Harnessing the Force of Love to Change Your Life

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are the Rupi Kaur love poems in milk and honey? What do these poems discuss?

The Rupi Kaur love poems in milk and honey document the evolution of her first serious relationship. After it falls apart, Kaur has to come to terms with what she needs and deserves.

Keep reading for more about the Rupi Kaur love poems.

Rupi Kaur Love Poems

Rupi Kaur started with a low expectation of what a man can offer a woman romantically. In the Rupi Kaur love poems from milk and honey, she starts by showing how she falls in love. Then, after the relationship starts to go bad, she see the signs of toxicity. She has to break free of the relationship to reclaim her self-worth.

Falling in Love

The first serious love of Kaur’s life focused on her intellect before her body. They would read together and talk about their hopes and dreams. He related to her struggles and helped her work through them. He was able to take the rage she inherited from her father and calm her down. He was grounded and authentic. To her, the very sound of his name either excited her or made her long for him. She finally met a man whom she could love without being silenced or hurt. While she had been in previous relationships, none had ever been like this.

As their relationship blossomed, Kaur realized that she wanted their love to be complementary, not codependent. To do that, she began to love herself and give herself the value that had been stripped away when she was a child. She was no longer “nothing.” She knew that she was something, and, with his support, she became a more confident and complete woman. 

When they were finally ready to have sex, it was passionate and loving. Where her abuse had once kept her from experiencing love and sex as one, she finally began to draw the connections with this man. To her, their foreplay was like making music and their intimacy was like dancing. Because she felt empowered by sex, she enjoyed the intimacy rather than fearing the loss of control. In fact, she began to view sex as passion rather than obligation. Even when they fought, they would always return to sex as a way to remind each other of the passion both of them felt.

Heartbreak and Mixed Emotions

While her first serious relationship started in a strong place, it deteriorated over the years. She stayed in the relationship for a while because she believed they could solve their differences. When the strains of her relationship began to surface, Kaur’s mother told her that she could do better. Kaur jumped to her lover’s defense. She believed that their love would be able to endure the issues they were facing. She thought that she would never experience love with anyone else in the way that she experienced it with him. 

However, they ultimately couldn’t salvage their relationship. This resulted in a nasty breakup that caused a variety of emotions to surface. He said that if the universe wanted them to be together, they would get back together. Kaur rejected this premise. She knew that relationships could only thrive if both parties wanted them to. Immediately following the split, she grappled with her mixed feelings and tried to hold onto the self-worth she’d begun to build.

Seeing the Toxicity

After they broke up, Kaur noticed the red flags she had ignored throughout their relationship. The Rupi Kaur love poems in milk and honey document this evolution. Her partner had sometimes claimed to have to stay at work for a few extra hours but wasn’t at the office when Kaur checked. He grew more distant and even said another woman’s name in bed. Her love for him blinded her to the less desirable qualities he had.

She realized that he didn’t have a lot of respect for women. He would degrade other women in private and would only say “I love you” when he wanted to have sex. She had become a sex object to him rather than a human being. She gave him all of her love and energy. In return, he used her for what he wanted, then ignored her as he slept with other people. His love for her was gone. He was just afraid of being alone.

Ultimately, she realized that her ex was a selfish lover. He wanted her to fulfill his needs, but he never had any regard for hers. Whereas she had begun to feel like an independent woman at the beginning of their relationship, she began to feel less than whole being around him. The distance he kept and the way that he used her started to take a toll on her self-worth. He didn’t intend to commit to her. Instead, he threw her aside when the relationship wasn’t convenient for him.

The Mixed Emotions of the Rupi Kaur Love Poems

Part of Kaur wanted nothing to do with her ex after the breakup. She claimed she didn’t need him anymore. She was done with his lying and disrespect. This side of her emotions led her to claim that her ex would regret losing her. She said that she had so much to offer him, but he refused to take it. She said that he would struggle to love another woman because he would long for the one he lost. 

However, another part of her desperately wanted him back. When she had romantic or sexual encounters following their breakup, her mind would race back to him. Even when she tried to remove him from her life, her thoughts would always come back to him. She longed for him to return to her bed and be a part of her life. While she would wake up some mornings feeling as though she had moved on, the loneliness she would experience at night made her want him to return.

She implies that he came back once or twice, but the result was more heartache and pain. He asked to be friends, but she couldn’t come to terms with that. She wanted all of him or nothing at all. Every time he returned, she felt the heartbreak all over again because she wanted something from him that he was not prepared to give: commitment. The Rupi Kaur love poems from milk and honey capture this range of emotions. Her self-reflection was essential before she was able to move forward to self-love.

Rupi Kaur Love Poems Show a Turbulent Relationship

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Rupi Kaur's "Milk and Honey" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Milk and Honey summary:

  • How Rupi Kaur suffered sexual assault and oppression as a child
  • What red flags Kaur missed in her toxic relationship
  • How Kaur was able to heal and embrace her femininity

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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