In searching for Mr. Right, I found the best person to be in love with.
I was on my way to work one Monday morning when suddenly, I realized how different things seemed. I couldn’t help but smile from the inside. It felt really good. Two years have gone by and a lot has changed, including me.
It was September, 2014 when I decided to live and work abroad. It was a decision made to get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to try and experience something new and to lead my life in a totally different direction. I wished to finally pursue a career in writing. I wanted to make things happen.
So I did.
Admittedly, I was hoping to find Mr. Right on that side of the world too. At the time, I seemed to have no luck in dating back home. I’d met and dated guys and they were okay, but I just didn’t feel anything. There always seemed to be something missing.
I felt that I was looking for the “right” man in the wrong place.
You can imagine how migrating to another country made me more hopeful than ever before. I was excited and nervous about what lie ahead. I had it all laid out in my mind: I’ll have the career I’ve always wanted and the man I’ve always dreamed of. I remember looking outside the window moments before we landed in Dubai.
“Here we go.” I told myself.
All doubts and fear vanished, and hope set in.
Life started to unfold. Little by little, things were finally happening. I was able to adjust to my new life. I met new friends. I was able to secure a job where I was writing for a living. What could go wrong? My life looked nice from the outside.
I was actively dating and meeting lot of people. Friends introduced me to their friends—one handsome guy after another. I was living the single life and I was enjoying it.
Yet I still felt incomplete.
Mr. Right was nowhere to be found.
There was a time I thought I finally found him.
I met a hot Brazilian lawyer a week before my birthday that year. He was tall, dark and handsome, smart and opinionated. I loved his eyes—they were unbelievably beautiful.
We had a special connection the very first time we met. He made me feel again. Everything seemed so right whenever we were together. At the time, my heart felt so alive—I hadn’t been that happy for a while. It seemed too good to be true. Meeting him finally made me feel complete.
And then he left. I was crushed.
I was more than heart broken. My whole world came crashing down. What had happened? He was supposed to be Mr. Right.
I didn’t know what to do with the pain. It made me a feel a bit crazy and lost. I was as helpless as someone caught in the middle of a ruthless storm—pouring rain and blowing wind. I wasn’t prepared. I was cloud nine happy, until things started to drift away, to slip out of my grip, and it overwhelmed me and hit me hard in the face. I was scared to lose him. How could something so good end just like that?
He was supposed to be the missing piece in the puzzle of my life. Instead, he became the piece that messed up the whole puzzle and left me totally dumbfounded.
That’s when it hit me.
Since when had I become this girl?
I used to be optimistic, excited about life and independent. Since when did my happiness depend on someone else? Since when did I allow a man define who I am as a person? Why am I doing this to myself?
That’s when I realized the big truth behind everything that had happened.
I was to blame. I was doing things to myself and not for myself. I had completely forgotten about the person who I used to be.
Who would have thought that my most painful heartbreak would also be the most significant turn around in my life?
“You can’t give what you don’t have.” I listened to my best friend say this over the phone at 1:00 a.m. and burst into tears. She was absolutely right. Another person will never be able to fill the void inside of me.
Only we can complete ourselves. No one can make us feel happy if we aren’t happy with our own selves. No thing and not a single person can make us feel complete until we become at peace with who we are and what we have.
My happiness could not depend on being able to find someone to complete me, a reality I had discovered the hard way.
You can’t fake happiness. You can’t fake the feeling of completeness by being with someone. I realized that there is more to life than love and that you can always take your life back from what broke you. You always have a choice.
It all starts from realizing that we don’t want to bear the pain anymore and finally finding the courage to let go. Once we know that we don’t want or need it anymore, our inner strength is unlocked. Once we realize that we have a choice, we are free.
One day, I woke up without the pain in my chest anymore. I felt beyond thankful. Tears started flowing, but I wasn’t really crying. It felt like they were escaping and they carried with them the deep sadness I felt from losing him.
The same day, I made a decision—a decision that led me to meeting that one person I should have chosen a long time ago. That one person I lost while looking for someone to make me happy.
I found myself.
It wasn’t that I had been looking for the “right” person in all the wrong places. Things didn’t turn out right because I was doing them for the wrong reasons.
I learned a lot in this search for Mr. Right—just nothing I expected.
What I discovered was that I had to learn to be whole. I had to find the missing parts of me and started living life the way I wanted it to be.
When you learn to value, respect and love yourself, you become stronger, braver and more genuine. The way you see and treat yourself shows others how you expect to be treated.
It was an awakening.
How beautiful and meaningful it is to know that deep love comes from within.
So now, guess what?
The search is over. I found what I have been looking for and more.
Author: Jessa Tek-Ing
Image: Cherry Laithang/Unsplash
Editor: Catherine Monkman