A Letter To The Love I Have Yet To Meet

woman standing at sunset in chilly air
Alex Vans-Colina

You don’t know me yet, but sooner or later our paths will cross at a movie theater, or a cafe, or a bookstore. Maybe even an off-broadway play. We’ll click immediately upon first meeting. Or we won’t. I’ve never actually been a big believer in love at first sight.

It may actually end up being weeks or months after our first encounter that we end up exploring something more, probably because of my hesitation. Life has taught me to approach situations with caution. I apologize in advance for being so guarded.

Point is, events in both of our lives, even those seemingly unrelated, are moving us closer and closer towards the path of meeting, getting to know each other, falling in love, and eventually merging our lives together

There are a few things I’d like to say to you ahead of time.

I’m Not Easy To Love

When you tell me you love me, I may not believe it at first. I’ve been “loved” my entire life by family members, friends, and significant others, yet there are few whose declarations were more than just hot air. You will have to prove your love to me with your actions. Even then, it may take some time.

I don’t always say what I mean. It’s not to retain a level of mystery, but out of the sheer will to get through life relatively unscathed. A lifetime of being shot down every time I opened my mouth has conditioned me to cluth my feelings tightly to my chest to keep them safe from being picked apart and devalued. You will sometimes feel just exhausted as I do on a daily basis, trying to navigate through the maze. I’m sorry.

I enjoy my alone time. There will be days I prefer to be by myself. There will be times that communicating with you will feel like a chore to me in the beginning. Give me time, I’ll warm up to you.

You Won’t Be My First Love

A teen “love” affair born out of deceit and mistrust, a college romance I was so unprepared for, my mind did backflips, looking for ways for me to mess things up and another situation involving a guy whose name I’ve chosen to forget, but whose cruel words have been etched into my psyche, I’ve loved before — deeply, beautifully, meaningfully, tragically.

Each encounter has taught me some different things about life, but the most important lesson I’ve learned is that in order for romantic love to thrive, the love of self has to be present.

I spent my teens and early 20s chasing a version of love that didn’t want to be found, trying to seek my affirmations, other people, all the while denying myself of the most important kind of love of all.

There were other factors present, yes. I ignored warning signs and glaring personality traits, but even if the people I encountered had been without fault, our relationships wouldn’t have lasted because I didn’t love or value myself.

Thankfully, I now know that If I can’t realize and appreciate the things that made me unique and valuable, then no one else will be able to. I can’t demand from others what I couldn’t locate within myself — the person who knows me best.

I’m Working On Myself

Achieving perfection is a reality far out of my reach. I will never be perfect, but hopefully, by the time we meet I’ll have overcome many of my shortcomings, and will be working on a new batch that crop up as I grow and evolve.

To prepare, I’m now spending my time working on becoming a person who won’t feel the need to downplay my favorite parts of myself because someone else said they didn’t like them. I’m making strides towards looking in the mirror and naming things I love about myself every single day so that I’ll be able to accept your compliments.

I’m spending time shedding the emotional baggage that will prevent me from returning the love that I so deeply desire.

I’m working on my mouth. Don’t let the insecurities fool you — my tongue can turn into a weapon when provoked. I’m trying to learn to not lash out when you hurt me, whether intentionally or otherwise.

I’m also trying to learn to live in the moment so that once we grow old, I can look back on our young years with a tender fondness, devoid of any memories of anxiety or fear.

I Will Love You With My Whole Heart

I have a lifetime of love built up for you, the love I’ve been aching to give someone who was deserving; someone who will want to return the love to me with the same ferocity.

I will love you through the bad days. I will love you at your peak, and your troughs. I will love more than anyone has ever loved you before. When I love you, I will love you with all of me — with my whole heart, until the very end.

I don’t know how our love story will play out, and honestly, I don’t care about the details. Wherever we start, wherever we end up, whatever problems arise, whatever hurdles find themselves blocking our path, I know that we’ll get through them, together.

Love,

The Love You’ve Yet To Meet TC mark

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