How To Love A Woman Who Has Had To Survive On Her Own

She’s a special person, the woman who never had any help.  She is strong, independent, and protective of the life she spent so much effort building.  This means that loving her – and earning her love – is nothing if not a challenge.  It’s not simple, and you will absolutely have to prove yourself before she lets you truly see what’s inside.  Put in the work.  She is worth every bit of effort you devote to her.

You may find her resilience and intelligence incredibly attractive, but please, do not waste her time.  She cannot stand the idea of yet another person letting her down, of having to navigate the emotional wasteland you leave behind when you throw away her heart.  Yes, she expects a lot from you, but that is only because she expects the same from herself.  When she’s in, she’s all in, and she is weary of false promises and men who fill her head with pretty lies about the depth of their love.  

She demands emotional stability, maturity, someone who is willing and able to meet her halfway on all things.  Understand her history.  Understand her past.  Take the time to get to know why she operates the way that she does.  Then you will see the many hurts, the disappointments, the reasons that she blocked herself off and learned to only trust herself.  No, she does not suffer fools, but if you don’t find that appealing she is not for you.  She has been through enough to cut off anyone who squanders her time.  

You must work for her because so many who came before you tricked her into opening herself up, only to leave her high and dry at the first sign of difficulty.  They never took the time to find out who she is deep down and celebrate it.  They did not nurture her, cherish her, or make her feel safe.  When she let down her guard in spite of all that, she learned the hard way that none of them were ever going to change.  

The worst crime you can ever commit against this woman, this strong, graceful being who built herself from the ground up and has never leaned on anyone, is misleading her.  If you are not committed, respect her enough to walk away and make room for the person who will be.  

Once you show her that you are not going anywhere, once she lets herself love you, honor her vulnerability.  Respond in kind.  Show her the parts of your soul that not many get to see.  By demonstrating your trust in her, your steadfast involvement in the relationship, you will in turn earn reciprocity.  Show up for her when she believes no ever will.  Be her partner in all things, and have her back even when she does not need it.  After all, she’s never had someone there to help.  She may be fully capable of standing on her own, but often she gets weary of doing it all alone.  The burden is more than she bargained for, but she’s never had any choice but to carry it by herself.  Be her unexpected relief.  

Earning her trust and her respect takes time.  The only way to make her believe you’ll stick around is to prove you’ll put in the effort in the first place.  Be steady, be secure, and just show up.  Show up every single day.  Stay when she figures that you’ll run.  Talk to her instead of dismissing her fears.  Respect her space, set reasonable boundaries, and listen to what she needs from the relationship.  Communication will set you both free.  

Be patient with her, and you’ll see that what blossoms between you is worth all of your effort.  Nothing truly lovely comes with ease, but that’s okay, because you’ve won the affection and companionship of a very special person.  She may be used to surviving all alone, but that doesn’t mean she prefers it that way.  Be her excitement, her joy, and most of all, her partner in life.  Give her the steady love she’s always wanted.  In return she will give you more happiness than you ever imagined.  

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)

 

How Long Am I Going To Still Miss You?

If I knew when it would end, perhaps I could bear the pain I feel every waking moment of the day.

I had no idea that missing you would get worse as time goes on, not easier.  I feel my overarching sadness more keenly with each day that passes, enduring the sting of being twenty-four hours further removed from the happiness and love we shared.  It was you and me against the world, and that gave me a reason to care.  Now I don’t have that.  All I have is the gaping hole in my heart that you left behind.  

I stay in bed as long as I can in the morning, willing my eyes shut, numbing the memories for a few minutes longer.  I know that as soon as I begin to go about my day, my emotions will simmer just below the surface, threatening to erupt at any moment.  It’s exhausting, this gamut that I run through over and over again.  I’m so tired of missing you, but I can’t shut my brain off.  I cannot wish you away, so instead I live like a raw nerve, exposed and vulnerable at all times.

Everything that I do reminds me of you in some way or another.  I cannot even touch myself anymore without crumbling at the knowledge that I’ll never feel the tender electricity of your embrace again.  

This place stifles me with constant reminders of everything we shared and everything we planned to do but never accomplished.  Our town is too oppressively small to contain the amount of sorrow it brings me to stroll its streets without you by my side.   I kept our memories close back when I believed that I would get a lifetime of loving you, but now I’d do anything to completely erase them.  Erase the pain that you left behind when you turned your back and moved on, leaving me here with a broken heart and a shattered future.

Yes, I dared to let myself envision a future with you as my lifelong adventure partner, sharing my laughter, my curiosity, and my heart.  What a fool I am.

Now I spend each day just trying to make it to the next, one after the other, until I finally reach the point where everything hurts a little less.  I would give anything to stop missing you.  What can I do?  I loved you, and I did not want you to go, and I lost you despite the adoration I felt for you each and every day that we spent together.  If I’m completely honest, I suppose I’m still in denial that you’re no longer mine to love, to hold, and to grow alongside.  

I would have done anything for you, but it doesn’t matter.  

Please someone tell me when I’ll stop feeling this way so that I can stand it.  Because right now, I don’t know how much longer I can.

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)

My Heart Won’t Let You Go

It’s so difficult to stay away from you when you’re just around the corner.  I run, drive, or bike past your house nearly every day.  I know when you are home without even making the effort to find out, and I hate that.  I already miss you so desperately that the temptation to simply walk up and knock on your door is something that I fight constantly.

Maybe I could put you out of my head more easily if you were already gone.  Somewhere I don’t know, can’t picture, moving on with your life in a way that is foreign to me.  If I didn’t have to dread running into you accidentally at practically any moment, putting on a brave face and pretending that seeing you doesn’t break my heart.  I don’t know whether I want to hold you or punch you right now, and I shouldn’t do either, so I set my jaw stubbornly and stay away.

It’s ridiculously difficult to stay out of my head, to dismiss memories of our happy past when everywhere I go has some vestige of you attached.  Maybe I need to leave too, get out of this small town that I’ve only ever really known as part of the pair that once included you.  Maybe I need to reimagine it for myself, on my own, but that feels almost impossible at the moment.  This is the first heartbreak I’ve experienced without the support of a network of friends to lift me up.  Sometimes it’s as if I’m sinking into a chasm of loneliness that I’ve dug on my own, like all I’ve done in my life is fall into one misstep after another.  

The problem is that I can’t run away from myself, no matter how hard I try.  I’ve been in this headspace before and pushing it aside didn’t fix anything.  I’ve worked on healing myself from the inside out before, but I didn’t dig deep enough.  I’m beginning to understand that my pain is something that will never go away on its own, or find a cure in the love of another.  It has to be dealt with every single day in real time, with care and tenderness towards all the wounded parts of me.  It is the reason that I keep choosing partners who cannot give me the love that I crave.  To be fair, no one can because I have to fill that void for myself, somehow, some way.  

Some stupid part of me, deep inside, hopes you come back even though I know you won’t.  I am well aware that our relationship had issues brought on by the baggage that both of us have not addressed.  I don’t know that you will ever care enough to face and transform yours, and that’s not my problem any longer.  As much as I wish you would, it doesn’t matter.  You’re not mine anymore and I don’t know if I would even pick you again if I was a healthy, emotionally whole individual.  

All that I want from the universe right now is to laugh in your arms again, but I understand that’s the one thing that’ll keep ruining me, so I fight my own deeply ingrained, dysfunctional instincts and I stay away.  And yet, still, in spite of myself, I wish that you would come get me and make it all okay. 

(Originally published by Thought Catalog)

Sometimes The Only Thing You Can Do Is Let Them Go

There is nothing more painful than looking at the person you love beyond what you thought possible and knowing that you cannot make them stay.

You can hope that they do.  But you can’t force a damn thing, and you can’t make them continue to want you, or to love you.  The way of the world is a fickle one, and it rips happy hearts apart like afterthoughts on a cruel whim.  You can stand there, breath caught in your throat, raggedly exhaling your aching affection, and they could very well turn and leave you in your empty shock.  It is terrifying, and yet we come back to the brink over and over again. 

It’s a process that requires immense vulnerability, throwing yourself into love and hoping for the best, losing despite every desperate effort, only to go there with renewed optimism all over again.  The heart that continues fighting to find the correct love is a resolute, stubborn heart indeed.  

But maybe it’s time to try something different now.  Perhaps instead of fighting, you let it go.  You open up space in your heart for yourself and begin to give all that love to the person who needs it the most.  There is not much that you can control in this life, but you can make the conscious decision to put your energy and emotions into whatever you like.  Your soul and your worth are far too magnificent to keep cooped up in an oppressive prison of heartbreak and regrets.  Breathe away the keen sorrow of your attachment.  Do your best to think of your tender loss not as a finality, but a way to open yourself up to new possibility.

You cannot make them stay, but you can decide to let them go.  The stark reality is that you have absolutely no control over their feelings – if they choose to leave, there is nothing that you can do.  It is out of your grasp … and in a way, that’s incredibly freeing.  You have no responsibility to be anyone other than exactly who you are.  The difficulty of navigating this freedom is in accepting the situation as it is and truly letting go of ego and perceptions.  

Be ever so gentle with your sweet spirit.  It is aching, and you are allowed to sink into the tenderness.  Let the feelings come and go and course through you, even though at times it feels like you cannot bear another moment.  Breathe and know that it is only temporary.  Everything is fleeting, nothing ever remains constant, and you have such a short time to live your unique existence.  

Try your best not to use that time clinging on to people or situations that, despite your deepest genuine efforts, must develop in a different direction than you hoped.  Strive to find the peace that comes with releasing expectations.  When you need to process your pain, do not rush to numb it.  Let it come, let it go.  You are whole entirely on your own, with or without them.  Don’t forget that, and if you do not feel that you are, then turn your energies towards making yourself the joyous, loving, free and completely soul that you absolutely can be.  

Releasing them is not losing.  It’s not failing.  It’s simply a shift of life, which is constantly moving and changing.  Trust that it will all be okay even if it does not always feel that way.  Eventually you will find the home your heart seeks – in yourself.  

(Originally published on Thought Catalog)

 

Remember This When You’re Wishing You Never Met Them

Sometimes it feels like it would be easier if you never met them at all.

If you hadn’t met them, you wouldn’t know what it’s like to lose them.  What it’s like to know the way they feel, smell, and move, and then force yourself to try and forget it.  You wouldn’t be hurting so deeply just because you have to fill the empty space in your life that they left behind.

It’s valid to feel this way.  You’re in pain and you wish more than anything not to be.  It can be incredibly excruciating to lose someone not because you’ve stopped loving them, but because it’s just not working. You’re allowed to experience every single emotion that’s coursing through your body, no matter how quickly, no matter how much they might contradict each other.  It’s all real and it matters.  

Remember this.  Remember that no matter how painful everything feels in this moment, it will get better.  It always gets better.  Think back to your past experiences and remind yourself of how you thought that old hurt, too, would never end.  Focus on how wonderful it felt to heal, to find happiness again, to realize that you finally no longer cared.  That you could remember the person who once broke your heart and feel no regret over what transpired between you.  Remember how good it feels to get over it and wish them nothing but happiness for their future … even though that future isn’t with you.

It doesn’t make the pain any easier in the moment, but you have to keep going with the knowledge that it absolutely will get better someday.  

Take all the love and effort you poured into your relationship and pour it back into yourself.  Nurture your health and give yourself time to heal, to find your way back to who you are.  It will not be easy, but you owe this to yourself. 

The truth is, maybe it would technically be easier if you had never met them.  You could live in ignorant bliss of the joy and then eventual heartbreak they’d give you.  The lows wouldn’t exist if you’d never felt the highs … but you can’t go through your entire life that way.  What’s the point of living if you aren’t growing and changing?  

So breathe – just breathe, let your emotions run their course, and be kind to yourself.  You deserve the love that you’ve been giving everyone else.  Keep it for yourself for a change.  Your beautiful heart deserves nourishment.  

(Originally published by Thought Catalog)

 

 

 

 

Insomnia

It’s three a.m. and all I want to do is sleep.  I told myself, tonight will be different.  Tonight I will not lie awake until the wee hours of the morning distracting myself until I finally, eventually, exhaust my mind and spirit enough to drift into a weary slumber, tears paving painful trails down my cheeks.  Tonight I will be okay.

I was wrong, of course.  I can’t shake thoughts of you, no matter how desperately I will myself to do so.  It doesn’t matter how many times I remind myself that you’re sleeping peacefully wherever you are, undisturbed by any worries or sadness about losing me.  You’re fine, and I’m not, and I cannot force myself to feel differently.  Wanting to be okay does not make it so.

I hate myself for hurting, hate myself for caring.  Missing you fills the background of every moment, despite my best attempts to shut you out.  When I end my day and close my eyes, my defenses collapse and thoughts of you flood into my psyche.  It’s too much to bear, so I exhaust all the options.  I do everything I can think of to get to sleep, and nothing works.  Sometimes hours pass before I toss my blankets aside with utter frustration and search for some new method of numbing the pain.

Now it’s four a.m. and I’m contemplating simply staying up the entire night.  Why not, at this point? Once I do fall asleep I won’t want to wake again.  After all, a dead slumber is my only respite from missing you horribly, and sometimes even then images of you creep into my dreams.  The worst of all is waking up from a lovely reverie in which we are exquisitely happy, only to realize that it’s an illusion.  I lie there like a dead weight, wishing the world would let me wither away. 

This is why I’ve decided I’m done with love, for good this time.  It’s too much, this weight that I bear, every new heartbreak that I carry along with me crushing my spirit a bit more.  It isn’t worth it.  I’d rather live a thousand lifetimes with my walls securely guarding me than go through even one more exhausting disappointment.

I’m done.  Once I finally let go of you, the one who I thought was a true match for me, the one who I thought would stay … I won’t do this again.  I’ve accepted that finding true love is not in the cards for me, no matter how desperately I yearn for it.  Neither of my parents ever captured it and it seems that neither will I, and maybe I won’t be able to stand that.  I don’t know.  Maybe I’ll finally exit this earth that’s never felt like home to me in the first place.  The last little bit of hope I had is unequivocally smashed into oblivion.

The idea of sleeping, never to wake, never to feel another moment of despair, comforts me.

Let me rest. 

Every Time I Have A Chance At Happiness, Life Drags Me Down

I’m so tired of feeling angry.

It’s not that I want to be this way.  I’m in a constant state of development geared towards letting go of my helpless rage.  I am infinitely aware that it solves nothing … but is it too much to ask life to cut me some slack for once?  It’s as if I’m constantly being tested and quite honestly, I find it incredibly exhausting.

I don’t know what I’ve done so wrong.  I’m continuously attempting to be kind and loving and mindful.  Most of the time, I succeed fairly well, even in my own harshly particular opinion.  Over the past several years I’ve completed so much work on myself.  My life is full of therapy, yoga, journaling, and meditative time spent outdoors.  It seems like no matter what I do, how deeply I search my soul, it’s never quite enough.

So, yes, I’m angry.  I’m angry that I finally have a chance at a healthy, normal love and life just tries to fuck our relationship at every turn.  I get the concept that we need to be able to work through the tough times, but how do we get ahead if all of the difficulties are primarily out of our control?  It makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs, beat on something until I’m so tired I collapse.  I know that life is not fair, but I do not understand why, after all these years of heartbreak and sadness, I am not finally allowed something good.

The weight in my chest has returned and this time I fear it’s to stay.

If I lose this one, the man who makes me laugh more than I ever thought possible, the best adventure partner I’ve ever had, the person I look at after all this time and still think is the most handsome guy I know – I don’t think I want to try anymore.

I mean it this time.  I’m sick of having my every fault thrown back in my face in glaring detail simply by virtue of trying to love again.  Romantic interactions only serve to remind me why I keep my distance.  It’s too difficult, and then, when I finally overcome my issues and feel I’m improving, the world responds by taking away what I’ve earned. 

I may not feel love when I’m alone, but at least I don’t cry.

The most difficult reality, the one hardest to accept, is that I can only control my side of the relationship.  I will understand if he wants to walk away, if the problems and hurdles that life keeps using to thwart our happiness are too much for him to handle.  I don’t blame him.  I blame … everything else.  I hate that around every corner lurks another unexpected barrier to our success.  

All my life, I’ve wanted love like this so badly, and now it might disappear despite all the progress I’ve made.  Everything I’ve done to improve my life and myself over these past several heartrending years feels for naught. 

I’m doing my best to keep myself happy and positive, but I could use a break here.  I don’t think I’m asking for much.  All I’ve ever wanted is to find inner peace, a committed equal partner, and the chance to do what I love.  I have no illusions that those are easy goals to achieve, but I keep putting in the work only to get thrown back on my ass over and over again.   It’s difficult to bother trying at this point.  

At least when I’m angry, I feel something.  More often lately, I’m simply weary.  Weariness is dangerous because it contains no energy, no forward motion … no hope.  I don’t want to lose the best love I’ve ever had for no damn good reason.  I’m tired of hurting. 

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)