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Want love

It is hardly any news that we are one of the most romantic types.

INFPs yearn for love the way some mothers pine after their lost children. All throughout our often lonely lives – for, no matter how many friends and loved ones we surround ourselves with, there is always an emptiness within the centre of us – romantic love hangs before us like a sunlit carrot on the end of a string.

We want that gooey, golden feeling in our hearts. We want to be held, and understood. We want to feel safe. We want to read with our significant other, leaning against the trunk of a tree in a park, and basking in the warmth and comfort of another body. Watch the stars on the front porch at night. Smile so hard it feels as if our body will split in joy.

Unfortunately, life does not dole us a Princess or Prince Charming just because we want one, and we start to ache inside. To make up for the lack of affection in reality, we start fantasizing, admiring people from afar and building them up in our minds into paragons of perfection. We get depressed, sad and lonely. We start to think that perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be, that we are too strange and eccentric and awkward to be loved, and that reality can never align with our ideals.

I know. I’ve been there. And I’m still there. But, after some soul-searching, and nights spent thinking instead of sleeping, I’ve come up with a few nuggets of advice for those of you who are struggling with this issue. I hope they can soothe your ragged soul, and bring light to your darkened world. Some of them may seem a little clichéd, but they are hackneyed for a reason; and you must internalize them in order for them to truly take an effect on your psyche, rather than brushing it off with habitual scorn.

  1. You must love yourself. I know how hard that can be. We can be anxious, highly critical beings, and sometimes loving ourselves is harder than pulling out teeth. But you must understand that no-one can love someone who has very low self-esteem, and is constantly battering themselves with internal abuse. Think about it. Are you attracted to confident people, quietly comfortable in their skin, or that worrier who nibbles their fingers in the corner and bats away any compliment that comes their way?I will be writing another entire post on this issue, but just know this: You are kind and lovely and wonderful. Deep down, you know that, only its buried beneath a sludge of daily angst and pain. When you can hold your head high among people, rather than hunching over and shrinking, you open yourself to being loved, and more able to get back up after any rejections.Don’t fall into the mistake of thinking love will raise your self-esteem – it won’t. Only you can.

    And even if you don’t end up finding “The One”, you’ll still have self-love, and though right now it may seem to pale in comparison to kisses beneath a mistletoe and walks on the beach, it will last longer, and be more satisfying and helpful for your well-being than any relationship.

  2. Differentiate between your ideals and reality. You have a vivid imagination, and though this might serve you well in coming up with story lines for your novels, it also works to your detriment. In your head, everything is bathed in idyllic golden light. Your relationship is perfect, passionate, a union of unparalleled happiness. Your mind can spin forth a thousand images: curled up in bed together, petting cats, sipping coffee at a cafe, crying into a warm shoulder. However, you are also smart, and, contrary to popular belief, logical.Beneath the daydreams, you know very well the reality of being in a relationship, and that, in the end, it’s no different from the experience of living right now in your present moment. Indulge in your fantasies, but don’t put all your hopes on them.Of course, love can be nice and bubbly. But that’s only a fraction of what a relationship truly is. In real life, relationships are much more fickle, and less smooth. In real life, you’re not always in a state of euphoria. In real life, eventually there will come a time in every relationship where you get comfortable, and start taking the other person for granted.

    Think about your family members. You love them, yet sometimes you hate them; sometimes you treat them as people there to serve you; sometimes you treat them as if they were merely flies on a wall, inhabiting the same space as you. All I’m saying is, dreams are lovely, but the truth must be faced, and by reconciling yourself with the reality, you reduce the power romantic love holds over your life.

  3. Stop idealizing people. First and foremost, as INFPs, we are idealistic. Everything is about the wondrous possibility, the heavenly picture. We build dazzling castles in our mind before we’ve even gathered a single brick. We watch people from afar, and start to slot them into our romantic daydreams. In our head, they say the things we want to hear, love us unconditionally, and are perfect.Likewise, I will be writing another post about this, but, suffice to say, you must stop doing this.All it does is mire you in sparkles that fade in the morning, and leave your heart dull and shadowed. It leaves you disappointed and unfulfilled. It leaves you forever pining. It prevents you from getting to know people. You might not even want to approach them, and start a real relationship, for fear of shattering the illusion. Not only that, it lowers your self-esteem: you build them up into Gods and Goddesses, and thus can’t help but inferior. But you have to understand that they are humans too, and can be just as fallible and silly.

    Seek the mortal, not the divine. Lower your eyes from the heavens and get to know the hearts beating within breasts. Try to strike up a conversation. Get to know them. Trust me. They are just like you.

  4. Do not pine after love. Yes, I know, it’s so deliciously romantic to yearn. We feel ourselves to be suitors in some dramatic play on courtly love. How our hearts ache! Secretly, we hope that through pining, through misery, through self-inflicted heartache, the universe will somehow take pity on us and twirl a dashing prince or beautiful princess onto the stage of our lives.But the truth is, however painful it is, that this is not the case. And deep down, you know that.It’s fun to yearn, and feel our heartstrings tug, but this won’t bring love into your life. In fact, it’ll do the opposite: your desperation sends out a wave into the world which only brings back more negativity. So, what alternative is there to pining? Joy.

    Instead of thinking ‘Oh, I wish someone would love me, please love me, somebody?’, change your thoughts to something along the lines of ‘Love feels so nice. When I imagine loving somebody, my heart fills with happiness.’ Rather than focusing on the fact that you don’t have love, concentrate your efforts on feeling the joy of potential love. Use your imagination to light up your heart, rather than depress it.

    When you do this, you radiate positivity and open up your heart to love when it comes. Not to mention that you’ll be happier, which will turn make you more attractive.