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This is the story of how I came to know what true love is and that it really does exist. I’m sharing this because I hope it encourages any of you out there who may have lost hope and feel like you are undeserving of something so beautiful.
5 years ago, my fiancé sent me a friend request after 10 years of losing touch. I had been through a rape, a broken marriage and a 5 year relationship/engagement that ended in a huge, embarrassing, earth-shattering way. After years of experiencing physical/emotional/sexual abuse in 2 relationships and heartache in the others, I had given up on relationships and vowed to never let another man get close enough to hurt me.
5 years ago, I confirmed a friend request and reconnected with a real-life friend from the past. I remember laughing and thinking, “Well, this should be interesting.” I had no idea that friend, whom I remembered being awkward and intense but harmless, would help change my life forever.
I know how hard it is to trust *anyone* after being hurt so deeply that you can’t see the way out from the pain. I know what it’s like to feel hopeless after losing what you thought was love time and time again. I’d like to tell you that there is a fairytale waiting for you at the end of that pain, but that’s just not true. At least not in the Disney sense.
Real love is hard. It’s messy and chaotic at times. It’s dull and stagnant at other times. Real love is a lot of work. It demands occasional sacrifices in the forms of tears and heartache and compromise. However, those sacrifices are a small price to pay for a partner who cries with you, whose heart breaks for you and who compromises with you. Real love is about both/all people in the relationship fighting to be the partners they need to be while knowing they will fail at times. Real love is about accepting that there is a chance things will eventually lead to parting ways but seeing the worth in the present and choosing your partner every day despite that. Real love is so much more than butterflies and passion.
Many things come from that hard work. Independence and companionship instead of codependency. Comfort and trust instead of fear. Acceptance instead of rejection. Intimacy instead of distance and deceit. Pleasure and release instead of pain and dominance. Empowerment and freedom instead of control, panic, injury and brokenness. Support instead of resistance. Laughter instead of screams and tears and desperate cries for mercy. Safety and a true sense of security instead of scars and alienation.
5 years ago, I thought true love was a farce. 5 days later, that started to change. A few weeks later, I took one more chance in defiance of what I thought I knew to be true. And here I am today, sharing this with you.
True love exists but not in the form we want it to. Nothing good comes with ease. Not one life is lived without sorrow. But true love exists despite it all. We just have to recognize we want it, we have the right to experience it and that we are worth more than what the world tries to make us believe. True love exists. It is found within those who dare to put in the hard work.
Friends. Family. Strangers. Partners. True love can come from anyone at any time. If you keep your eyes, minds and hearts open to it, you will find it eventually. Please remember that despite your resilience, you are still vulnerable. Protect yourself but don’t shut yourself off. The beauty of true love awaits you if you continue to believe it’s real.
Feel free to share if you know someone who needs to read this. 🖤
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