I think you and I have a good thing going here.
I can’t say I know exactly what is going to happen or where it will end up when it’s all said and done, but I do know that I’m falling in love with you a little more every day. You tell me you feel the same way, and my god it’s a beautiful thing to experience. Yet I can tell that both of us are holding ourselves back, in some ways at least. I can’t speak for you, but for me I know one of the biggest factors has been that I’ve been burned by past loves that didn’t pan out, and the idea of completely falling in love again is terrifying in some ways- ways that make me say I should refrain from loving you in the ways I know how because the way things turned out back then.
But if I’m being truthful with myself, I know that being broken before is not a good enough excuse to not love you fully now.
There was a time in our lives that we loved people besides each other. We know we aren’t each other’s first loves; even if that isn’t always a pleasant thought to dwell on. But at one time we both had loves that were giant, great big loves that we honestly believed were forever. We spent years of our lives giving our entire selves to these people because we were in love, and we didn’t know the definition of honest heartbreak. All we knew were big romantic gestures, constant expressions of our affections, and we showed no restraint in it. Why would we? We didn’t know any better.
However, we both shattered under the weight of heartbreak. We witnessed these people we once loved fall out of love with us, and we watched as they walked out the door of the homes we built with them. And we didn’t know how to cope with it, not at first. We both had our days where we honestly wondered if we would survive, because this pain was completely indescribable.
But we did make it. That’s why we’re where we are now. It’s why I’m holding your hand instead of his. It’s why you’re saying my name instead of hers. It’s why we are building something new together instead of sitting alone reminiscing on what used to be.
Yet there is hesitancy in our love now. It’s a little more shy than we once remembered it. It doesn’t scream its adoration from rooftops, but whispers it and hopes the other person heard it. We don’t do grand romantic gestures because we’re scared to death. We don’t say sweet nothings because we did that once before, and we watched that love die. That love left a bitter taste in our mouth, and maybe it contaminated those memories with bitterness, too. So we say that we used to be these romantic people, we used to be capable of loving with reckless abandon, but we can’t do that anymore.
And if I’m being honest, it’s not fair. It’s not fair for us to say that because we once loved someone so much at one time, and we did all these things for them yet still watched the relationship fall apart, that we now are going to hold back parts of ourselves in the name of self-preservation. Because while it is important to protect yourself and your heart, I think it’s just as unhealthy to keep hiding it all away and not allowing it to do what it was meant to do. I don’t think it means to love every single person we date recklessly and without any caution- but if we do find a person we think it’s worth it for, we shouldn’t be afraid to make romantic memories with them just because that’s who “we used to be.”
I know, it’s far too easy to make memories with someone when you don’t think the end is even possible. It’s hard to do when you don’t know how it will end, if it does end; It’s hard to do things, to love, the way we once loved.
It’s so hard. But honestly, you are worth it.
You are worth every grand romantic gesture I could ever come up with. You’re worth every sweetly sincere declaration I could say. You are worth all of those things and then some. Not because you’re a promised forever, but because the way I love you still feels like it’s worthwhile even if forever isn’t what we end up with. I won’t regret loving you if you walk out of a home we built- and it’s not going to keep me from building one anyway. I’m tired of tiptoeing and only getting as far as drawing up blueprints of what could be simply because I built a home before and watched it burn to the ground. I’m tired of allowing the voice inside my head tell me I should hold back, because what if I get hurt again?
I survived heartbreak once. It was awful, soul-shattering. But I survived. I made it.
And then I met you.
So I have faith that, god forbid it does happen, that I will be okay. But what I’ll regret more than anything is if you end up walking away and I didn’t love you as much as I could while you were in my arms- if I allowed a first love gone wrong to keep me from loving you as fully and deeply as I’m capable of. I refuse to let part of our story be that I wanted to love someone in a big way that my heart was screaming to do, but I held back because of past love and past mistakes. I may not get to choose a lot of things in my life, or in the way our relationship plays out. But I do know that I’m choosing to love you in all the ways I know how, in the biggest ways I can.
And I won’t regret a single moment of it.