always the same excuse one after the other. “I don’t do relationships” or “I just don’t get close to people.” I never got any real answers as to why or what was wrong. And the more I heard this, the more my heart broke.

My mom, who is the wisest woman on the planet, reminded me that I am only twenty years old. I am young and in no rush to find some one this very instant. And while that may be hard for me to hear, because all I desperately wanted was to feel wanted and special to someone again, I needed to pick myself up and look at everything differently. Now is the time for me to focus on school and figure out what I want to do with my life. It’s my time to be selfish and have fun. And if someone comes into my life, then great, but if they don’t, then be patient.

My mom also taught me one of the most valuable lessons I’ll ever learn: life really does go on. Maybe you’re always going feel a certain way about someone, but you shouldn’t let that get in the way of your life.  

My parents are still my ultimate relationship goals. But it’s not something that I need to be desperately looking for right now. While it may seem like everyone my age is scared to even think of getting close to someone, it isn’t the case with everyone. I still believe in being completely and utterly in love, because every time I look at my parents I see two of the happiest and most in love people I’ve ever seen in my entire life. 

My name is Kiersten Buelow, I am a Sophomore at Manhattan College. I am swimmer for the Manhattan Jaspers and a journalism major with a minor in digital media.