I understand now.
I’m freaked out because I’m not freaked out. I’ve never felt so calm acting this vulnerable with another person, and that in turn makes me second guess myself. I’ve been wrong before. What makes me so sure that I’m not wrong this time?
But I’m not.
I just know that I’m not.
And that’s freaky as hell.
I think that it required some time alone to really know and understand myself to find what I want in a partner. I also believe that it took the right person coming into my life at the right time. I can work on my inner makeup all I want, but if I don’t meet the guy I deserve, well, then I’m going to be alone.
On my end, my growth not only led me to understand what it is that I actually need from love, it helped me recognize it when I saw it. I used to believe that love was about butterflies and drama and tension and anxiety. If I acted like a total weirdo when I saw the guy I liked, it meant I was seriously into him. I equated discomfort with affection. It was partially learned behavior and partially insecurity.
To the other girls out there doing the same thing, I’m here to tell you that we have it all wrong. I’ve found what I was seeking, but it doesn’t translate the way I always thought it would. There’s no stress. There’s no uncertainty. I know exactly how he feels about me because he’s not afraid to say it. He knows exactly how I feel about him because he gives me the security to express myself.
I figured out how to know I’m with the right person, and it’s this simple. He allows me complete space and license to be myself. I exist truthfully with no judgment whatsoever from him. I don’t feel nervous, but rather safe, secure, appreciated and understood. It is the loveliest thing in the world to be cared for exactly as I am.
It’s not perfect, of course, but I’ll tell you what – it doesn’t need to be. The correct foundation provides a base from which to grow and evolve together. I’m not afraid that he’ll run away every time we disagree. I believe that we communicate well enough and care for each other enough to work through difficulties rather than allowing them to swallow us up.
I’m excited, but more importantly, I’m not afraid. He’s not going anywhere, and neither am I. Every day he shows me how much I matter to him without any sort of neediness or manipulation. We spend hours doing pretty much nothing together and still somehow have the best time possible. Nothing feels quite as good as seeing a huge grin spread across his face and knowing that I put it there.
I look back at the way I felt about the last man I cared for and I understand now that it was all wrong. Wanting him made me miserable, not happy. I never knew where I stood. He couldn’t express himself or process emotions in a way conducive to any kind of romantic relationship. I hoped against all hope that our dynamic might change one day.
It took someone treating me the way I always hoped I’d find to make me forget my past feelings. I always believed that I deserve someone who chooses me with no hesitation and no doubt, but I was secretly afraid I’d never find that person. My heart settled for yearning after someone who was on the fence about me, second-guessing that I’d ever do better. As soon as I met the man who gives me everything I ever dreamed of having, my affection towards the other dissipated, relieving me of an ache that relentlessly haunted me for months.
I feel positive emotions now that I haven’t felt in years. Calm. Comfort. Playfulness. Joy. Utter freedom to be who I am and express myself openly to a lover who see the light and the dark in me and accepts it all equally. The knowledge that even if it doesn’t work out in the end, I’m experiencing the gift of seeing and being seen. Some people never get that at all. It’s a blessing that I don’t take lightly.
I don’t need to perform to get his attention. I hardly even have to try, though I do just because I care. It’s enough for him that I simply exist. It doesn’t upset me that he’s the first man to appreciate me so purely, because if it wasn’t for my past I would never understand how lucky I am to have him now.
It’s out there, ladies. I was jaded and cynical too, but now I’m a believer in the possibility of joyful love. Don’t settle, don’t give up, and don’t waste your time on men who aren’t absolutely sure about you. You deserve more. You will find more. You are enough exactly as you are. Stand firmly in your truth, and hold out for big love.