Maybe I Have Grown Out Of Love

woman sitting on tree trunk with man holding on branch near sea under white clouds during daytime
Tiraya Adam / Unsplash

I sometimes wonder if I will ever experience love again. While I can honestly say that I am truly happy in my solitude, I cannot help but think back to when the butterflies danced in my stomach and my heart would beat just a little faster. I remember the times I stayed up late sending sickening, gag-worthy texts to the object of my affection. I remember wanting someone. But after the long, yet amazing, journey of finding myself, I have come to realize how lost most of us truly are and I’m just not interested in being a savior for the sad and lonely strays.

In working on myself—which is an ongoing process—I discovered empty chasms within myself that needed to be filled. I found insecurities and unprocessed hurts disguised as resentment and hate. And in discovering all of the places that needed healing in myself, I am better able to find them in others.

I used to use love as a cure-all. Love was the duct-tape that held my seemingly stable life together when in reality, I was a hot mess. I had no passions to speak of and life was overall unfulfilling, so I did what any other woman in her early twenties is taught to do…fill all of my voids with a man! And so I did. I dated to fill my loneliness, my boredom, and my insecurities; I dated to distract myself from the undeniable fact that I was not showing up for myself. Until I woke up one day, hungover with mascara smeared across my face, after one too many heartaches that I could never wrap my head around and decided that I was really tired of my own shit.

I was tired of asking another for permission to be happy. Relying on my partner to make me feel okay only to be devastated when they would leave was worn out. I knew that the only way to be truly happy, was to find a way to feel fulfilled on my own. I truly had no idea how dependent and unhappy I was until I sat down with myself and took inventory of all of my bullshit. And so I began filling each and every void that I neglected in the past and, for maybe the first time in my life, learned how to make myself happy. As a result, I found that I “fell in love” a hell of a lot less, which makes me question: Have I grown out of love?

One lesson that I learned along the way is to not fix broken people by giving them my heart or my body. I never want to be someone’s distraction to what needs fixing. I don’t want to “cure” someone’s loneliness, low self-esteem, sadness, or insecurity. I want to see that human work on themselves so that they can one day be present for themselves and another person.

When I was unaware of my own issues, I did not see the toxicity of others and allowed people in my heart and my bed without discriminating between healthy and unhealthy. Ignorance was bliss until it wasn’t. I always wondered why my relationships did not work. Why two halves never made a whole?

Because we both needed work.

I am nowhere close to being perfect. But I am sure as shit happy with who I am and the woman I am growing into. Because of that, I scrutinize who I give myself to. I can feel it in my fucking bones when a man desires me out of loneliness or just wants anyone in his bed to feel less alone. I can feel it when someone is unhappy and wants to use me in order to forget. I can feel when someone is riddled with insecurity and needs constant, incessant external validation in order to feel okay. Worse yet, I can feel when someone loses themselves trying to love me.

It is such a disservice to distract them from the work that needs to be done. I did not tear myself apart at the seams so that I could be another’s blanket to cling to. I am not a distraction or an ego boost or an antidepressant or a mommy. I am one hell of a woman and I worked my ass off to be able to say that. I expect the same.

And so I wonder if I’ll ever fall in love again. If there is someone out there that has done his work, someone that chooses love and does not use it to bandage his wounds. And maybe I won’t, and that will be okay too. All I know, is I won’t be sharing space with miserable people that intend to use my happiness for the both of us. TC mark

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