“I finally understood what true love meant…love meant that you care for another person’s happiness more than your own, no matter how painful the choices you face might be.” ~ Nicholas Sparks
Have you ever loved someone so much that you would do anything to see them happy?
Even knowing that, to ensure their happiness you would have to hurt like hell?
And I was right—it did hurt. It still hurts. But seeing him now reassures me that I made the right decision by sacrificing my selfish heart for his.
He was the good guy. Every mother’s dream. A true gentleman. Smart, funny and ambitious. Something between us clicked right away. Not in a romantic sense—we were just two souls who understood one another. Two people who loved all the same things: adventuring, heart to hearts, food, and long drives with no real destination. Partners in crime who never ran out of things to talk about. Two kindred spirits who never tired of the other’s presence.
After a few years and many memories together, it happened. One of us caught feelings. When guys and girls are best friends, I suppose it is bound to happen. Biology took over and shattered the perfect little friendship bubble that we had so happily put ourselves into. I found myself comfortable and in love with our relationship for what it was—best friends. He wanted more, and no matter how desperately I wanted to give that to him, I couldn’t.
I tried. I wanted to. But he deserved a woman who could give him better. And I loved him enough to know that woman would not be me.
I couldn’t give him those parts of me. He knew me. He knew everything about me and loved me anyway. He held me when I cried, helped me through the toughest times of my life. He saw me at my worst and loved me just as much as when I was at my best. I knew he would give me the perfect life. Be a faithful partner. An amazing father. A sweet, caring and attentive husband. But the spark was never there for me—no matter how badly and selfishly I wanted it to be, how forcefully I tried to make it appear.
With a heart filled with love and respect, I allowed this amazing man to not settle for me.
A woman who could not give him her all.
So, I let him go. Losing my best friend and letting the perfect life we could have built together leave with him.
A man like that deserves a woman who can love him with everything that she has. A woman who doesn’t just feel a “spark,” but is electrocuted by it. A woman who has no question in her mind of the feelings that she has for him. A woman who is sure, who knows how damn lucky she is to have a man like that.
A woman who can appreciate all the amazing things about this man and not be so blind of him for years.
Someone who loves him from the start.
I loved him the best way that I knew how—and that was by letting him go.
By breaking his heart and breaking my own to let him be free to find the woman who could passionately see and love all of the the things that I was so blind to for so long.
And it hurt like hell.
It shattered a beautiful friendship.
It shattered his beautiful heart whilst simultaneously shattering my own.
There were so many broken pieces left from our friendship, but now all the broken pieces have found their way back to their homes.
As I see him today loving a woman who loves him back—I know I made the right decision.
I felt like a terrible friend and awful woman for so long to break a beautiful man like that. But now I look back and realize that’s just it—that’s love. And I hope that someone loves me like that someday—someone who knows that there may be more for me, that maybe I could do better or be happier with someone else.
Someone who knows that they can’t love me with all of their being and with the intensity that I deserve.
Romantic love doesn’t always end with Prince Charming and Cinderella riding off together—but this doesn’t make it any less meaningful.
He deserves a woman that can look at him everyday like it is the first time she is seeing him.
Sadly, this time, it couldn’t be me.
And that is when I learned what true love was.
True love is placing another’s happiness before your own. It’s seeing the potential in someone else and realizing that maybe you won’t be the one to help them reach it. Sometimes love sucks, and sometimes it doesn’t end the way fairy tales tell us it should.
The good girl doesn’t always end up with the good guy—at least, not right away. And that is okay.
Love is selfless and love is caring. Love is gentle.
It is anything but self-serving.
And that’s how I know what to look for in love.
Someone who wants to see me reach my highest and be my best.
Author: Emily Cutshaw
Image: thatsbreathtaking at Flickr
Editor: Renée Picard