I could feel stupid for loving you. I could feel like I was too hopeful and made the mistake so many of us make: I expected you to change. I expected you to grow up and I thought that being patient was the right thing to do. I was willing to wait for you to love me way I needed to be love. I was willing to wait for the relationship to feel equal.
Instead, I am thankful for the opportunity to appreciate how different a healthy relationship is. When I was with you, I forgot that love can feel easy. I forgot that love can be fun. I don’t know if I would have grasped the depth of the kind of happiness I’m capable of when given the chance to love without limits.
You made me feel like I was a hard person to love. You made me feel like I was asking for too much, like loving me was too much work and not enough reward.
Now I know that this was a farce, an excuse to keep tapping the brakes in an attempt for you to protect yourself. You thought if you didn’t try you couldn’t fail. I am thankful for the awareness you have given me that love is always worth the effort. Every time I think about our wasted potential I remember that I will never be stingy with my love. I appreciate that I am the kind of person who is not afraid, that I enjoy making people feel loved. I’ve learned what insecurity can do to a person, and that it’s not something I’m interested in having in a relationship. I’ve learned I’m not interested in games.
I’m dating again and I feel hopeful again. I feel relieved when I think about what loving someone else could be like, without all the excess weight of the pressure of doing something wrong. It feels like the way summer can only really be appreciated by someone who has lived through winter.