I’ve only ever dated two guys. When I dated my first boyfriend a few years ago, I truly believed that one day we would get married. But throughout our relationship, I felt like I was constantly receiving mixed signals from him. In my head and my heart, I knew he wanted physical and emotional intimacy but he wasn’t willing to commit to me or fight for me. I don’t believe he set out to hurt me, but he had no idea how discarded I felt months after our breakup. I felt like I had shared so much with him and all of that had been thrown away.
After we broke up, I constantly asked myself, “Why had I let the relationship drag on for so long?” I felt stupid. Even during our relationship, I knew in my heart that this man wasn’t someone whom I wanted to be with forever. But I was afraid of letting go. By not facing my fears, I ended up more hurt.
For a long time, I was unable to let anyone else into my life. I had a very difficult time trusting anyone. I remember getting so frustrated with myself, because I wanted to be open to another relationship, but I knew I had a lot of personal growth to do first on my own. It wouldn’t be fair to invite another person into my life when I didn’t feel ready to really trust him.
My heart slowly began to heal. After more than a year, I felt ready to open myself up to a possibility of a new relationship. When I met my current boyfriend, things started out very slow. We spent many weeks just talking with one another before any physical aspect was brought in and that helped me to trust him. I told him what I felt comfortable sharing about my breakup, he willingly gave me the space that I needed in order to work through my past relationship.
Unlike before, I felt loved and appreciated even though I “didn’t always have it all together.” He would always ask me how I think things are going and if there is anything that he can do to help me trust him more. His constant pursuit and reassurance of his love for me helped me to be vulnerable and trust him. Our relationship continues to work because we are open and honest with each other. We show each other how we feel through our words and actions.
I am grateful for where I am now in my life. I cannot do away with the past, but I know everyone makes mistakes in life. That’s how we learn. It was painful and there are days when I wonder why it happened. But I remind myself that I grew from that experience. I’m learning to accept the past and move forward with my life. It has been a very slow process, but I have begun to let go of the past and open myself up to love.