What No One Tells You About Falling in Love

Paris, FR

Falling in love is such an amazing feeling isn’t it?  The butterflies, the sparks, and the excitement of a new relationship – ahhhh!  But what about the other sorts of feelings that come up when you start deeply connecting with someone and letting them into your world?  It can be terrifying being that vulnerable with someone relatively new!  People rarely talk about this side of falling in love.  I wanted to paint a more realistic picture. Share my own personal experience about falling in love as an adult. Also, give insight into what I’ve learned along the way.

Growing up, I was exposed to two polar opposite examples of love and relationships.

The first kind, was one that many of us are familiar with; the Disney movie version where a beautiful damsel in distress is saved by a handsome prince.  The story always goes something like this; love at first sight, followed by bad guys trying to break the couple a part, a dramatic rescue, and then they live happily ever after and ride off into the sunset…

The second kind, was my own reality – growing up with parents who had a tumultuous relationship.  From a young age, I always knew that my parents were unhappy being married to one another.  The resentment and frustration between the two of them was always there lingering… up until the day they got a divorce (25 years later), when I was a senior in high school.  I never really grew up seeing my parents show genuine affection to one another. Also, I never saw them work as a team, lift each other up, or have that twinkly look of adoration in their eyes.  If they had an argument, fight or disagreement they never talked through it. They just gave up, walked away and added it to the already heaping pile of resentment between them.

It wasn’t anything close to the whimsical and romantic dynamics I knew from my favorite movies, so as I got older, I became more and more confused on what a relationship – and love for that matter – actually looked like between an adult man and woman.  Despite their relationship with each other, my parents poured so much love into my sister and me, and for that I am forever grateful.  My dad actually just got remarried this past weekend in Hawaii and I could not be happier for him!

My mom raised me to be fiercely independent.

She told me to never rely on a man, always make my own money, always have at least 1 separate bank account from my future spouse, and that if I ever wanted something – I could go out into the world and get it myself!  Her advice has without a doubt played a huge role in my business success.  But what about personal success?  For most of my life, up until 2 years ago actually, I got so used to being fiercely independent and thinking I could do everything myself, that I never really let anyone – especially a man – fully in.

I didn’t want to show a side of myself that I perceived as “weak.” It was until recently, that I realized being vulnerable, accepting + asking for help, and admitting you don’t know it all, is actually the opposite of weak. Being vulnerable is actually really f*cking hard and it’s what creates those deep, lasting connections with people.

Being vulnerable allows you to live your most authentic life.

When I met my now boyfriend; Derek, I had finally gotten comfortable with being single and alone again (I had been in a long term relationship years prior). I had stopped dating just to date, and I started to really enjoy my own company – every night was basically face masks and reality TV – aka heaven haha!  So when I did meet Derek, it was a complete surprise and I was not expecting it at all (of course that’s how the universe works right? ;))  As cheesy as it sounds – he instantly blew me away.  His presence, his entrepreneurial spirit, and his authenticity were so impressive. I had never met anyone like him!

We both started falling for each other immediately, and as the weeks went on, our feelings progressed. And I began falling in love with him.  I was floating – I felt like I was on cloud nine and I couldn’t have been happier.  As even more time went on though, something strange started to happen within me; I started self-sabotaging.  I started to play out this really negative internal dialogue and I had this sense of impending doom and fear that he’d leave me, and that I’d end up alone and heartbroken again.  Just thinking about the possible pain that could happen and remembering how long it took me to heal from my last relationship, made me want to RUN FOR THE HILLS and hide!

This whole new love thing completely and totally stressed me out

I felt paranoid and anxious.  I felt guilty for feeling this way, confused – and totally out of sorts.  My whole world, this safe new cocoon I had just built for myself prior to meeting Derek, had been turned upside down and invaded!  I started to overthink everything and pick Derek and our entire relationship a part.  It was like I was trying to find something wrong with him, so I didn’t have to fully connect, let him in, and open up the possibility of getting hurt again…

Thankfully, as time went on, I started trusting Derek more, trusting myself more, and trusting our relationship.  He was really an angel during that rocky time, and unwavering in his love, patience and commitment to me.  I had to remind myself that past relationships were just that – in the past, and I had no use for them in the present. Also, I had to tell myself that just because my parent’s relationship didn’t work out, didn’t mean that mine wouldn’t.  I decided to really do some serious reflecting on all of my past traumas and experiences, face them head on, and learn from them.  There is a lesson in everything if you look for it!  BTW this is all wayyyy easier said than done. And TBH I’m still a work in progress, but aren’t we all?

Falling in love brings up a LOT of emotions within us – both good and bad.

Falling in love requires us to be vulnerable and open up to a partner. And yes, there’s a chance we could get hurt.  It’s exciting, amazing, and special, but also scary, stressful, and uncertain all at once!  (This podcast episode from Goop perfectly explains it – highly recommend listening.)  Here’s my advice if you’re feeling scared, going through the same thing, or having trouble connecting.

First, just accept and acknowledge that there will be a wide range of emotions when it comes to love.  Try and think about each emotion as you’re experiencing it individually. And really ask yourself where that feeling could be coming from. Is it directly from your partner’s actions, or could it be something that is unresolved from your past?  Remind yourself that no breakup is ever a failure – it’s only a learning experience propelling you in the direction you’re actually supposed to go in.

It’s all about mindset, and giving yourself those much needed positive pep talks until your thought pattern starts changing and you start trusting more.  Third, talk to someone about your feelings!  A friend, a family member, and/or a therapist.  I can’t say enough good things about therapy!  Lastly, read any or all of these Brene Brown books; Daring GreatlyThe Gifts of Imperfection, and Rising Strong.  Brene’s books, along with these books, have helped me tremendously!

I would love to hear if you’ve experienced anything similar, can relate, and/or what helped you open up more! <3

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23 Comments

  • LisaHeller says:

    Don’t disrespect each other when communicating when angry. (mean talk). We never talk “mean” to each other. We never curse or call names when angry. We do argue or disagree from time to time, (who doesn’t), but not in a disrespectful way. I always felt that once you let that in, its opens the door for always happening. I think that when it is real, it feels like the man in the relationship is always looking to help you with whatever you need with your day. A feeling of help and support. With patience and respect during communication. Always. A comforting, strong, secure feeling.

    February 13, 2019 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Such wonderful advice – thank you Lisa!

      February 13, 2019 | Reply
  • Jessica Ram says:

    Loved this personal piece! I read the entire thing and I can’t remember the last time I read a blog post. i like that it was different from fashion and showed an interesting perspective. Would love to hear more of this side from you often, whether is be regarding different topics such as confidence, friendships, advice you wish you knew, pressures from society. Lots of things! :) Much Love

    February 13, 2019 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Thank you Jessica <3

      February 13, 2019 | Reply
  • Nadya says:

    I agree with so much of what you’ve said! The other thing people never talk about is that as times go on, your relationship will not stay the same. It will go through phases and it’s not always going to be happy go lucky and that’s ok!

    February 13, 2019 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Yes agreed! There are many waves, phases, ups and downs that come with a relationship! <3

      February 13, 2019 | Reply
  • Diana Elizabeth says:

    I love how open you are in this post Kat. It’s not easy to say, I thought love was supposed to be this way, but it’s not. Or realizing how much growing up we (all he and her) need to do to finally align. One thing I’ve learned after being married 7 years and also realizing Benjamin was the right one – was the steadiness of emotions. No extreme high and no extreme lows like I was used to (with my ex fiancé). It was just easy – fun, like a best friend and you can feel like you can be your best self or worst self and it’s TOTALLY OK like when you are with your best friend. That is true comfort and love, and a life I knew I wanted, a partner that is easy going, like my dad. I now look at my marriage and see something similar to my parents lol, who are still married. My dad is chill and when my mom has a moment he laughs or simmers it down immediately which brings her down – and I’m the same way. We rarely raise our voices at each other or fight. I love that you found Derek and he is patient, kind, and supportive of you because we all know you have so much beauty not only outside but inside to offer. Looking forward to seeing your new home together! xx

    February 13, 2019 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Thank you Diana <3 You and Benjamin are the sweetest couple! We will have to do a double date next time Derek and I are in AZ :)

      February 13, 2019 | Reply
  • Maureen says:

    I have been in 3 relationships total. Two of which were toxic. Growing up in a typical Filipino setting, showing my emotions were a sign of weakness and I never completely understood how it was to articulate my feelings correctly. It wasn’t until I met my be, now husband, that I started to look internally at how my not being vulnerable was hurting someone else. At how my wanting to be perfect was not at all helping me in my relationship. It’s been a long road but worth every minute because the relationship and marriage I have now, I would go through all of those things all over again.

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

    February 13, 2019 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Thank you so much for sharing this with me Maureen! I am so glad you’re in a wonderful relationship <3 It's not easy to be vulnerable, but ultimately you've shown it leads you to finding true love!!

      February 13, 2019 | Reply
  • Steph says:

    Thank you for having the courage to be vulnerable and truly opening your heart Kat. I felt like I was reading my life story. I love all of the books and spiritual teachers you mentioned! 2 other things I highly suggest is the Landmark Forum and Tony Robbins “date with destiny”. Both of those moved me to another level, which I think is an ever evolving process in this life. My husband told me about the landmark forum when we were dating; I did it and it’s Helped me tremendously, especially with my mind set on dealing with a recent family tragedy. Then We did “Date with Destiny” together right after getting back from our honeymoon. Both of these are Epic places to grow and meet people like yourself!
    I admire your heart, Wishing you love and happiness*

    February 13, 2019 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Thank you so much for your comment Steph! I love Tony Robbins! I will absolutely check it out. XO

      February 13, 2019 | Reply
  • SundayDahlias says:

    Loved this post. There isn’t a standard of love or what everyone’s relationship should look like. It’s something that is unique and special to those in the relationship. And I completely agree that there are good and bad emotions. It’s not always smooth sailing, and that’s what makes the journey!

    http://www.sundaydahlias.com

    February 13, 2019 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Thank you. Yes it’s true everyone’s journey is so different! :)

      February 13, 2019 | Reply
  • Em @ BloomingMagnoliasBlog.com says:

    I am honestly and fully rooting for you two! And you couldn’t have explained better what love is and what comes with it. And OH MY GOD how right you are, past or other people’ relationships are in no way the fate of your current one.
    Let love in FULLY!

    https://www.bloomingmagnoliasblog.com

    February 13, 2019 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Thank you so much! <3

      February 13, 2019 | Reply
  • Ashley says:

    Thank you Kat for opening up on such a personal topic! I can definitely relate with the struggle of dealing with divorced parents, especially at such a young age when you’re exposed to “fairytale” love. My parents unfortunately did not get along after the divorce because of their egos & it definitely was toxic for me. I’m now 28 & have never been in a relationship because I self-sabotage & won’t allow myself to be vulnerable. I’ve done the flings in college & go on those bumble dates, but tbh, it’s not for me. I rather spend my free time with my fur baby or friends. I am so happy that the universe has presented such a good match for you in Derek! And that makes me hopeful that one day, when I’m not even looking, the universe will send me my “person”. And I will keep this post in mind of being open to love, vulnerable & not letting toxic relationships from the past get in the way of something that’s good.

    February 13, 2019 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      I’m so glad you can relate and the post resonated with you. Fur babies are the best! Keep focusing on you and enjoying your alone time and you’re exactly right – the universe will present someone amazing when you’re least expecting it ;) Sending you so much love!

      February 13, 2019 | Reply
  • Ayumi says:

    Thank you for this article! You took the words right out of my heart- I’ve been feeling this but wasn’t sure how to articulate it. I realize that though I’m scared, I want to walk through my fear so I can experience true love ❤️

    February 14, 2019 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      So glad it resonated with you <3

      February 14, 2019 | Reply
  • Ashley says:

    This post was actually so so needed right now. I did the same thing as well and it almost messed up the amazing relationship I have now. One book I recommend is Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. It’s stood the test of time and really helped me understand exactly why guys do certain things in a relationship. And it also helped me understand my own actions in relationships.

    February 14, 2019 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      I’m so glad it resonated with you Ashley! Yes, OMG that book is AMAZING – and helped me big time as well!!!! I need to re-read it though ;)

      February 14, 2019 | Reply
  • monica says:

    I related so much to your experience of self-sabotoging as I did the same thing in my recent relationship that just ended. Everything in the relationship was so great up until I encountered my then boyfriend friends (girls in his friend group that he is close to platonically) that weren’t receptive to me when I first met them. This is where I started thinking negatively about myself, that I wasn’t good enough for my ex-boyfriend and developed social anxiety being around his friends. This took a toll on our relationship recently as I put walls up and could not open up to him about my true feelings. He has been loyal, patient, and caring throughout but ultimately he was not in love with me and admitted he was a commitment phobe. I wished that we could have worked through this conflict together as a team, but at the end it was not meant to be. Thank you for this post, as seeing it is therapeutic with moving forward.

    February 21, 2019 | Reply