Three Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Falling in Love

Ah, love.

*Cue the Parisian cafe music with the romantic melodies and crooning jazz instruments*

Recently here during the last year or so, I have been told that I’ve never seemed so happy. That there’s something different about me. Something jovial. Light. Free.

And that, friends…is because I am in love. Yes. I didn’t need to say it, because it is clearly, plastered all over my face, 24/7.

Three Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Falling In Love! As someone who used to be terrified to open my heart to anyone, there are a few things I think would have made a huge difference. #love #relationships #dating #catholic #christianity #god #recovery #anorexia #life #joy

And to be honest, this is the first real time that I can say I’ve been in love with someone. Relationships in the past, I never really let them in – I never let them see the true me, never revealed my whole heart. I was terrified of doing that, fearing that, by him knowing my past and the things I don’t proudly broadcast to the world, that I would be immediately be disqualified: rejected as defective.

Letting go and breaking down those walls has been simultaneously the most terrifying, and yet absolutely the most beautiful thing in the entire world. Period. And it’s only because of the man I love, that that process was as seamless and gentle as it was.

But, having been “that girl” that kept love at an arm’s distance, I wanted to share a few things that I wish I would have know then, about falling in love.

Three Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Falling In Love! As someone who used to be terrified to open my heart to anyone, there are a few things I think would have made a huge difference. #love #relationships #dating #catholic #christianity #god #recovery #anorexia #life #joy

1). When it’s with the right person, opening your heart is not as scary as you think – because they will make you feel safe.

I remember the first time, going out with my special gentleman on an official “date” (we had been friends for 7 years prior), it was just so easy to open up to him about things I never dreamed of talking about on a “first date.” We talked about faith. About our families. About our childhoods. He is an amazing listener — which works well, because…ahem…I like to talk. But there was just this accepting presence about him that my heart was safe with him. And that quality has only grown.

He has never doubted my dreams or my purpose. Never laughed at me, or made me feel dumb. Only support. Only encouragement. Only empowerment. Which has allowed me to feel safe to let down my walls and open my heart.

Which leads me to…

Three Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Falling In Love! As someone who used to be terrified to open my heart to anyone, there are a few things I think would have made a huge difference. #love #relationships #dating #catholic #christianity #god #recovery #anorexia #life #joy

2.) It opens up the freedom and joy that comes from being your total and complete self, and being loved for it.

I am more myself with Steven than I am by myself…does that even make any sense? Loving another person allows you to be the version of yourself you want to be. It calls you to your higher purpose; your “best self;” your walls-down, honest, unpretentious self. Why? Because there is someone who sees who you really are, and loves you just the same.

The night I showed him the video of my talk from Memphis, where I shared my story — aka, my battle with anorexia and all the despicable garbage that went along with it — I was so nervous. I think I applied deodorant 3 times before he arrived. But we just sat on my couch, his arm around me, and he just hugged me afterwards, and said some really beautiful things that I hold close in my heart.

That acceptance and love — is freedom. It is just this open-the-flood-gates JOY that cannot be dimmed or muted or snuffed out. It is powerful, and has an impact on every area of life.

Three Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Falling In Love! As someone who used to be terrified to open my heart to anyone, there are a few things I think would have made a huge difference. #love #relationships #dating #catholic #christianity #god #recovery #anorexia #life #joy

3.) Your priorities change.

There’s always the stereotype, at least among girls, that once one of your gal pals gets a boyfriend, that you never see her anymore. I mean, I was that “single friend” for a long time, so I can fully attest to this fact: that yeah…it is definitely a thing. (And I have really made a conscious effort to maintain my gal pal relationships! Plus, it helps that Mr. Handsome and I have the same friendgroup!)

But there really is something to it, that when you are in love, your priorities change. You want to love the other person. You want to be with them, spend time together, do things to bring them happiness, show them that you care – that you love them.

You want the best for them. You want to see them achieve their dreams. And what an incredible feeling when they want to help bring yours to fruition too.

Love is a team. And when you’re both heading towards the same goal, it’s a beautiful thing.

4. Love unites us with the Father.

All of this, leads to this singular point: God is love. Loving another person, and being loved in return — that is a glimpse of Heaven. Jesus’ entire life…up to and including His death on the Cross…were demonstrations of the ultimate, self-giving love. Love that sacrifices. Love that gives and forgives. Love that is the foundation of our faith.

We were made to love. “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:27-29

And there is something so beautiful, knowing that you hold someones heart in your hands, and they, yours. That is the ultimate trust, and the ultimate freedom. And by loving, bringing us into closer connection with our Father, who first showed us what it is to love.

Obviously, I don’t have it all figured out yet. There’s a lot I still have to learn, but I am excited to discover those new lessons, and uncover more about life’s most beautiful gift. And I couldn’t be more grateful to God to be learning those things alongside such a wonderful man.

Three Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Falling In Love! As someone who used to be terrified to open my heart to anyone, there are a few things I think would have made a huge difference. #love #relationships #dating #catholic #christianity #god #recovery #anorexia #life #joy

What’s something that you’ve learned about love? What do you wish you could tell your younger self about falling in love?

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47 thoughts on “Three Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Falling in Love

  1. Oh wow! You have captured this thing called “falling in love” so well! There is great peace when you have waited patiently for the Lord to provide. My words to my younger self? Psalm 37:3-4 “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” His timing is perfect…I know because I am married to the true love of my life…he is worth every minute of the wait. Blessings to you!

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement!! It really does feel like God has smiled on me 🙂 love those verses – thank you for sharing them!! Hugs and love xox

  2. Hi, it is nice to read you here thinking about your hard-won relationship. Some nice pictures to illustrate how the two of you are doing. I am glad you are high on love as nothing could be purer for you, I understand.

    I think being in love, it is important to never invite the possibility of doubt, as in to never be caught tempting fate with words that diminish the experience. I know that the two of you are, in all likelihood, good with one another. Good luck to you, and God bless.

    1. Thank you so much Odell. High on love – that certainly sums it up!! I so appreciate your encouraging words. Hugs and love xox

  3. So happy for you! I have ridden on the ride of your journey for a while now, so I know of the ups and downs (called life). I have prayed for you and for your future love to find each other and your hearts to be knitted together. Perhaps now I can begin praying for another. “Open Heart! Party of one!” Blessings. (Now you also know Filipinos make good people to love! Ha.)

    1. Hi Mark! Aw thank you so much for being in my corner and for your prayers!! Gosh, that means the world, and dare I say they’ve been working!! How can I pray for you?! Also! Yes! I have fallen in love with Filipino culture, and food…and MOVIES!!! I am a huge Kathryn Bernardo and Danny Padilla fan! 🙂 hehe Hugs and love xox

  4. So happy for you!! I just celebrated 8 years with my special someone and, along with your points about the ease of opening up and the joy of being yourself, I wish I’d known is that a man can be smart, funny, kind, handsome, grounded, and everything else I would hope for… it’s not a “pick your top priority and settle on the rest” game. I spent far too long disappointed, unwilling to settle but also impatient, and I wish I had framed the waiting in more positive and empowering light.

    1. Aw thank you so much friend!! And wow, congratulations! That’s so beautiful! Ohhhh that is such a good one!! No need to settle, because exceptional men are out there!! So glad you’ve found one, too! 🙂 thanks for sharing your heart, and for sharing in the joy with me! Hugs and love xox

  5. “Love is a team. And when you’re both heading towards the same goal, it’s a beautiful thing.”
    Then you understand, love is not two people looking at each other. It is two people looking in the same direction.
    Keep looking to Jesus to develop your relationship. Reading the Bible together and praying together goes a long way in keeping this in focus.
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

    1. Yes! I love that CA – looking in the same direction. Thank you so much for these kind words. Amen. Our Sunday church time is my favorite part of the week!! Hugs and love xox

  6. This is so beautiful, Caralyn! Almost made me cry, I am so happy for you and Steven! May God bless you both. 🙏🏻❤️

    1. Aw John, thank you so much!! You’re so kind. I so appreciate you always being so positive and encouraging! You’re a great friend. Hugs and love xox

  7. What do I wish I could tell my younger self about love? Love is an intoxicating drug that makes you lose all sense of rationality and makes you do things no objective person would do. Take your time in moving towards marriage. Ask your friends opinions and listen closely to what they say. It may be an old saying of the aged, “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half closed after” but it’s so true. By the way, I have been happily married for 30 years.

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful response! Congrats on 30 years! That’s truly something to celebrate! And wow – I’ve never heard that saying! How vertigo interesting! Hugs and love xox

  8. #4 is probably my favorite of your 3 things 😉 because it is the Truth. To come to a point with a man where you see him living out a picture of Christ in your relationship, displaying strength, gentleness, compassion, patience, firmness, perseverance, and unyielding loyalty- that is the dream; one with which God blessed me nearly 13 years ago in my husband. Every passing year I see more and more of Christ in him, and I know that is a rare and precious thing. Treasure it! A loving man with a godly trajectory is irreplaceable!

  9. Faithfulness and commitment are the anchors and feelings is the fluff and stuff. Infatuation lasts about a year and a half and once it wears off, then you know if you will be compatible forever. Also, have Bible study, prayer and common hobbies to keep together. I have been praying for you for years so am not surprised that God delivered at the right time the right man. He is takung care of you. I have not felt that you needed my encouragement of late, so have been quieter but I am still in your corner and still love you, my beautiful friend. Rest in Jesus’ arms. 😃❤

  10. Honestly, I wish I could tell my younger self that Josh Harris was full of crap and that that lifestyle is not mainstream Christianity. And all I’ve really learned is that maybe I really am better off alone at this point.

  11. It’s obvious from your photos together how you feel about one another and that’sreally lovely. It’s good that you have core beliefs in common and are good friends. I speak as someone who’s been happily married to the same chap for over 40 years.

  12. That is the most important choice in the world!!l after Jesus, to make sure you chose the right man!! He MUST be goodly!! And you have to have the same communication style!! I had an excellent man, but we could not make each other understand. It was misery for 8 1/2 yrs. Divorce remarry to be Godly, more misery 7 yrs. Divorce again. It remains the deepest regret of my life, that we hurt each other so deeply, due to non communication, tho we were both trying. Even 3 counselors couldn’t help!!

  13. Here’s wishing you’ll be in love as long as my wife and I. We first met in 1987 and got married Oct 1990, we are firm believers in the marriages vows you take when you get married. Like any other marriage we have our up’s and downs but when your there for each other it helps!

  14. I’ve thought of things I’d like to go back and tell myself – it’s a pleasant fantasy! But I know that I wasn’t smart enough when I was young to have listened if someone did tell me. In fact, I’m sure some people did, and I just didn’t hear them. You might say our ears LOOK finished, but they aren’t really fully functional without age and experience!

    Knowing what I do of your parents, I’m sure they told you these things in one form or another, but you couldn’t hear them yet. Time is the swizzle stick that eventually mixes everything together. I recently wrote on a verse that tells us to wait on the Lord! I observed that God’s clock doesn’t run as fast as ours. I also noted that time can also be His answer!

    There’s one more set of blinders that you have on, and I pray they will fall away when the time is right. When my first child was born, those same blinders fell from my eyes also. I’d heard many things before, but never understood them. They then suddenly came pouring in once she was born. I felt I understood the world for the first time.

    I pray you are blessed with your own when the time is right and receive that same blessing!

    1. Time is the swizzle stick – oh wow, I love that so much. It’s a quirky metaphor, but it is so spot on! And I can only imagine — When your life becomes about another living being – keeping that child alive, loving it, sacrificing and giving your all for this little child, I can only imagine the immense joy and life changing nature of that gift. And you’re absolutely right – so many times in life, what we need to hear, we’re either unable or unwilling to hear. Thanks so much for sharing this, Jeff, and for your prayers! Yes! What a blessing that will, God-willing, be! Hugs and love xox

  15. Having been married for 59 years I can say that is just keeps getting better. My husband was my love and my best friend. He supported me and gave me the strength to be more myself than I ever imagined. Sharing with someone for a lifetime is the best one can ever have.

  16. Hi {{{Caralyn}}} – I forwarded this post to our pastor, a beautiful, single, 27-year-old gal who will be sooo inspired and encouraged by this blog. I hope, she also decides to follow you. I love reading your posts – and I pray daily for your health, happiness, and balance… God bless you! I especially loved the paragraph that read, “…there really is something to it, that when you are in love, your priorities change. You want to love the other person. You want to be with them, spend time together, do things to bring them happiness, show them that you care – that you love them.” Bob & I will celebrate our 60th anniversary next February… and I can attest to the truth of your statement. It becomes more true with every passing year!

  17. Just beautiful! I love this post, your points are so foundational..
    I might add,, if you and Steven are marriage minded (and why wouldn’t you be? ❤)
    Remember the Lord’s foundation for a godly marriage, “wives submit to your husbands as unto the Lord” and “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himsekf up for her”
    This is the high calling for a godly marriage. Its not easy, but God will not fail those whose hearts are obedient.
    You’re a beautiful sister Caralyn, thank you for opening your heart and encouraging so many. ⚘

  18. Being in love is so fun. Wait until your married! It’s gets even better! Trust me, I know. I recently got married on October 30th.

  19. So happy for you, Caralyn. You did it the right way. You didn’t get desperate and just give yourself to anyone. And being friends first is so important. What you said about being vulnerable with the right person is critical. Steven sounds like a good match for that!

    Some tips to know up front…

    What’s important is that you’re both heading in the same direction. My wife and I have counseled hundreds of couples over the years and so many broken marriages made the mistake here. Danny Silk uses the illustration of going to the airport with your ticket to a certain destination. Make sure the person you let in is going to the same city, if you will. It’s easy to fall in love and give them your heart, but if you give your heart to someone going in a different direction, it can be very painful and hard to overcome in the end. As it’s been said, better to be single than wish you were.

    There’s a LOT of people in the world you can “fall in love” with, given the right circumstances, but if you fall in love the wrong way, gravity did it. You can just as easily fall out of love. Real love is other-centered and self-giving. And when two powerful and totally free people (who know who they are and whose they are, and who don’t “need” the other person to be complete), willingly give of themselves and give up some of their freedom for the other, it’s a beautiful thing! Your needs are met, not by demanding them, but through the other. His needs are met the same way.

    Blessings on you two!

  20. Yep, being in love is awesome. I’ve been in love for 34 years, he made me feel safe and loved. We’ve accepted each other’s habits, and yes -he is my best friend! When we squabble, we laugh and make up. Number 1 rule… never go to bed mad, no matter who did what or who was wrong. Never go to bed mad. I apologize for getting mad, he apologizes and we are happier. Life’s too short to sweat the small stuff.

  21. “That acceptance and love — is freedom” so so well said my dear! Isn’t it like being freed from a cage, when love and acceptance is the key to freedom, to being really yourself. May you two continue in your mutual freeing of each other and may God bless you both.
    Carole

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