For the past few years I’ve been starting to wonder if I’m going to be alone forever. Getting closer to my 30s and watching everyone and their mom get married or commit to serious relationships has started a slow but building panic attack that yes, maybe I will end up a lonely old lady after all.
I’ve never had great luck with love. In high school and my early twenties I found lots of guys who I was interested in, but they never felt the same way about me. I’m sure a psychologist would say watching my mom be super single (like not even dating) my whole life and never meeting my dad has a lot to do with me choosing unavailable men. And I’m sure that has a lot to do with it… it just always seemed like there was nobody I ever felt deeply about. The guys were hot but the crushes would end quickly and then it was back to square one.
Then, about four years ago, I met a guy at my favorite bar in Park City and I fell in love hard and fast. Besides being attractive, funny, driven, and sharing similar interests; he understood me. It felt like we had known each other forever. We spent every minute of every day together and when he moved to Italy to get his Master’s degree, I quickly followed and for three months we traveled and fell deeper and deeper in love. Or at least I did.
Looking back I can honestly say that our relationship wasn’t healthy in more ways than one but I was so blinded by what I thought was love that I kept choosing to make it work. I thought because I loved him so much I could forgive him for cheating on me, fulfill my dreams through him, and finally say with certainty that I was worth something because he validated all of those parts of me that I thought were unlovable.
I came back from Italy to get ready to move there permanently with him and Zeke. I thought we were going to be a family, start a business together, and travel the world. But… he broke up with me over Skype a few weeks after I got back and never talked to me again. Well, to be fair a few months later after me calling, texting, skyping, praying, and sending telepathic messages he finally wrote me a quick message on Facebook that still didn’t explain why he ended things.
For the next three years I was pretty sure I was definitely dying of a broken heart. I cried so much I didn’t think there could be any tears left, but there were always more. I drank and tried to forget how much I was hurting. I did a lot of crazy things and drove people away because I couldn’t deal with the depth of my grief. I felt crazy.
Over the past year I’ve finally started to heal and have been practicing loving myself. Loving all those parts of me I thought made me never worthy of finding anyone who could actually love me. Loving myself exactly as I am, right now, not in the future or if I change things about myself. It’s so hard! But it’s also so worth it.
After that whole heartbreak situation I craved love even more than I had before. I wanted someone to take away all the doubt I had and promise to love me forever and never leave; to promise unconditional love. The thing I’ve realized though… is that’s impossible. The only person who I can know for sure will always love me and be with me, is me. Looking outside of myself for validation and love will never fulfill my longing. Only I can do that.
So I’ve been working on loving myself first and being open to love… knowing that romantic love comes with no guarantees.
There are a lot of great resources (yay internet) that have taught me about love. I’m a self help book junkie! Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of inspiring TED talks too, like the one I linked to this post, and I’m excited to see where this new outlook leads me. Hopefully I won’t be alone forever, but if I am at least I can learn to be happy and whole on my own.