March 12, 2024

Why I’m Leaving the Door Open to Love.

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Over the course of my lifetime, and the 25 years I’ve spent in romantic relationships, I’ve had six serious relationships longer than two or three years.

While some of these relationships fizzled, ended abruptly, ended disastrously, or ended in graceful parting, I didn’t fully open up to the idea of reconnection until the last few years.

Call me a hopeless romantic, but I’m sure many of us have seen the film “The Notebook.” I love that movie and how it’s based on a true story of the loving, 60-year relationship of Nicholas Sparks’ wife’s grandparents. In the movie, Noah lives his life and builds his dreams while always keeping a door open to Allie’s return.

While I do believe there are good reasons to close the door on disastrous relationships and toxic partners, there are also beautiful opportunities for learning and growth by leaving a door open to partners I may have shared an amazing journey with.

I’m finding myself on a new spiritual journey, a massive transformation, and an evolving relationship with my partner. We test each other in countless ways, as she and I share wisdom constantly and openly together. I am grateful for the lessons and our unconditional love.

She has taught me more about presence than anything else on earth—being in the present moment and leaving the door open to the future, for we know not what it holds.

I had a hard time seeing things this way as my world has been full of control and predictability. Fear drives me to make sure that the ride is smooth, when in reality, fear inhibits the distance I can travel on this journey and also limits emotional openness to enjoy and experience the sweetness and bitterness that life has to offer. It’s all about the journey—not the destination. 

I have looked at the world through a narrow scope of right and wrong, good and bad, and black and white. My partner has repeated to me that the world isn’t black and white, and I have really come to accept that. For I know deep inside that the reason we find ourselves in challenges is to overcome them.

Now, there is challenging love and toxic love. Toxic love is there for us to recognize the dangers, grow strong, and develop healthy protections against it. But challenging love is there for us to face and work through as each issue arises. True love will challenge me to grow over the course of my lifetime, like Noah and Allie, or my own grandparents.

I had a discussion with my grandfather the other day. He’s going to be 90 this year, and he said that grandma and he still argue and have little challenges here and there. They’ve been married 65 years and still love each other immensely, and yet, he said the challenge and the growth never stop.

With a strong partnership filled with honesty and unconditional love, I can always leave the door open for infinite possibilities. Maybe they are my soulmate, maybe they are my best friend, maybe they are a good friend I can call on later in life, and maybe they are all of the above.

I won’t limit myself to a closed life—I’ll leave the door open to love.


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