It just struck me—all the things I did wrong.
All the times I tried to make it different when it was really just the same.
The things I gave: my time, my efforts, my heart—they were all one-sided. They were all halves I was relentlessly trying to make whole.
It was like I was trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. I totally missed all the signs, not because I wasn’t smart enough to see them—I just chose to ignore them.
I convinced myself this type of chase was normal. Surely, it would show how loyal I was for sticking it out, right?
All the mixed signals, the hot and cold, the lack of following through—all of it was just games.
I didn’t even realize I was allowing myself to accept it as if that was all I was worth. You’d think I was intentionally setting myself up for failure because I just kept trying when everything, and everyone, was urging me to run.
But I wouldn’t because I painted this picture in my head of who I thought this person was, and I had been there many times before. It was all a fabrication.
I had nothing to measure it by. There were no comparisons of previous relationships because they didn’t exist. I only had hope, expectations, and my own vivid imagination to guide me.
So, I continued to obsess over every word, every insignificant morsel of action, and every crumb fed to me. Some of them, no doubt, I created in my own mind because I wanted so badly for this to be it.
Isn’t this how it was supposed to start? The resistance that turned into this profound love like you’d see in the movies or read about in books?
I really convinced myself that it was, and every time, it blew up in my face. I tried too hard. I fell way too fast. I let the empath in me feel things too deeply, and the hopeless romantic in me believe that things would come together in the end—finally.
But it never did.
So, I racked my brain trying to figure out why.
What did I do wrong?
What was I lacking?
Why wasn’t I good enough?
I listened to my mother tell me that it was nothing more than the wrong person and the right one was out there. I listened, but I never actually believed it.
All I knew was that it felt right for once like it was meant to work. It was the closest I ever came to reciprocation in that area of my life. Of all the far-reaching times before, this one felt like it was destiny, so I kept trying so damn hard.
But it still didn’t work, despite the love I was trying to give away and the hope I was hanging onto so fiercely.
After all, I had never been there before.
It felt like he was the one I had always been waiting for, but I realize now it was just a home that I was creating in my mind. It felt instantaneous and effortless, like we knew each other in another life, maybe even a few before this one. But those were just ideas I allowed myself to have without any real basis.
I cried so much that it felt like I was never going to get over it.
Was it really him I wanted? Or was it just my bruised ego that couldn’t fathom the fact that he chose someone else?
I started calling myself on my own sh*t: by opening up. I realized I was intentionally punishing myself through this cycle of trash. It was like I had a type, and that type was unavailable.
I realized this type was less about him and more about me and how I felt about myself. I didn’t think I deserved any better than what I was being given.
I believed I had to settle for those crumbs because the real thing was never going to show up. I allowed myself to chase men who showed no real signs of committing to me—and then I would wonder why I was always getting hurt.
At first, I felt like I really lost something. Then I began to see myself through the eyes of the people who love me—my friends and my family.
I decided I would let this last bout of heartbreak be the biggest lesson of my life.
I was going to love myself on an entirely different level this time—like no one ever has before, not even me.
I would make sure I was at peace with my life. I decided I wasn’t going to try to look for that kind of love anymore. If it showed, then great, but if it didn’t, I would still be okay.
And then something wonderful found me. Something that was absolutely nothing like I’ve ever experienced before.
I met a guy who showed me what it really feels like when someone is truly interested in me. He tried on all the levels no one ever had. He took the time to get to know me—all of me, the good parts and the bad.
He asked me when I’d like to see him again before he even left.
He showed me what it felt like to feel wanted.
He didn’t give me any crumbs and empty words. Instead, he showed up for me.
He made time for me.
He made me feel loved.
He showed me how much louder actions can be.
He gave me hope that what I’ve always wanted to feel with someone could actually be real.
He was making the effort, giving me his time and looking at me the way I always hoped a good man would.
He made sense of things for me.
I started thinking about that post I kept seeing plastered all over my Facebook feed I would scoff at. Do you know the one about meeting the person who would finally make you realize why it didn’t work out with anyone else?
He made me realize there was truth to it.
He set the bar higher than anyone else ever has before and went out of his way to show me that he thought I was worth that.
The best part is I believed him without skepticism or fear. That is such a rarity for an overthinker like me. Even more so, for someone who has a history of only being met in half-measures.
He’s helped me get an idea of what real love is supposed to feel like after a series of men who only pretended to care—with him, it feels real like it was meant to be.
Now, it feels like my walls are coming down a bit, and for the first time in my life, I am looking forward to what the future holds. I guess my mom was right after all. She usually is.
For any woman out there who is content with accepting crumbs and empty words, please set the bar higher for yourselves. You’re worth a lot more than settling for only being an option.
It may take some time but, I promise you, the right one is worth waiting for, and one day, it will all make sense.