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Friday Five Lyfe Tough Talk

Five Love Lessons For My Future Children (or Anyone!)

What five love lessons would you want to pass on to your kids (or best friends)?  No, I’m not pregnant (still working on it) but that doesn’t mean that I can’t think about the type of parent I want to be! 

Valentine’s Day brings with it talk of love. Self love, romantic love, platonic love, chocolate love…. Over the years, I’ve written a number of posts on self love and acceptance, from my What’s Lovely–You! guest post to a few older posts (one on beneficial strategic selfishness aka self care to self love selfies to protecting your body image).

Basically, I’m obsessed with myself. NOT. But if you want an excellent opportunity to take something out of context and blackmail me with later, there you go and you are welcome!

But enough of that. Let’s talk future children and how I can mess them up.

Five Love Lessons for my Future Kids and Current Friends

What five love lessons would you want to pass on to your kids (or best friends)? @suzlyfe

1) Start with Self Love

Self love is not self obsession or narcissism. Self love isn’t thinking that you are the gift to the world. It is pursing one’s own well-being and happiness and practicing self care as necessary. In fact, self love teaches us what well-being actually is and what contentment, not complacency, feels like.

Love is complicated. Relationships are complicated. Relationships with yourself are complicated because you, relationships, AND love are each complicated, so complications cubed. 

Similarly, self care is not selfish. The oxygen mask on an airplane metaphor comes to mind again and again: you have to keep yourself alive in order to help others. If you have nothing left to give… well, you have nothing left to give, do you?

2) Sometimes, You just Need a Cuddle

Oxytocin. Whether or not you want to become a parent, you know the power of oxytocin, and the power and danger of intimacy. Oxytocin is the hormone released during skin to skin contact, and it promotes feelings of being emotionally bonded to another person as well as a slew of other health benefits. You don’t always need sex (though sex is great and another great way to foster oxytocin and a bunch of other great benefits); sometimes, you just need to start with a cuddle.

3) Marry Your Best Friend and Greatest Champion, But Not Your Echo Chamber

Physical attraction comes and goes, infatuation hormones come and go. Real love is built on another level of connection, and that mental component can reignite that physical aspect again when/if it wanes. You want and need your partner and your best friend to be your greatest champion, to believe in you and support you in your wildest dreams… but you don’t want to marry or attach yourself to your echo chamber or fanboy/girl. You need someone that will keep you real, make you think, and help you achieve your dreams by having perspective on what is actually achievable.

4) Love is Ever Evolving

We are not static. If love was static, it would be even more impractical. Love needs to evolve with us.

5) Love Cannot be Summed Up in Language, But Love can be Summed Up in a Look

I love you. Three words that we place so much importance on, that we break up, come together, and rely on to keep us going through our darkest moments. I am not saying that words and that those three words in particular aren’t important, aren’t perhaps the most important words in our life. But those three words cannot sum up love.

But one look can.

It was the look Alex gave me (that I didn’t see, but my mom did) at dinner the day he met my mom. It was the look Alex and I gave each other as we stood at the altar, and the look we had in one of my favorite pictures of the two of us, ever.

It is the fact that we don’t have to look at each other to see one another, but the fact that we still do look at each other. 

The greatest privilege that you can give a feeling is to make it so powerful that you don’t need words to feel it, to capture it, to make it live on. That is the greatest love lesson. That you can know, but you don’t have to hear it (though, again, hearing it is nice!).

Beyond patience, kindness... the five #love lessons. #sweatpink #valentinesday Click To Tweet

What love lessons would you pass on?

Joining up with the Friday Five 2.0!

Did you miss any of my other posts this week? Get caught up!

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Have you read these gems?


  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    I couldn’t have said this more eloquently! Now where is my man already???
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…How I Lost 80 PoundsMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 5:17 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I so wish I could order one for you. You know I would!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:17 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Mile by Mile

    You absolutely need to take care of yourself before you can commit to fully loving someone else. I always say that if Rob and I had met earlier than we did (which was a few months after I graduated college) it wouldn’t have worked out. I needed that time in college to figure out myself!
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…5 Reasons to Love Running in FebruaryMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 5:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I was just talking about that with a friend yesterday! I needed those months to grow and to try some things out to figure myself out.

      February 10, 2017 at 1:17 pm
  • Reply lacey@fairytalesandfitness

    I think it is so great when people can say they have married their best friend.
    lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…This is Love!My Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 6:04 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I definitely am!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:16 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Great post. Love isn’t easy, but it sure can be magical (at times).
    Sarah recently posted…Picking The Right Training Plan For YouMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 6:06 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Yes it can. And sometimes? You don’t need any magic!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:15 pm
  • Reply Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood

    YEEESSSSSS to #4. Right before I met Alex I was dating a guy who essentially walked on egg shells with me, refusing to ever say anything bad to me. I always thought that would be a good thing, but it was SO unfulfilling. Alex has NO qualms about telling me how it is. It’s always from a good place (<— super important, since I'm sure it can go the other way) and it's so important to be able to have an HONEST conversation without kissing eachothers' behinds.
    Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood recently posted…Friday Favorites #93My Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 6:13 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Yeah, you GOTTA have a guy who will keep it real with you, but in a supportive way where they are supporting you!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm
  • Reply Kimberly G

    Awwe I love this post! I admit, the right look means everything. I’m hoping to find that one day.
    Kimberly G recently posted…5 Cookbooks To LoveMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 6:27 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I so hope you will. I don’t imagine how someone couldn’t love you like that!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:12 pm
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner

    Oh this gives me a little happy tear. I just love this. You both are going to be the best parents when the time is right. Happy Valentine’s Day
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Why Runners Are The Best ValentinesMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 6:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope so! I know Alex will be amazing, and with his support, I know I won’t be too bad either!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:12 pm
  • Reply Sara

    That look from Alex–wow!! I love this post and agree with almost every single thing here. I still struggle with the “marry your best friend” part, here is a great article that sums up, much better that I could, why I don’t like that phrase and why Robyn is not my “best friend.”

    As we head into our 12 year anniversary in May, I specially love the quote “The truth is, the partnership of marriage is stronger and more intimate than the decades of history you might have with even your closest friend.” I couldn’t agree with this more.

    Love you my friend–as always, thanks for a great post!

    February 10, 2017 at 7:18 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think that everyone has a different understanding of what best friend can mean. To me, it means the first person that I call when something happens, good or bad. They see me at my worst, and love me anyway, but they also keep me real. I will definitely check out this article! I’ve very curious!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:11 pm
  • Reply Gretchen

    Yes to all of these! Love is an amazing thing. My mom also saw “the look” with Dan 🙂
    Gretchen recently posted…Top Five Friday #84My Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 7:36 am
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    AWWW Alex! What a sweet photo. And Mom’s always KNOW! I’d pass on that respect is a key to a happy marriage.
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Fashion Friday – How to Wear JoggersMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 7:42 am
    • Reply suzlyfe


      February 10, 2017 at 1:08 pm
  • Reply Heather @Lunging Through Life

    Love that photo of Alex! Seriously so sweet. I love all of these lessons to pass on. I would say I’d add kindness goes a long way, even if you don’t see the benefits. So often we say something kind, and the day goes on, but it can have an impact on the other person without you ever knowing it!
    Heather @Lunging Through Life recently posted…Finally the Weekend!My Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 7:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh, Kindness. Kindness is love for humanity and the humanity in love.

      February 10, 2017 at 1:09 pm
  • Reply kat

    Ummm and now I’m crying. A little warning would have been nice you know! Sheesh you sap 😉
    Kidding [sort of] but these are beautiful tips and lessons to pass on. Yet just another PROOF of how amazing of a mother you will be one day soon <3
    kat recently posted…Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day Dessert RecipesMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 8:08 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Aw, you are too sweet. I hope you have a sweet weekend, Kat!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:07 pm
  • Reply Annmarie

    Awww, that picture of Alex at the alter is super sweet!
    Annmarie recently posted…Beeting Heart Smoothie Bowl {Dairy Free}My Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 8:12 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Isn’t it the best?

      February 10, 2017 at 1:07 pm
  • Reply Heather @ Polyglot Jot

    LOVE this! My favorite of this post are love not being static and love can be summed up in a look. So true! <3 Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Susie! You will be an amazing mother!
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…Foodie Friday: Valentine’s Day Round-UpMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 8:17 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And so will you be, Heather! Have a great weekend!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply Cora

    :). Cuddling in silence is all I really need. <3
    Cora recently posted…Vegan Parmesan Cheese and a Tupperware Salad Roundup!My Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 8:23 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      ::cuddling you::

      February 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm
  • Reply Alyssa

    this made me smile <3 love how you said marry your best friend. couldn't agree with you more on that! and yes to cuddling girl. this made me so happy!
    Alyssa recently posted…How Orthorexia Has Effected MeMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 8:41 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      WE all need a cuddle!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm
  • Reply Danielle @ The T-Rex Runner

    This is kind of on the darker side of the coin, but I would tell my kids that just because you love someone doesn’t mean they are good for your life or that you should be with them. I was madly in love with my ex-husband, but he was incredibly toxic to my existence. I always thought that loving him was enough, but it wasn’t. Sometimes, we love people for the wrong reasons.
    Danielle @ The T-Rex Runner recently posted…Day Hiking in the Mountains of QueenstownMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 8:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You are so right, Danielle. Love isn’t always right for you.

      February 10, 2017 at 1:04 pm
  • Reply Suzy

    THAT PHOTO OF ALEX IS KILLING ME. KILLING ME. I’m all choked up at 7am, right just rolled out of bed, opened up this post and now I’m a hot mess. I love you two together!!!
    Suzy recently posted…Catch-UpMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 9:02 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Awwwww. Yeah, it is one of my favorites!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:03 pm
  • Reply Emily

    I so agree; love is such a gift. It’s always GROWING for those that we love, and I especially love that you even said sometimes you need a cuddle.

    That look on the groom’s face at every wedding; I always look to see what he’s doing, and it always makes my heart warm. It reminds me of God’s love for me.
    Emily recently posted…Why You Can Pick The Social Media You LoveMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 9:12 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I so agree. I always look to see their face as the bride walks down the aisle!

      February 10, 2017 at 1:02 pm
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    I’m going to throw in 2 other “loves” that are as powerful as they are painful–
    The first, and as I’ve written in my comments to your posts many times, is the feral, unbelievable (until you feel it) mother love.
    Feral because it shows you just what you’d be capable of doing to protect your child.
    Father love is as powerful but a little different. As I am not a dad, I can’t explain it, but I have seen it and understand it.
    The other love is painful but comes full circle , and that is the love to let someone go when the time comes.
    You saw it with Peach, Champ, Regal, and Jerry. The look of absolute trust and complete love that begged us to let them go. We loved them enough to let them go.
    If it had been in my power, I would have called a vet for my dad, he needed that kind of love.
    When Grandpa slipped away, after being silent for hours, we told him we loved him and it was ok to let go. He mouthed the words ” I love you” and then he let go.
    Love is wonderful, fun, exciting, binding, painful and it makes life worth all the trouble we go through to have it!

    February 10, 2017 at 9:23 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Especially with animals–love is more than words. They only have their eyes and their body language. And yes, mother love is different from fatherlove. They see themselves in that child, but they did not carry that child, fight for that child.
      Grandpa’s love lives on…

      February 10, 2017 at 1:02 pm
  • Reply Jennifer @ Fit Nana

    I love this. <3 My mom always tells me that she loves being around my husband and me because we always make each other laugh. Like snorting water out of the nose laughter sometimes. I think that probably goes along with your #3 but love and laughter should go hand in hand. I mean, sometimes life gets rough and marriage (and love) can be hard but if you have laughter, it can almost always lighten the mood.

    February 10, 2017 at 9:39 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I totally agree. It is how I approach my disease and all of the nonsense that goes on in life–you have to maintain a sense of humor, and you need a partner who helps you do that.

      February 10, 2017 at 12:57 pm
  • Reply Linda @ Veganosity

    First let me say that I love your mom. 🙂

    Yes to numbers 3 and 5. So important. I always try to put myself in my loved ones’ shoes when things are less than perfect. As a young and inexperienced mom, that always helped me stay calm when my kids had tantrums. It made me think about why they were upset and why they were reacting the way that they were. It also helps with my husband. If he comes home cranky, I think to myself, is he hangry, did he have a tough day at work, is he feeling well? Love means patience, and this is a good way to stay patient when things are stressful.
    Linda @ Veganosity recently posted…Vegan Weeknight Dinner PlannerMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 9:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think you have totally nailed it with this comment.
      And aren’t kids and husbands essentially the same? lol!

      February 10, 2017 at 12:56 pm
    • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

      Thank you, Linda!

      February 10, 2017 at 10:21 pm
  • Reply Jo @ Living MInt Green

    oh my god. That picture of Alex at the end of the post is so REAL. I can see and feel his love for you and it makes my throat feel choked up.
    A love lesson that I want to teach is that a relationship is a container to experience who-you-are and create something amazing.
    Jo @ Living MInt Green recently posted…Friday Faves: Food PhilosophiesMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 10:20 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I am totally chewing and digesting that language. So deep and it just keeps unfolding!

      February 10, 2017 at 12:54 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Aww, I love this post! And oh my goodness, Alex’s face in the wedding photo on lesson #5… Well I almost teared up just seeing it! You two are a perfect match 🙂

    February 10, 2017 at 10:25 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thanks, girl. You and Potter complete each other too!

      February 10, 2017 at 12:53 pm
  • Reply Eric

    Love is always learning, sometimes it’s not easy but it’s worth it because of what you put into it and what everyone who touches it becomes. Reminds me a lot of running. Most importantly, it is also a choice, it’s not fate without your input, sometimes it’s not effortless, but that doesn’t take from it only adds to it.

    February 10, 2017 at 10:42 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Beautifully said, Eric!

      February 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm
  • Reply Ana

    Beautifully said! I believe one must love oneself, before we can love others.
    Ana recently posted…Friday Friday 2.10.17My Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 1:09 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You know I believe this as well!

      February 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    Love this! That photo of Alex is priceless. Somewhere in our digital collection of wedding photos, there’s one of Ryan with that look. And cuddles are the best, whether they are human or puppy.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Friday ThriveMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 1:29 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Extra credit if you have both the puppy and the human.

      February 10, 2017 at 2:01 pm
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    ……..and I, too, just have to add–that picture of Alex is beyond perfect. When Eric walked you down the aisle in the rose garden, I didn’t watch the two of you, I watched Alex’s face the whole time.
    THAT was a moment that will stay with me always!

    February 10, 2017 at 1:44 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Loved this, especially number 5! You will be an amazing mamma.
    Sarah recently posted…#1 Reason Why You Didn’t Get Her NumberMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 3:35 pm
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    Ummm…cuddling is pretty nice.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…5 Songs That Will Make Your Runs HappyMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 5:12 pm
  • Reply Jamie

    Ummm so I want to cry at #5 and give an amen to #3. I hope our kids learn this from us. Can’t teach that look though.
    Jamie recently posted…5 Ways to Date Your Spouse Without Leaving the HouseMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 7:45 pm
  • Reply Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

    That look on Alex’s face is everything. It reminds me of a pic I have to Vegas on our wedding day. She was one breath away from an ugly cry (of joy, of course). I tease her about it, but it’s one of the sweetest looks I’ve ever seen.
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted…Wild Blueberry Açaí Protein BowlMy Profile

    February 10, 2017 at 11:48 pm
  • Reply Juanita

    Great lessons! I always love to see Groom ‘s look when he see his bride coming to the church because I can feel how much he love her. I wish to find my groom who look me like that and when I see in his eyes I know He is my Mr.Right and vice versa
    Juanita recently posted…When to Replace Bike Tires: Signs You Should Watch Out ForMy Profile

    February 11, 2017 at 10:29 pm
  • Reply Sunday Link Love: 02.12.17 - A Cup of Catherine

    […] Five Love Lessons For My Future Children (or Anyone!) // Suzlyfe ← awesome rules ♥ […]

    February 12, 2017 at 5:02 am
  • Reply Kristy from Southern In Law

    Yes yes yes to all of these!

    The greatest thing I ever did was marry my best friend!
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: 3 Ingredient Flourless Nutella BrowniesMy Profile

    February 12, 2017 at 6:18 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Ain’t it the best?

      February 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    Aww, love this post! And that photo of you and Alex is priceless.
    Rachel recently posted…I Love Running + Spring Training Week 6My Profile

    February 14, 2017 at 6:11 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We are such twerps.

      February 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm
  • Reply San

    <3 I loved all of this. Great advice. Sometimes, love doesn't need any words at all.
    San recently posted…February Link LoveMy Profile

    February 16, 2017 at 7:22 pm
  • Reply Farrah

    I love this post! <3 It's seriously been eons since I've been in a relationship, but I do want the person that I end up with (if I don't end up bein' a cat lady and callin' it a day) to be my best friend + someone who challenges me/enhances my life + vice versa! :] And yay for cuddles + self-love!

    February 18, 2017 at 9:01 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You will definitely get that. You know your worth, you will find someone who knows it as well.

      February 20, 2017 at 2:33 pm

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