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When to love and unlove

The following are excerpts from the opinion column of DBM Usec Goddes Hope Libiran at the MANILA BULLETIN.

Last Tuesday, May 14, was a night steeped in heartache, nostalgia, and the haunting melodies of Filipino alternative rock at the 12 Monkeys Music Hall and Pub in Pasig…

My dear friend, Champ Lui Pio, lead of the band Hale and co-owner of the 12 Monkeys, treated me and my colleagues from the Department of Budget and Management to this memorable experience—a much-needed break from our hectic routines.

The establishment was filled to capacity, teeming with fans of Original Pinoy Music…

The concert had an impressive lineup, with opening acts by Soapdish, Join The Club, and Hale. Known for their heart-wrenching ballads and poignant lyrics, Silent Sanctuary didn’t disappoint. Their signature string arrangements add a layer of depth and sorrow to the performance. Each note seemed to echo the pains of past relationships and unspoken regrets, casting a spell over those who listened.

Catharsis was in the air that night and I felt it to my core. This is why I was inspired to write this week’s story, all about navigating the turbulent seas of love. One way or another, almost all of us have been in love. It comes in many forms and is one of the most exhilarating experiences in life.

Falling in love often feels like floating on cloud nine, with happiness radiating from every pore. Amid the butterflies and joy, however, there’s a risk of losing oneself in the process. The desire to keep the other person happy can sometimes overshadow our own needs, leading to a gradual erosion of our identity and self-worth.

In the throes of romance, it’s tempting to lower your standards just to keep someone in your life. And yet, compromising on your values and needs can lead to resentment and unhappiness. If someone isn’t investing in you or the relationship, it’s essential to recognize this and reassess the situation.

Maintaining high standards in a relationship isn’t about being demanding or unreasonable but ensuring mutual respect and commitment. Your standards are a reflection of self-respect and understanding of what you deserve. By upholding them, you communicate that you value yourself and the relationship. This doesn’t mean you should have a rigid checklist rather a clear sense of your core principles and boundaries.

Similarly, love is not a one-time deal. It requires continuous effort and nurturing. It is a journey of growth, patience, and understanding. Both partners must be willing to invest time and energy to keep the relationship strong and vibrant. This includes open communication, mutual respect, and a shared commitment to making each other happy.

Knowing your worth and refusing to settle for less is not about being self-centered. It’s about fostering a connection where both individuals feel valued, respected, and cherished. When both partners are equally invested, the relationship becomes a source of joy, support, and growth for both.

It is also significant to strike a balance between being in love and maintaining your individuality. Loving someone should not mean sacrificing who you are or what you stand for. Instead, it should enhance your sense of self and bring out the best in you. Love shouldn’t mirror the tragic fate of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, where lovers meet a futile end. Instead, love should embody the essence of living for the sake of each other.

I cannot reiterate enough how a healthy relationship is one where both partners grow and thrive together, not at the expense of one another.

Loving someone who doesn’t return your affections can be one of the most challenging circumstances. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to remember that your worth is not defined by someone else’s feelings for you.

It’s vital to love yourself first and foremost, for this sets the tone for all your relationships. While unrequited love can be painful, it’s an opportunity to reaffirm your self-worth and cultivate a deeper sense of self-love. Embrace your worth, maintain your standards, and cultivate relationships that uplift and inspire you. Ultimately, the greatest love you can experience is the one you have for yourself.

There is hope!