I have said it once and I’ll say it again, I love “love.” I have always believed in fairy tales and happily-ever-afters. I have always believed I would end up with my prince charming and that he would come save me from the world one day.
I still believe in strong, passionate, romantic love but a few thoughts have taken on different forms within my mind.
I had the stereotypical high school sweetheart. I thought it was true love. I thought it would never end. But then it did. My heart was broken into tiny little pieces and I refused to put them back together.
Months later, my sweetheart wanted me back and I simply turned the other cheek. If someone could hurt me so deeply, they simply did not deserve my love, I thought. I thought we had it made at the sweet age of 16, but I did some things I can never freely speak about and he said some things I could never truly forgive.
I thought love was a big fat lie at the time. I threw up for weeks straight and decided to turn my heart into coal.
With a cold heart in hand, I refused to believe in love ever again. Until cupid’s arrow showed up unexpectedly. I fell for my college sweetheart, if you can even call him that.
He knew me more than I ever knew myself. He spoke to me in a language I thought no one else could speak. Things were passionate but quickly turned volatile. I couldn’t live without him and he knew it. He played with my heart more than anyone had before and I couldn’t even recognize who I had become after it was all said and done.
There I was, once again, broken. How could love hurt so much? How could love leave me so fragile if it had once made me so strong? I had no answers but I decided to look within myself.
I began loving myself for the first time. Unconditionally and full-heartedly. I took care of my body and my mind for the first time and decided self-love was much more important than any romantic love from another.
So what happened to my childhood image of love? It was redefined forever. Did prince charming exist? Ehhh, not so much. Who was to save me from myself? Me and only me. Who could unconditionally love me and not hurt me intentionally? Me.
Of course, I don’t want to end up alone in the world but romantic love is not always the answer. We must first love ourselves before anyone can ever love us back.
Passionate, romantic love is not solely sustainable. It requires serious maintenance and a pact to choose to love one another day after day. You can’t just say, “Hey, I love you! Let’s live happily ever after together.” As older and much wiser people say, love can’t pay the damn bills.
It’s true, although romantic love can be intoxicating, it can sometimes become a vicious cycle that leads to absolutely nowhere.
I don’t think everyone ends up with the most passionate love of their life. Romantic love is sometimes just not enough to maintain a long-lasting relationship. I feel pretty lucky to have reconnected with one of the greatest loves of my life. Will we end up together forever? Only time will tell. Until then, I will keep choosing love even though I know love is not necessarily all we need.
Love Deeply and Forever,