Over the past year and a half I have spent a long time pondering on the topic of love. Love and everything that comes with it have long dominated my mind and it is only now in my last few weeks remaining as a 24 year old that I feel I truly understand love.
Ever since the age of 13 or so I have dreamed of falling in love and settling down with my Mr Right. In my youth I spent a long time in unrequited love with various people or desperately trying to fall for guys that I knew liked me, but alas I just couldn’t. I grew up seeing my friends get into relationships (albeit most of those relationships only lasted a few months) and I strived to experience everything that they felt. I knew from an early teenage age that when I liked guys I would fall for them hard and it was very difficult for me to move on. This only made everything more difficult for me and I began to wonder if I would ever fall in love.
Then at the age of 17 I did indeed fall in love. The particular guy in question had fancied me for a number of months and had even given up talking to me for lent in order to help himself get over me. His lent attempt failed drastically when he was forced to talk to me due to being stood outside of my front door with his friends. I had known him for a few months by this point and it is fair to say that I didn’t have a high opinion of him, he was arrogant, slightly narcissistic and would make comments that often angered a lot of people. However, over the few months after this lent attempt I began to talk to him more and more and slowly began to see a different side to him. I enjoyed talking to him and longed to spend time with him.
Even though I enjoyed my time with him I still was very unsure about where things were heading and I was afraid to make any commitments; I had spent so long wanting a relationship but when the opportunity was right in front of me I began to retreat. As mentioned in a previous post he eventually gave me an ultimatum, we either have it all and start a relationship or we have nothing and are no longer friends. I was shocked at this decision but I knew I had to have him in my life so agreed to start a relationship. We spent a month where we were exclusive but not Facebook official (nothing is official until it is Facebook official!). I spent a lot of time seeing ‘friends’ and he began to play a lot of ‘football’. Our friends knew about our relationship but it took a whole month of walks and laying in the summer sunshine for us to be officially a couple.
Falling in love was everything I had imagined it would be. I was happier than I had been in years and I found it surprisingly easy to be myself around him. We made each other laugh and thoroughly enjoyed each others company. The falling in love or ‘honeymoon’ stage as it is often called was fantastic and it quickly progressed from falling in love to being in love. We knew everything about each other and I felt comfortable with him when I was dressed up or dressed down. I was contented and blissfully growing up unaware that we were slowly growing apart.
I spent so much of my youth dreaming of falling and being in love I didn’t even consider a love not lasting forever. I was so desperate to be loved that I naively assumed that heartbreak didn’t exist.
Oh how wrong I was.
Without realising it we had been slowing falling out of love. We would argue about when we saw each other and the urgency to see one another that we once had disappeared and became dominated by “I will be about a hour late” text messages. We had gotten too comfortable with each other and hadn’t really considered having a life together. We sometimes spoke about marriage and children but there were no concrete plans formed. This often frustrated me as we had been together for 6 and a half years and led to some foolish choices on my part right before the end of our relationship.
For a few months after we broke up I was relatively fine. I had so much on my plate already that I didn’t really have the time to consider what had happened and we were still in regular contact which I enjoyed. It wasn’t until nearly a full year after we first split up and after having been not so secretly seeing each other on a weekly basis until last Christmas, that the gravity of letting him go hit me. He had found himself someone new and therefore we stopped contact with each other.
This was when I realised that yes falling in love and being in love is a beautiful, magnificent time, but there is always the risk that heartbreak will occur and you must be strong to handle this.
Over the past few months I have struggled greatly at times. I had managed to get to the age of 24 without experiencing heartbreak. I had never loved anyone else and at first I worried that I wouldn’t be able to love anyone else.
However, 5 months into his new relationship and nearly 5 months of no contact with him has done me wonders. I am not in love with anyone else yet and to be honest I’m not sure I want to be yet. I still have so much on my plate that the energy required to make a new relationship work is simply not there. And you know what? I am 100% happy with that. Heartbreak hurt so much but in the end I am better because of it. In hindsight while we were definitely in love it maybe wasn’t true love. There was a lot of things wrong with our relationship and I hope that his new relationship is giving him the happiness he does deserve.
Overall, I know in time I will have my Mr Right but I am not longer fixated on falling in love again unlike my younger self. I know what love feels like and what heartbreak feels like and when love does come a knocking on my door again I know I am prepared for the road ahead, where ever it may lead.
“To love and win is the best thing. To love and lose, is the next best.”