Some people are born romantics and they stay that way.
They live their lives in this blissfully ignorant state, always getting up when they get knocked down, because they know true love awaits. I grew up watching Disney movies and spent my childhood looking forward to the day my Prince arrived.
I was so excited to find my prince that I fell hard when I was very young. My first serious boyfriend swept me off of my feet and I was convinced that we would live happily ever after. After several years of suffering and going through heart break; we in fact, did not end up living happily ever after.
Shocker, right? I spent a couple of years trying to figure my life out until I met the next guy that I thought would be my prince charming, and he wasn’t. Every time I fell without being caught (or thought I was falling only to stop abruptly) it felt harder and harder to get back up. After another failed relationship filled with mental and physical abuse, I decided I would give up forever. I was only in my early twenties but I was absolutely sure my damaged heart could not take anymore.
After a few years of enjoying the single life by ripping my heart out and shutting it down, I decided that I wanted a relationship. I wanted a relationship for partnership but I still was not ready to feel passion for anyone. I felt as though passion meant drama, and that was something I definitely couldn’t handle. So I settled down with a nice quite boy that I was sure would never bring me heartache.
I began feeling bored and lonely, more lonely than I had ever felt. I was with someone I had nothing in common with and I didn’t feel passionate about them in any way. I was too young to feel so old. Then, my world came crashing down when I heard the news that my first love had passed away.
Although we had not been together in years, I completely shut down. I felt heartbroken. All of the feelings I had for him came back to me in a mental memory reel and I realized I had no feelings for the man I was with. So I packed my bags and left. I moved home and turned quite cynical towards the idea of love. Love songs disgusted me and romantic films made me very uncomfortable. The thought of reading a Nicholas Sparks novel made my skin crawl.
If I went on a date I would only continuing associating with someone if I did not feel like they would really like me, because the thought of someone adoring me felt suffocating. I transformed into the Grinch that stole love. My best friend didn’t even think I would be happy about her engagement (jokes on her because I cried happy tears!) I had this perfect plan of keeping myself at a distance from anyone that crossed my path. I was like a porcupine and anytime someone got a little too close my quills would leap to attention.
I didn’t want deep personal relationships with anyone because I couldn’t stand the thought of being hurt again.
I was even distant from my friends and family. My heart was covered with tinder wounds that could puncture easily. I made a pact with a friend on New Years Eve that we would both stay single; my anniversary with my boyfriend is January 2nd. While I was floating around in my ignorant bubble thinking that I would never fall in love again, my boyfriend popped it.
He showed me love and affection in a way that did not feel at all smothering. It wasn’t immature or obsessive, it was polite and thoughtful. He kissed me in public against my own free will and held my hand every where we went as if he were proud to do so. I felt a sense of comfort that I never felt before, and I dropped my protective shield.
I started to feel happy listening to love songs, or watching romantic movies. Romance didn’t make my stomach turn. John Legend didn’t make me watch to shoot at my stereo. I felt an innocence comparable to when I was a child watching The Little Mermaid. I wanted to write his name with hearts around it all over my trapper keeper. I proudly post photos of us on social media and I have even posted a couple of sappy quotes.
I have been teased about it numerous times by people that never thought they would see me this way. People have this misconception that “passion is overrated” and I just want you to know that is not true. Everyone’s relationship is different but you don’t have to compromise on being absolutely crazy about someone just because you may think it’s dangerous.
You also don’t have to give up on love because you feel like it doesn’t exist anymore. At any moment anything can happen; so don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from believing that someday you will have to give up being a mermaid so you can walk on the sand with Prince Eric. Okay, that probably won’t happen, but you get the point…
I came to a realization that it isn’t love that gave me all of the heartache in my past, it was who I chose to love. It was all of the mismatches I had been a part of. It was the forced relationships and lowered standards that I had a problem with.
It was the guys that cheated, that weren’t thoughtful, that put me down, and took advantage of me that filled me with resentment. What I was learning is that none of those things are what love is about. Once you accept that, you can accept love.