Love, Love In Lines, Relationships

[Love In Lines] How Love Has Changed Me – Tan Lili

Love is a powerful thing. It can shake up your world and make you do things you wouldn’t normally do. In this week’s Love In Lines, we explore some of the positive changes love can bring.

love changes everything

If someone had told 17-year-old me that I was about to meet the cutest guy (to me, at least) in class and that we would later fall in love with each other, I’d laugh in that person’s face. Or maybe not – I was probably too shy then to do something as bold as release a guffaw. Then I met a boy, and he changed my life forever.

I know, I’m sorry; you might want to get some crackers and a glass of wine to go with all that cheese, but there really isn’t any other way to put it. But let me get one thing straight: Like every other relationship, mine isn’t all roses and sunshine. He isn’t perfect, I’m not perfect, and our love story is far from being a fairytale romance. People always say you should never change who you are for love, but if love is changing you for the better, why shouldn’t you? What I’m about to share are positive changes being with him has brought about in me, changes that have enabled me to constantly work at becoming the best version of myself.

I’m no longer that girl with serious self-esteem issues

When I met him, to say I wasn’t in the best of shape was putting it mildly. I was borderline overweight, my face was riddled with acne scars, and my fashion sense was pretty much non-existent. During our second date, upon finding out I only had a bun for lunch, he told me to never go on a diet and that I looked fine the way I was. Had it been humanly possible for a heart to turn to goo, I’d have dropped dead right then. But in all seriousness, his comment threw me for a loop – it went against everything I had believed about myself for a long, long time. Even though I still have my body hang-ups, I’m no longer that girl who makes zero effort to improve her self-image. Because he was – and still is – willing to see past my flaws and accept me for who I am, it’s made me all the more determined to strive to be that amazing woman he deserves to be with.

I’m no longer that girl who flies blind and forgets her roots

In this respect, he keeps me grounded in ways that I don’t change for the worse. While he’s always supportive and respectful of my decisions, he never hesitates to rein me in whenever he feels I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m thankful for that – it’s all too easy to lose yourself in the world of entrepreneurship, and I’m glad he’s there to remind me of the person I am, that I can still be me and achieve success in life.

I’m no longer that girl with a low sense of self-preservation  

In the past 10 years that we’ve been together, I’ve learned so much about myself – my values, what I want, what I believe in. It’s with this insight that’s allowed me to grow as an individual and us, as a couple. But possibly the biggest change being with him has brought about in me is this: in loving him, I’ve grown to love myself. I now have a healthy enough sense of self-worth to know I’m absolutely worthy of love, healthy enough to know that love is not infallible, healthy enough to know he’s not solely responsible for all these positive changes I mentioned – I deserve some credit, too.

What about you? How has love changed you? Share your views in the Comments box below – I’d love to hear them!

Love In Lines is a special under the Relationship section of Material World. The four founders each takes a week in a month to talk about dealing with love from different perspectives. Founder Tan Lili talks about building long-term relationships and the highs and lows of being in one. Stay tuned for more! 

About The Author: A founder of Material World, Tan Lili has previously worked in magazines The Singapore Women’s Weekly and Cosmopolitan Singapore, as well as herworld.com (now herworldplus.com, the online counterpart of Her World). She is now a freelance writer who works on this website full-time. Lili hopes to travel the world, work with wild animals, and discover more awesome Twilight fan-fiction. Follow her on Twitter @TanLiliTweets.

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