Maybe some of you are in happy relationships, but can still relate to this—some relationships are so powerful that they can throw even the strongest of people off-balance. In my case, I found myself dissatisfied, wanting more, doubting, and thinking, thinking, thinking. I found myself feeling lonely in love. The end of 2016 was a bit stormy as my relationship practically fell of a cliff. It broke my heart and I carried that ache around like a cramp for a few months.
To be brutally honest, scrolling through news feeds of people my age with newborns and engagement rings perhaps spawned this fear that maybe I was running out of time. So I tossed myself too intensely into this relationship that wasn’t right or ready for that type of commitment. I searched for love like a puzzle piece to complete me.
I learned a ton of things from this relationship—at the end of the day, you can’t make someone love you in the way you need to be loved and a relationship is by no means an extension of you.
While 2016 was a year of me pulling off a wealth of relationship errors, I’ve saved up those earnings and exchanged them for this one lesson— you are all you need.
For the first time in a while, I am very aware that I am alone. But not alone in that anxious and unhappy way. I am single, in a new city and this feeling sits with me peacefully. A curiosity as to how long it will last, a wonder of who I will meet and what might happen is now met with excitement and not despair.
The relationship you have with yourself is everything and at my age of 26 I have had to reteach myself that. It wasn’t easy—the pain of heartbreak can leave you feeling bitter and brittle. I picked myself back up and shed that weird neediness I had shamefully developed within the last year. I have made so much time for me—for meeting awesome new people in this vibrant city, for reading, for cooking for myself, for reconnecting with old friends. My bed doesn’t feel lonely anymore, just bigger.
I am done with losing myself in love. No more. This Valentine’s Day, I am honoring myself and the growth I’ve made. To know all I really need is me keeps me calm, at peace, at ease—because no matter what happens and no matter who leaves, I will still have me.
It’s important to view the mistakes and missteps of your relationships with respect rather than regret. We all make them. To ignore them is to scrap the lessons life intently handed us.
We all know how it goes. There have been those boyfriends, those messy breakups, those failed first dates that still make you laugh, those flings you had for a few months as well as those you would’ve loved to have known better. Regardless of how they turned out, they are all memories to be cherished and should sit stacked on a shelf like the books you’ve read.
They are all a part of the collection of experiences that make me richer in my pursuit of that forever kind of love.
I know the love I crave will come. But frantically plunging into things won’t speed it up, it only makes life more jumbled. Just like wildly pumping through 500 sit-ups in one day and then wondering why you don’t have a six pack right after, love is the same. It can’t be rushed and unlike the movies, it doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it can take so much time and not being patient leads to disappointment. I must be patient, but also remember that when things don’t pan out, I still have the partner that I have made out of myself.
I know that love exists, I’ve seen it. It’s out there. But until it comes my way, I’ll proudly be my own Valentine♥