Hello, everyone! It’s a Wednesday morning here, I’m counting my hours for the coming weekend. and something interesting popped up to my silly head. Looking back at the recent past, My life experience hasn’t given me starry-eyed happy-ever-afters. It has given me a dark sense of humor and serious trust issues lately. In fact, I’m sometimes afraid that the next time someone says “I love you” to me, I’ll be tempted to tell them to come back in six months and tell me if they still feel that way because I have already seen the writing on the wall — and, for me, it’s an expiration date.
I want to say that I don’t trust love or that I don’t trust men, but I don’t think love is the problem, and there are men I do trust, although that list is a short one. So, the real issue is that I don’t trust relationships.
Based on my last 10yrs experience: Relationships are made up of other people who tend not to love the way I do. I go into them and fall, and I haven’t found that anyone is really prepared to catch me. Oh, they think they are. But then I’m falling, and they change their minds, and I’m so entirely fucked. Then, I have to spend months picking up the pieces of the life I thought I was building.
As far as I know myself: I’m not the kind of person who always falls, but when I do, it’s serious business to me. I love hard, and I love well. But with that being said, I want to reclaim the lightness of love. As they say, If we don’t heal from the pain, we may miss out on the love.
With all my heart, I know it exists. I’ve even felt a glimmer of it in the moment of the fall — that split second where you see someone for who they are, love them completely, and believe that you could happily share your life with them. There exists a sense of joy and possibility unlike any other. It’s a big feeling — and a generous one. We want the other person to be happy and have everything they’ve ever wanted. We want to share extraordinary life moments with them — but also the quiet, ordinary ones that are often overlooked but mean so much.
Love like that is more than just the giddy first rush of infatuation. It’s a deep sense of gratitude that we get to love the person we’ve chosen. It’s light, and it’s sweet. And if I don’t manage to reign in my cynicism, I feel like I just might miss out on it altogether.
I willingly admit that I’m in the jaded part of processing a breakup. Just like any kind of grief, we go through stages. I didn’t really sit with denial. There was no point. I knew bargaining wouldn’t work. I’ve had a tendency to oscillate between depression and acceptance, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there was anger mixed in there, the kind that lends to cynicism about the possibility of ever finding anyone I can count on.
So, my track record isn’t great. I’m hardly the only person who can say this. People will say that dating is a numbers game, and that’s one way to look at it. But really, it’s a learning game. Some of us learn faster than others, but some also get luckier. They don’t get as many lessons thrown at them in the first place. Clearly, I’m not one of the lucky ones — and I’ve been stubborn about learning, too.
Many of my past relationships either caused me extreme trauma, or exacerbated trauma that was already there. Cue big-time trust and abandonment issues. Again, I’m not the only person on Earth to experience this.
From what I’ve seen on any given dating app, most of the humans I’ve encountered have experienced the same thing. The walking wounded swiping left and right are more likely to tote around their baggage than to get help with healing it — often because they’re convinced that finding the right relationship will be healing. But I’m going to head to therapy instead of to a dating app to deal with my issues.
I’m a person who has had challenging relationships that resulted in pain — but the truth is that I’m good at being in relationships, and I’m working on healing from the trauma I’ve experienced. Maybe I’m just not so good as knowing when to walk away when I don’t get what I need. Too often, I make decisions that don’t serve me and end up wasting my own time on people who could never give me what I want.
Those experiences have left me with a great deal of cynicism about relationships, but in order to have the joy of a healthy relationship, it’s important to understand why we haven’t always experienced it. For me, it’s because I have a hard time knowing when to walk away. While loyalty might be a defining characteristic for me, I need to learn to be loyal to myself and to leave when I’m not getting what I need. Until I learn that, relationships will likely feel heavy. Why wouldn’t they when I’ve been willing to singlehandedly shoulder the weight of them?
Healthy, happy relationships exist. They are possible. They may require work, but they won’t require us to be the only ones working on them. If we don’t heal from the pain, we may miss out on the love.
Maybe we haven’t always gotten happily-ever-after. Maybe we never have. But to reclaim the lightness of love, we need to believe it’s possible to love someone well and have them love us right back. We need to believe that we are worthy and deserving of the effort it takes to nurture and maintain relationships. You always have an opportunity to find Love after the rain.
That’s all for today. Cheers!