You can’t make someone love you, no matter how hard you try.
In order for love to thrive, there has to be a clear and mutual exchange of feelings, respect, kindness, and understanding.
Words are lovely, but actions are so damn exquisite and necessary.
If you have to keep wondering where you stand, or where this is going, the answer is nowhere. If one person does most of the giving and puts in all the work, while the other only takes, it creates an imbalance.
In order for any relationship to work, there has to be an equal amount of give and take from both parties, or at least a compromise or understanding. Otherwise, resentment will start to build up, and the “giver” will tire of getting nothing back, and eventually walk away.
Back in 2017, fresh on the heels of a divorce that had left me emotionally exhausted and mentally drained, I met someone. Yes, maybe it was not the ideal time, as I was still vulnerable, but after spending years not being appreciated, I’d hoped to find someone who would finally see my worth. Someone who could appreciate me, and maybe, eventually, love me the way I so desperately wanted to be loved.
So when I met this man, I did everything I could to show him how special he was to me. We had great chemistry, and laughter came easily. But unbeknownst to me, his potential for love had been crushed and reduced to dust by others who had come before me.
I saw good things in him, things he could no longer see in himself. That’s when I decided that I was going to help him heal and put the pieces of his heart back together. Armed with that notion and with the hopes that one day he would love me back, off I went on my “mission” to break down his walls. I was going to show him that when you’re with the right person, love is easy, drama-free, and it’s not supposed to hurt. But in the process of doing so, I got very little back—yet I still believed that we “belonged” together, and I wasn’t ready to give up on him just yet.
We’ve all heard the stories of how people change when they meet the “right” person, and I was going to be that person for him—the “right” person. I wanted to show him that life was beautiful, and that things could always change for the better.
In turn, I wanted him to show up on my doorstep out of the blue, profess his love for me, and tell me that I was the one he’d been waiting for his entire life. But that never happened.
My emotional needs were not being met, and this was another blow to my already fragile heart. It felt as though I was doing penance for unspoken sins, and I deserved everything I was getting. I kept wondering why…why couldn’t he just love me? And every time I tried to walk away, he would pull me back in.
“Love is like a plant,” I once told him. “It needs to be watered and continuously nurtured in order for it to bloom and grow; otherwise it dies.”
I broke my own heart believing my expectations would come to fruition. My “demands,” for a lack of a better word, were minimal. He had a busy work schedule that left him with little time for himself, and I understood this. I never complained, nagged, or made him feel badly about it. It’s not about quantity, but quality, and I was just happy holding hands and going for a walk.
I understand that we’re all busy with life’s endless demands and responsibilities, but, if truth be told, people make time for the things and people they want to make time for—no excuses. Remember that the next time someone tells you that they’re too busy for you.
My expectations led me down this path, blinding me to the truth, and setting me up for heartbreaking disappointment. It’s my own fault for choosing to see things as I’d wished them to be, instead of seeing them for what they actually were. Yes, he played a big part in this too—but this isn’t about him.
So after a long and tired attempt at trying to make things work, in the end, I chose to walk away. I was left completely shattered and heartbroken.
To this day, I still don’t know what I was to him, and it has taken me months to heal and recover.
What this experience did do is strengthen my resolve to be better, kinder, and gentler to myself. It taught me my worth, and I realized that I deserve more. I was never asking for too much; I was just asking the wrong person.
Our life experiences may not always be gentle, but they teach us the lessons we so desperately need to learn in order to grow, change, and become better people, and for that I’m grateful—even though it hurt like a bitch.