Warning. This is not a happy story with a happy ending. I just thought I’d share with you what love is to me and when I say love, I mean that feeling you get when a girl meets a boy and yeah… not the family/friend/pet love that we all know and well, love.
When I was younger, I was convinced I was going to meet a boy (yes, one boy) who was going to sweep me off my feet and we were going to get married, live in a penthouse apartment, be a power couple forever and then die. Lol, forever and die in the same sentence. Reminds me of this henna stall at a festival that had a sign that read “temporary tattoos that last forever”. Anyways, yes my dream ends morbidly but such is life.
Anyways, I did meet a boy, I did think we were going to get married, he cheated on me, I didn’t cry and I forgave him, I spent three and a half years with him, realised I wasn’t happy and the last thing I wanted to do was marry a deceitful, cheating bastard, decided I deserved better from him and the life we had and then dumped him. Actually, this thing I found on the Facebook page Word Porn sums up the situation in the end:
The sad part of my first relationship was realising that the real reason why I forgave him for cheating was because I didn’t think I could do better or find someone else who was going to love me. So I accepted the love I thought I deserved. It was a sad reality but I’m proud of myself for realising that that’s not the case at all and I deserve better.
After that relationship, I had a fantastic five-ish months of singledom then boom, I was in another relationship. Did I think I was going to marry this guy? Nah, but I was willing to give it a go. In a year and a half, we drank, got high, went out, moved down to Wellington together then I grew up. Unfortunately, he didn’t. It took me a while to end things because I was consumed by guilt since he came to Wellington because of me. But things weren’t getting any better… So I dumped him.
Three years later and I’m still single.
So my childhood dream of meeting a boy and everything ending up perfectly didn’t come true but I realised it’s totally okay. One of the fundamental things I’ve learnt from my two ‘failed’ relationships is that you need to love yourself before you can learn to love others. Oh, and there is such a thing as ‘finding yourself’ before deciding to settle.
Am I disappointed that I gave myself fully to two people and it didn’t work? Hell no. The thing is, I don’t regret the relationships I’ve had in my life because they actually made me stronger. Whether you want to admit it or not, it’s the experiences gained from being in crappy relationships that make you realise who you are, what you deserve and what you won’t tolerate. I tolerated cheating and I think cheating is the best example of disrespect.
So what did I learn about love and what does it mean to me? Cliché but love really is about respecting one another and respecting yourself. It’s about admiring one another and wanting to be better for them and for you.
Now in these three years of singledom, I’ve had some pretty interesting experiences with dating… but that’s for another blog post.
So tell me, what is love to you?
Photo credit: dawnchapmanphoto. Seriously, check out her work. She’s fantastic!