Learning to Love Through Observation
During this trip to Greece the group was composed of 3 single ladies, and 3 couples. One of the couples has been married for two years, one is newly engaged, and the other have been dating for a little bit over a year. We had a lot of personal talks about many topics, one of them being love and being in a relationships. In hindsight this trip taught us a lot about the dynamics of what it takes to be with someone. Here is some of the point of views we gathered.
Youngest Couple's Perspective:
We were the youngest people and couple in the group. One year and four months together, never have lived together, or been together for longer than 3 days and we decided to take the challenge of going to Greece together along with 3 single girls and 2 veteran couples. Greece was beyond amazing, but we were never prepared for the lessons we would learn as a couple.
This was his first time traveling out of the country, with a group of people he met at the airport so this was new to him. For him there were many lessons in traveling with a group. Being open to new ideas when traveling with a group is big. Nine people with nine different tastes and hobbies, you either find a way to blend well, or shatter your trip acting like oil and water. Our group blended wonderfully and was great on embracing the tastes of one another, thankfully. Most importantly, they were so welcoming of him. That’s important when you have a group of people with decades of history and a newcomer to the group, embrace, welcome with open arms. I could never thank them enough.
As a couple, the challenges were beyond what we expected. We bumped heads often, too much for ten days. We learned how much patience you need to have when you are with your significant other for longer lengths of time. I learned how to not be dependent on how he feels. He tends to get agitated quicker than I do, and on vacation, I felt his agitation radiating onto my energy, by the end I learned to control that. To let his feelings be his and mine be mine. He learned how to control emotions, especially on vacation these aren’t times to feel anger and frustration but rather positivity and love. Most importantly, by watching the more experienced couples, we learned that we have a lot more to learn about each other. But regardless of it all, we can’t wait to travel the rest of the world together.
Single Lady #1's Perspective:
I have been single for about 2 years and I recently found myself in a place I thought I had left. I had started to feel lonely again, and wanting to be with someone again. After months of feeling OK with being single the feeling crept up again and I believe this trip to Greece made me understand why.
From the youngest couple I learned growth. I learned that although you are with someone you always need to remember that there is personal work to be done. I learned that in itself is a hard task and you need to find the balance to learn when to put yourself first and when to hold your partner’s hand. From the youngest couple I felt the naiveness and newness that it is to experience new things with someone. Everything is new and a challenge but through it you grow together.
From the engaged couple I faced blissfulness. The beauty and excitement of taking steps to your future. I learned that I can’t wait to experience those moments and when it comes to live in the moment to the best that I can. I don’t want to rush through things. I also want to appreciate the efforts of my partner. To give credit when it is due. I also felt a personal proudness to see that I am close to a couple doing things in such a traditional way. Through the past few years I have experience close friends take this vow and it has been an inspiration. In additional I learned the magic of communication. How important it can be to just learn to speak to one another without taking offense over everything. This is important for me because I can hold back a lot of things in fear and I now know that when in love there is no fear to speak up.
Lastly, from the married couple I learned passion. I learned to live on level 10. I learned to go hard or not do it at all. To love with no restrictions. If I plan to go through the good and the bad I want to do it with someone who has immense passion for me and I for them. This makes the arguments, the laughs, and the love worth it all. I learned that marriage is not the end all be all. I learned that things can get complicated, that people are complicated, but with love we can work on anything. Love motivates us to be better for the other. My married friends are a true motivation to work on me so that when I am ready to take that step I know that I am picking someone that reflects me in the best way. This way we have a foundation that can withstand many growth curves.
Overall, from this experience I learnt to keep working. I need to keep working on me so that when these stages come, (i.e. dating, engagement, and marriage) I will be ready for the work that it takes. There is a quote that says “If God is making you wait then be prepared to receive more than what you asked for.” And if that is the case when I put a mirror up to myself I know that there are things that in the meantime I need to fix in order to be strong enough to stand tall like the couples I was lucky enough to travel with. I believe that time is being given and situations like this are presented because we need to continue to learn, reflect, and grow so that when we finally get the experiences we wish for, like falling in love, we get it right and go the long way. I personally know that 2 of the women I saw during this trip in relationships had their fair share of growing pains before meeting their “ONE” and it didn’t happen without them working on themselves first.
Single Lady #2's Perspective:
During this trip I was able to learn about relationships a little more and what it takes to be in one. Being one of the single ones, I was able to observe and learn from these three couples the growth they made towards their relationship and the maturity they had towards each other. I realize that relationships are tough and even more maintaining a healthy boundary. They all said it was not easy, Looking at all three couples is like looking at three stages in a relationship.
One of the couples is fairly new and they are learning about each other. Taking a trip together for the first time can be difficult but a learning experience for both of them to get to know each other even more. I notice they took the time to be together and felt comfortable with the group as we all welcome them with open arms.
Second couple are engaged, live together, already know each other, understands each other, and grew together as one. They took the time to look at themselves first. They were open to their feelings. They are honest and true to themselves without any judgment towards each other. They knew that they both wanted more in their relationship and that they can built something more together.
Third couple is married, and seeing the growth to where they are at now is amazing. Seeing them grow together and accomplish their relationship goals is amazing to me. It takes a lot of energy to make something work if you both want it. And with these two you can tell they both wanted it and still want more in their relationship to grow even stronger and better.
As before I always thought relationship shouldn’t be something that needs a lot of work. But if you and the other person really want something and really want to be together it’s going to be something you have to work for to make a relationship work. To even see how much you and that special someone grew together as a whole. Is not easy, oh so I thought it was but everyone goes through their ups and down it just knowing how far or how much you and your person willing to work for it.
Love is complex and it is a subject that humbles us as we learn through personal experience. Oliver Wendell Holmes once said "A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience." We have so many opportunities to learn from life. To take the time a reflect on what is being taught to us just in observation can lead to so much save growing pains. We can leap into the understanding of so many complexities in life. In this example we took the time to learn love lessons from our close friends just observing and thinking about what we saw them go through with their partners.