All I ever really wanted was for my partner to hold space for me, to be able to meet my deepest emotional needs and sensitivities.
To hold me in his arms on the occasions I really needed him. To let me cry and remind me that I was safe, not with his words, but with the strength of his presence.
To listen to me and pay attention to the smaller details. To really notice me from time to time.
He used to come home and find me crying whilst doing something mundane like folding clothes or making dinner. He was terrified of me when I was in this state, because he had no idea how to handle it.
At the time I thought I was losing my mind, but with the space and perspective I’ve been able to give myself since ending the relationship, I realised I was simply a mirror for what was going on between us.
I was reflecting back to him the pain we were both in. The pain I had taken it upon myself to carry wasn’t just mine, it was also his.
So what do we do when we love and care for someone deeply, when we’ve begun to build a life with our best friend, but we know that ultimately, a long-term commitment is never going to work?
We must find the courage to walk away.
And that’s what I had to do, because my partner was never going to love me the way I knew I deserved to be loved, or the way I really craved.
He was never going to be able to understand my mind or be willing to go into the depths of my heart with me, which felt like a scary place, even for me at times.
Because he was in too much pain. He was emotionally numb.
And at some point, somewhere along the line, long before me and before all the other women, he had shut down, closed the door and put a capped limit on the amount of love he was ever going to be able to give out in order for him to feel safe.
All I knew was that I needed to open up, expand, spread my wings and evolve—and I needed someone to give me the space to do that.
There’s nothing worse for any of us, I believe, than feeling trapped in a hell of our own making. Living in pain, yet feeling as if we need to stay and try to make something work.
No amount of presents or dinners or expensive trips can make up for the fact that the root cause of so many relationship problems is never addressed.
And so we must ask ourselves the questions that seem the most terrifying, but are absolutely essential—for us to be able to step into the most empowered version of ourselves.
These are the questions I asked myself:
“Is he ever going to be able to love himself enough to love me the way I know I deserve to be loved?”
“Is he ever going to do the necessary work on himself?”
“Have I ever really done the work I need to do on myself?”
“Can this person really meet my emotional needs without going into fear, and fully accept me just as I am, without dismissing me in any way?”
“Is this person conscious?”
“Is this a partnership and a co-creation of a life together, or has the relationship become one-sided?”
“Are we truly a spiritual and energetic match for one another?”
If we’re courageous enough to ask ourselves these questions, we must also be ready to face the truth of the answers and be equally as courageous to take the appropriate action on them.
Life is short.
This is our story, not anyone else’s. And the truth, although it may sting, is that romantic love is all an illusion.
We’re put here in this existence to connect authentically. We’re hard-wired for a deeper, more spiritual connection with one another, simply because we are all already energetically connected.
And so, it’s about being honest with ourselves about what’s really important to us. It’s also about finally shining a light on what’s no longer working for us and being willing to let that fall away.
Are we staying with someone just because we’re scared of being alone?
Are we lying to ourselves and telling ourselves we need to try harder to make things work?
Or are we ready to be brave, stand in our truth and start living by what really matters to us?