Love & what it looks like

I was a late bloomer when it came to dating. I didn’t have a boyfriend until the summer before I started college. I’ve had my fair share of dysfunctional, abusive relationships and it took me a long time to know what love looks like.

I’m currently in a relationship with a man I’ve been on and off with for the past eight years. He was my second boyfriend, and my last. While he’s only been with one girl since knowing me, I had a bunch of relationships during our “off” times. I even had a brief stint being engaged to a man I knew deep down wasn’t the one for me — and he saved me from all of that. Through all of the relationships I’ve ever had since knowing him, no matter what…he came back for me.

There was a time when our love became boring. I began to doubt and think that I “could do better”. Of course, when I strayed — I entered one of the most abusive relationships I had ever experienced. It absolutely ruined me. My trust in people was broken. I had been gaslighted so many times I began thinking maybe there was something wrong with me. That I was undeserving of love, and started loving myself even less than I already did. I had always been insecure and my share of flaws. After my last relationship, and before returning to my one true love — my insecurities and self-hatred had been magnified a thousand-fold. To this day, my love continues to make me a better person, and constantly teaches me how to love myself by letting me know how he sees me through his eyes in the way of his actions or simply telling me.

If you love something, let it go — if it comes back to you it’s yours forever.

While I was dating around and trying to find myself, getting involved with men who weren’t the best for me and most likely after one thing — he always knew I was the one for him. To him, I was perfect despite my wandering heart and it took me too long to realize that. I’m lucky to have him stick around, if at all — to be perfectly honest. When I was in a relationship with someone else, he’d be living his life — not exactly waiting for me, nor trying to find happiness elsewhere because he just knew we were destined to be together. I don’t deserve someone so extremely faithful. Someone who loves and supports me unconditionally; who genuinely wants only the best for me even during the nastiest of times. That quality is hard to find! I am exponentially grateful for each day that passes and he’s still a part of my life. I would come back to him over and over and over again — and he’d always welcome me with open, forgiving arms. This type of love should never ever be taken for granted.

True love is forgiveness.

Too, too often second-chance relationships are plagued by resentment. It only takes that one little thing to set the other person off and bring up past mistakes. Before it even had a real chance, people start reminding themselves why it never worked the first time and set themselves up for failure because of the familiar. The couple can never truly heal unless there is real forgiveness by recognizing past mistakes, addressing it head-on, and make a mutual promise to only grow from here. This is such a difficult feat; but the ones who are able to do this only grow stronger within their relationships. We are all human, and sometimes it is easier to hold grudges. However, every time my man and I started anew; it was a genuine fresh start. Forgiving is not the same as forgetting. I acknowledge that he still holds onto a lot of that hurt — even to this day — so it is my job to make him feel forever loved, appreciated, and secure. After everything we’ve been through, that’s the very least I an offer him. It is a cooperative effort. He never actively resents me for my past mistakes, and never throws it in my face. I owe him my entire life, dedicated to make him happy, for always being there for me.

Love makes you CRAZY

No really, when it’s true love — it makes you absolutely batshit crazy. If only I had a list of morbid things I’ve told my man in expressing my love…I’d have a list long enough to publish a book. “I’d die for you.”, “I’d catch the moon for you.”, “I’d straight up murder and eat anyone that would hurt you” isn’t even the TIP of the iceberg. If you’re in love, TRUE LOVE, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m in no way talking about the type of crazy where you go through your significant other’s personal stuff like their cell phone, social media and email and dive into a jealous rage whenever someone from the opposite sex is checking your partner out — that’s unhealthy. Don’t be that type of crazy.

The type of crazy I mean is when you’re looking into the eyes of your significant other and a feeling of licking their entire face consumes you because they look so yummy and cute. Yes! When you just want to be buried in their body and wish you can merge inside of them and not even in a sexual sense — like, you just want to merge souls and be a part of them like a conjoined twin, walk around like y’all are tied to the hip in a never ending three-legged race, and every time other people look at you they go, “Aw, but ew, but awww.Be that crazy. My favorite thing my man does is when we walk along a busy street he’d overtly grab/slap my butt and see how many cars passing by would honk at us, acknowledging our cuteness. I LOVE IT! Even picking flowers off the sidewalk because they smell really good or look really pretty — little special things like that defines true love.

“LOVE IS PATIENT…” 1 Corinthians 13:4

One of the most notable quotes in the Christian holy bible and regardless of your faith, no truer words have ever been written. Today with social media, people often get plagued with marriage and babies seemingly all at the same time!! And people are often asking me, “Gosh, when are y’all getting married? You two have been together since 2009.” Simply put — everyone’s ideal marriage is that it lasts forever, yeah? No one jumps into marriage thinking, “I’ll be out of this in 2–5 years.” But, it happens…and it’s unfortunate. It’s not like we don’t want to get married, but there are a lot of factors that go into marriage. For instance, I’m not the same person as I was 2 years ago and we’re still not as financially stable as we aspire to be (because once we get married, we’ll want to start making a family); also — we’re still YOUNG! We’re still in our 20's! And most of my friends who have gotten married around the time they were “supposed to” are now divorcing. Not hating or throwing shade, that’s just the reality of it because…surprise! Not every 20-something year-old has their shit together despite what society tries to make of this decade of an age. So, with that in mind along with the idea that marriage is supposed to “last forever” — what’s the rush? We have our entire lifetime to get married and we will, when we’re ready. I’ve talked to so many dysfunctional couples who are like, “if only we got married…that’d solve all our problems.” How? By trapping yourselves in an unhappy situation, you’re going to magically solve all your trust issues and be forced to work things out because you’re stuck with each other? Stereotypical married couples who do nothing but bicker are born from this situation. Or worse, some couples try to trap each other with a child — congratulations! You just created a human being you’re stuck taking care of for the next 18 years who never, ever asked to be surrounded and raised in a dysfunctional relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all young married couples are doomed to be in this situation — only those who rush and join the bandwagon because of pressures of their peers do.

Love is ALWAYS easy

When you’ve found the right love, your true love…literally everything becomes easier. You’ll fight, you’ll make up, you’ll get upset, you’ll forgive and nothing negative ever lasts long. Even the hardest decision, seems easy because of the mutual support and love you give to each other. I’m moving to Taiwan soon to live there indefinitely because if a job opportunity. It is unavoidable that my man has to stay in America until he can join me. If it weren’t for his dying, unconditional support…I wouldn’t go. But because he recognizes the realities of the situation, he pushed me to go — because it is what’s best for me. And with his blessing, moving across the world seems not so big of a deal. Will I miss him? Unbearably so. However, with each day that passes while I’m there — I know that’ll be one less day without him and he WILL come for me, like he always has in the past. When it’s true love, you want nothing but the best for your partner. Just pure love, support, and happiness. There’s nothing you can’t conquer together…

I love you, D. I’ll never stop loving you.

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