You say you love me, but you want to change me. You hate that I’m so stubborn, that I want my space, that when it comes down to it, I’ll always be a little too selfish, putting myself and my own heart first.
You say you love me, but you don’t. You don’t love that I’m standing firm on my two feet, that I’ve never felt the need to lean on anyone else, that even when I let you in so willingly, so freely, I still won’t make you my savior.
Because I don’t need any saving.
You say you love me, but I can’t believe you. All I see is your frustration at my desire to be alone for the night, your arms crossed over your chest because I need some time for just myself. And no, I don’t need your help. I can do it on my own.
You say you love me, but I know better. I know that any man who doesn’t see my confidence as strength, my passionate heart as powerful is a fool, threatened by who I am instead of ready to stand by my side, building me up as we rise together.
You say you love me, but you don’t know the first thing about loving a strong woman.
Listen—these legs, this beating heart, this smile that splits across my face at the silliest of things—they are all parts of me, parts of who I’ve been, parts of where I’ve gone, parts of who I’ve become over years of change and challenge and loss and growth and laughter and love. Parts of who I am right now.
You see this girl in front of you? I’m proud of her.
I’m proud of the way she stands tall in the face of fear. I’m proud of how she loves and keeps on loving. I’m proud of how she trusts people, of how she speaks with honesty and care, of how she isn’t afraid to cry.
I’m proud of how she carries herself. I’m proud of the decisions she makes. I’m proud that she’s so capable, so confident, so comfortable in her own skin.
You see this woman? She is powerful.
When she makes a decision, she stays firm. When she feels threatened, she doesn’t easily back down. When she’s met with something difficult, she fights. And she keeps on fighting because that’s how she has learned to survive—to push through every obstacle. To not let anything get in the way of her dreams.
This woman is strong, so very strong. She is both level-headed and hard-headed. She is determined and passionate. She is quick on her feet and so very proud to do things by herself.
She overthinks. She is a fixer. She has no problem putting her own worries aside to help someone heal. And she has no qualms telling you when you’re wrong, and arguing with you when she’s right.
This woman has always loved so deeply, but never needed anyone to complete her. She has always felt whole on her own.
This woman is a good woman, just as she is. And she’s not changing herself one bit for you.
She isn’t perfect. In fact, she’s so far from it. She doesn’t always do the right things and sometimes she distances herself from the people she loves. When it comes to loving her, she’ll love you so hard, but she’ll always push back.
See, this woman is different. She is proud of where she’s gone and who she’s become. She is proud of how she acts and the selfless way she cares for others. She likes the pieces of herself that are bold and independent, that don’t let her fully lean on anyone other than herself.
And you can’t ask her to change.
You can’t tell her you love her, but want to take away all the pieces that are too loud, making her soft enough to mold under your fingertips.
You can’t tell her you love her, but ask her to stop being so much. So much of who she is, and always has been.
You can’t tell her you love her, but want her to become something new. Because she can’t. And she won’t. She’s just enough for the man that can handle her. And maybe that man just isn’t you.