Love is tricky business.
The desire to be loved can really trip one up. We’re already very good at fooling ourselves – or maybe that’s just me – and painting a prettier picture of reality than is warranted.
We overlook flaws. We excuse bad behavior. We weight our judgment so that the good aspects outweigh the bad ones.
However, we also are capable of exercising an infinite capacity to hope, to dream, and to start again – love is a great motivator.
I know that some of y’all know my story, or at least parts of it, when it comes to my love-life. I have had spectacular highs and lows. I’ve managed to give a disproportionate amount of my time to Peter Pan boy-children who couldn’t or wouldn’t grow up – until I left, of course. [Why? Because I allowed them to stay childlike. I gave them free rein to be immature in all the wrong ways in our relationships.]
Here’s the thing: I’m not the type to “mold” a guy into a “proper partner.” In fact, that goes against everything I am, and I would resent it greatly if it was done to me – so I don’t do it. And that’s why I’ve been with Peter Pan over and over. I left it to the guy to grow up on his own terms. Evidently, their own terms were actually the terms of other women. Heh.
This is okay. Really, it is. The problem didn’t lie with them – it was within ME.
No, really. I am not excusing the stupid things that some of my previous partners have done. [I am also not enumerating them here, as this is not that kind of post.] What I am recognizing, and accepting, is my reoccurring role in this repetitive dance.
I chose men who were not ready to be men.
I chose to try and build a life with these men.
I chose to dwell on their perceived failings, instead of either being proactive and leaving, or being content with what was given.
I chose to stay and remain unhappy.
Again, this doesn’t excuse what things each one might have done. But I can look over my mistakes and recognize them as such. That’s why I am friends with most of my exes – because most of them aren’t bad guys at all. They just weren’t ready for the sort of relationship we thought we were making. Or maybe what I thought we were making. I don’t talk with them much about these things. It’s weird. And if they’re reading this, I hope that they get that I’m not trying to insult them. We were in the wrong places for what we were doing. It’s a thing.
On the other hand, there’s this thing that I have now. And this thing, it’s pretty rich and sparkling and amazing. And it was unexpected, it was a boon from the past to the present – a chance to fix what went terribly wrong before, when we knew each other as very inexperienced people who were scared and confused by who we were. Let me tell you, this goes far beyond anything I could have hoped for.
All I ever wanted in a relationship has been to feel cherished, as I cherish the one I love.
I wanted to be The One for someone – the one where, when he looks at me, I can see how he feels clearly in his eyes, in his expression.
I was told again and again that I expected too much, that no one really loves that way.
I am here to tell you that they were WRONG.
It’s scary to declare publicly that I am truly, deeply, sincerely loved in the way that I love in return. But it is true. And I’m here to say this:
Do not settle.
Don’t. Just don’t.
There is nothing more right than having the kind of relationship that you know you deserve. Whatever that relationship is for you, don’t settle for less.
May your lives be filled with love.