Why Do We Keep Apologizing For The Way We Love?

Allef Vinicius
Allef Vinicius

We’re too much or too little. We’re all in or not in enough. We’re letting people see far beyond our surface or we’re extremely guarded. We’re scared or we’re fearless. But no matter where we rest on any of those spectrums—we’re wrong.

When we’re hesitant, we’re asked to act more boldly. When we’re too aggressive, we’re chided and told to hang back and let someone else make the first move.

We’re supposed to be selective in finding our forever person, yet not demand perfection because no one’s perfect. We’re encouraged to search for the one whose flaws fit ours like puzzle pieces, but then cautioned that pursuing love isn’t the answer, and we’re supposed to let real love find us.

I’m confused.

Because this doesn’t make sense. Because we make the rules and then change them, over and over again. I’m confused because I know I’ve written about each of these things, and felt these feelings heavy and bright in my chest. It’s like watching the sunrise—cold and sharp in your lungs but breathtakingly beautiful as you see colors dance across the sky—love is pain and healing and heartbreak all at once.

And honestly, there really isn’t a ‘right’ way to feel, to love, to be.

I know I’ve told myself to be loud sometimes: to love fearlessly and share how I feel without questioning. But then I know I’ve wanted to be soft, too. To take my time with love and let someone in slowly and patiently. And then I’ve been excited to pursue feelings some days, but on others, content to wait for love to find me.

I don’t have the answers; all I know is that with every step I’ve taken, I’ve apologized for who I’ve been and what I’ve done. I’ve said sorry for my big heart, my determined voice. I’ve said sorry for my softness and the way I let people walk all over me. I’ve said sorry for how I’ve cared for people I’ve lost, or regretted how I didn’t let someone good into my heart when I had the chance.

I’ve spent so much time feeling bad about how I’ve chosen to battle this war of love—but I shouldn’t have to. We shouldn’t have to.

We shouldn’t have to spend our lives questioning, wondering, regretting, apologizing for the way we love and let others in.

We shouldn’t have to feel that we’re not doing things ‘right’ or that the way our hearts and heads are wired is ‘wrong.’ We shouldn’t be told that having a big heart is a bad thing, or that being cold after a breakup is a poor way to handle things. We shouldn’t feel forced to care for someone a certain way, or obligated to act with kindness when our hearts just aren’t in that place yet.

There isn’t a right or wrong way to love.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to love.

Sure, there’s encouragement from people who love like us, telling us to be fearless in our ways. And sure, there’s the advice from those who care, encouraging us to be cautious as we move forward. All of those things are wonderful to listen to, to take in, to learn from.

But ultimately, how we want to love is our choice. How we feel is our genetic makeup. How we care is the way our hearts were constructed. And who we are is nothing to apologize for.

So you want to be tender and hesitant in love? Go for it. You want to be abstinent and selective? By all means. You want to break stigmas around sex? Fine. You want to be bold and loud and fearless in the way you care? Yes. You want to let love come to you? Great. You want to pursue the person you have feelings for? Alright. You want to be bitter with an ex for a while? Your call. You want to forgive and let go of your broken heart? Awesome.

Whatever you decide, however you choose to handle your life and your decisions, the way you want to take care of your heart—that’s you. And that’s wonderful.

Stop apologizing for who you are, for how your heart beats, for the way you care too much or not at all or exist somewhere in the middle. There’s no right or wrong in this thing; it’s how you want to play, to fight, to connect with others, to be happy and survive in all this craziness.

So stop questioning, and start loving. TC mark

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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