“You didn’t love her. You just didn’t want to be alone. Or maybe she was just good for your ego. Or maybe she made you feel better about your miserable life, but you didn’t love her. Because you don’t destroy the people you love.” ~ Grey’s Anatomy
He never loved me.
As I reflect on a past relationship that I tirelessly poured my heart and soul into, I am finally able to accept this.
My failed relationship made me fear love. It demolished all of my innocent dreams and preconceived notions of what I thought love was supposed to be. It made me think that love and hurt came as a packaged deal, as if it were impossible to have one without the other.
I feared that all love would feel like settling, that all love would make me question myself. I brainwashed myself into believing all lovers would be the same, wanting me to change certain aspects of myself.
“It’s called compromise,” I would tell my broken and burdened soul. I thought all love would make me feel like I wasn’t good enough—but only because I needed to be better. That all love would require me forever giving him the benefit of the doubt, and perpetually compromising myself.
Now that I have exited the relationship and taken time to heal my internal wounds, I am finally able to reflect on that time clearly and honestly, rather than looking back with a view that is biased, heartbroken, angry, or desperate to reconcile.
I can honestly say that he never loved me—and I am positive about this.
He thought he loved me with all of his heart.
But thoughts are merely thoughts unless they are put into action.
Love without action means nothing.
Saying “I love you” but not doing it means that the phrase is just a jumble of fairly meaningless words. Hearing “I love you” from a man that does not truly love you will become three small words strung together that no longer make you feel any type of way. You will become neutral and immune to the words that are supposed to mean the most to a person.
They will not excite your soul, because our souls can sense what our brains can not—that the love is not true.
Love without action is random words mashed together to form a pointless statement that people think they are supposed to say—which makes it hold no meaning. It’s a statement that can be used as a hall pass, as a cover up for mistakes and an excuse for inaction.
Love doesn’t try to change you.
Thankfully, I have learned that the right lover will love and accept me exactly as I am. This is not to say that I won’t drive him crazy from time to time—I probably will. But the right lover will accept and understand my unconventional ways.
He will not resent me for being me.
Love is finding someone that adores and admires every quirk about us.
Someone that can appreciate your madness. Someone that allows us to dance, sing, and be weird.
A true lover will accept our thoughts and opinions, even when they differ. They will admire our strength in having our own views and not expect us to alter our beautifully creative and eccentric brains to match theirs—they will just love us.
We won’t feel the weight of the world on our shoulders as pressure to “be” perfect, because in your lover’s eyes, we are already perfect.
Love doesn’t make you feel inadequate.
True love is secure. Your partner won’t try make you feel small in order to make himself feel bigger and better. They will admire your talents and abilities and build them up and encourage you to pursue your dreams.
Your partner will be your biggest fan.
He will never make you feel as if you are nothing more than ordinary.
A true love doesn’t compare your beauty to the pixelated, photoshopped images of the internet because he will crave the absolute realness that you have to offer- he will love the things you can give to him that the women of the internet cannot.
He won’t degrade your imperfections—because he will adore every imperfection that you are adorned with. He will make you feel so beautiful and so secure in yourself because he will be secure in you- secure enough to have the confidence to build you up, which you so rightly deserve. He will know that you could have other men if you chose, but instead of spending his time trying to convince you that you that no other man will want you or put up with you—he will spend his time proving to you why you chose him.
Love doesn’t make you feel alone.
Love is a partnership. Going into my long-term relationship, I believed that my life was going to be based on this partnership, that my soul would never be lonely, yet I had never felt so alone in my life.
The right person will not make you feel alone. He will not walk out on you when you are breaking. He won’t leave you to pick up the pieces all alone. He won’t shatter your heart into a million tiny bits and then resent you for having a pieced-together heart from the damage that he has caused.
True love will assume your heart as their responsibility.
Love cares for your heart and will accompany you mentally, spiritually, and physically.
Love doesn’t hurt.
Love is a word that we equate with the Disney Princesses riding off in the horse drawn carriage with their prince.
Love is supposed to be happy. It’s supposed to be beautiful. It is supposed to be dancing in the kitchen. Getting lost in conversation and laughing until your stomach hurts.
I am not delusional about love, and I know it will not be without its share of challenges and bad days.
I also know that nothing worth having comes without its share of work. Love will take work—but it won’t make us miserable. It won’t drain our energy and love of life. It won’t make us hate life. It won’t make us resentful and bitter.
Real, true love will fuel the fire behind everything you do.
True love will be your motivation, fuelling passions and healing old wounds. True love will do a lot of things to your heart—but it won’t murder it.
I know now that it’s not my fault that he didn’t love me—maybe he wasn’t capable. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t in the stars for us to stay together. But today, I do know that I am worthy of love—real, true, crazy love that will make me feel on top of the world.
Every woman is worthy of feeling beautiful, intelligent and extraordinary, and any partner that claims to love her but doesn’t encourage these feelings is sorely mistaken.
Every person is worthy of real love.
“Love is a verb. It’s an action requiring your involvement and your active participation. You cannot expect that your relationship will continue to provide love while you’re not putting in any effort. Love has to be earned and must be continually fought for.” ~ Stephen Covey
Author: Emily Cutshaw
Editor: Renée Picard