Women Don’t Want A Fairytale – But We Do Know Our Worth

I am so tired of women being told that we are unreasonable for wanting a good relationship.  Standards have slipped so far that we grasp gratefully at the smallest of courtesies from a partner, and yet we are ridiculed as presumptuous when we ask for what we need.  I am done.  I am done settling for less than what I give. It is not unrealistic to want someone who meets me halfway.

I’ve never asked for much – I’m not at all materialistic.  I don’t care about money or possessions.  I want to know what’s in a person’s heart.  That’s what really counts.  Of course I have my imperfections, and I’m well aware of them.  I’m a human – why are women so often expected to be more than that?  Having imperfections does not disqualify us from deserving a good relationship.  We fight against inequality at every turn and then we are told to accept whatever it is a partner is willing to give us, if they feel like it, when they feel like it.

Relationships are never perfect, and they require much hard work, dedication, and trust.  That’s to be expected.  What I will no longer accept is the idea that I am too demanding for wanting an equal, loving, honest partnership.  If participating in the effort of a relationship is too much for someone, they should not be so selfish as to bring another person into their life romantically.  It seems that many want to have their cake and eat it too.

If we expect anything to change, we have to stand up for ourselves and stop accepting crumbs.  We are only going to get what we demand – we have put up with too much for too long, and now subpar treatment is all anyone is willing to give.  I’m done extending the benefit of the doubt and trying to be the “cool girl”.  That’s a fantasy driven by those who don’t want to put real effort into a relationship, something they can fall back on when they need to blame you for their behavior.  If we needy bitches were only more cool, more chill!  Oh yes, if only.  How nice that would be for all the crappy people in the world who are selfish, inconsiderate, and non-committal.  

If I sound like I’m angry, I am.  We should all be fed up at the societal expectations of us that have dragged on for ages, shifting only in form but not in their function of keeping females down.  Creating a wave of change will not be easy.  Men are accustomed to the patriarchy, and the force of women beginning to assert their equality does not sit well with them.  Many literally do not know how to react, but unfortunately it is often with dismissive and defensive behavior.  

We must remember that this is not our problem.  We need to stop apologizing all the time for our apparent audacity in simply asking to exist on this planet and own our needs, wants and rights.  We are not difficult.  We are not high-maintenance.  We are not too much.  Many of us are conditioned by our upbringing, our surroundings, and the people in our lives to believe that we are.  It takes effort to change this mindset, but we must begin now.  There is no time to waste.  

I do not want a fairytale.  What I do want is a partner who loves, respects, appreciates, and understands me.  I only desire an equal return of the effort I give to those I love.  In my opinion, that’s what most women want – simply someone who is good to us and meets us halfway.  It’s not too much to ask.  Stop trying to gaslight us into believing that it is.  We are sick and tired of the bullshit.  

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)

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)

You Are Capable Of Getting Over The Baggage In Your Past

You aren’t broken just because you’ve been through heartbreak.

The damage that you’ve sustained has nothing to do with who you are at your core. It has changed you, yes, and it’s shaped the way you approach love now. Sometimes you have to remember that not everyone will hurt you. It’s not always easy to get past the pain you experienced, but you try. All anyone can do is try, and keep trying, in the hopes that one day you finally let go of your fears. 

What matters most is your awareness of what’s happened in your history and your determination not to let it dictate the way your future turns out. You can stop yourself from allowing your insecurities and past experiences to ruin what you have in your life now. It’s impossible to discover if you’ve found something wonderful unless you let yourself go there. 

It’s not simple. You will make mistakes, and you will second guess yourself, and you will encounter frustration. Unfortunately, you may even lose someone great because you haven’t quite gotten over your baggage yet. It sucks, but it’s the only way that you learn what you don’t want to do again. 

Life isn’t always kind. Try to remember that everyone else has a past as well, and the right person will not judge you for yours.

Someday someone will come along who understands what you’ve been through and shows you patience. No matter what pitfalls, or struggles, or missteps, somehow they’ll stay. They will keep showing up day in and day out when no one else ever has. You’ll hardly believe that it’s possible. Every time, you assume they’ll run away, but they don’t. They make the decision to continue choosing you even when you are difficult and confusing. That person will show up for you until you finally believe that you’re worthy.  

Then you will finally understand what love is supposed to mean. 

Keep doing the work. The love will follow. 

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)

It’s Okay If The Love Of Your Life Isn’t Another Person

Once upon a time, you absorbed the notion that you have a single soulmate out there in the world, waiting for you.  You’re not sure where the idea originated – maybe from a book or a movie or maybe someone told you it was so.  You began to believe that you needed to find this person or your love life would never reach its potential.  If they did not materialize, you could not consider yourself whole.

Now as you move along your journey, reality sets in.  Maybe there’s not one single soulmate for you – and that’s okay.  In a way, it opens up your horizons to varied opportunities.  You’ve learned that love isn’t always what you think it’ll be.  It doesn’t have to manifest in a certain way.  Even if it isn’t a lasting romance, you always learn and grow from the experience.  Sure, you’re a bit disillusioned because your ideals were shattered – but that’s part of growing up.

With every ending, you begin looking inward.  You take time away from love, realizing you need to figure out who you are when you aren’t searching for someone else to distract you.  You’re not sure anymore if you have one true love, or many, or none at all.  Instead of constantly reaching for a person who will satisfy you, you start to learn about yourself and what you truly want from life.

In time, you actually enjoy being on your own.  You realize that discomfort means you’re evolving and that you don’t need a partner in order to experience your life to the fullest.  You appreciate every little idiosyncrasy that makes you a unique individual.  The best day you’ll ever have is the day that you look in the mirror and understand that the true love of your life is right there, smiling back at you.

It was you all along.  You were always enough.  The world tricked you into believing otherwise.

You become whole entirely within yourself.  For the first time, you’re truly happy, because you understand that love from another source isn’t meant to save you.  It’s a complement to the self-love you now embody proudly.  You’re in a place where you need no one else – and that is when you are finally ready to love someone in a healthy way. 

If you find a partner, wonderful.  If you don’t, you’ll be perfectly fine.  That’s the best position you could possibly experience both mentally and emotionally.  Not meeting someone will not disappoint you so badly and losing someone will no longer break you.  You worked through your harmful patterns and discovered a world of acceptance and joy. 

You only get this one life.  There’s no point in spending it dissatisfied with who you are and what you have.  Now that you realize the preciousness of your short time on this earth, you are no longer willing to waste it yearning over romance, regrets, and lost love.  Instead you choose, every single day, to appreciate the person you are and the life you possess, right here and now.

You’re the own damn love of your life.   And that’s a beautiful thing.  

(Originally published on ThoughtCatalog.com)

This Is Me Accepting That We’re Over

 

I clung on to my foolish hopes as long as I could. What can I say? I’m an eternal optimist, holding out for the best despite all evidence to the contrary. I did not want to accept the facts staring me right in my despondent face. I took every bit of contact to mean more than it did. Your guilt at my unhappiness and your feeble attempts to make amends looked like shadows of  possibility to my desperately clutching, aching soul.

 

I tried everything I could think of to maintain contact with you. If I had to go out of my way to create an excuse or a situation that necessitated communication, I would. I made up a million ways to get your attention, ignoring the fact that you’d already cut the cord.

 

It took a lot of frustration, confusion and tears to realize that we’d never go back to what we once were. I refused to admit that it was over, despite the fact that I knew deep down it was best for us both. Still in love with you, I was absolutely unwilling to let go of the fantasy that somehow we’d overcome our differences.

 

My doleful, endlessly hopeful sadness gave way to shame and anger when I realized that not only were you completely done with me, you had already moved on.

 

It was the only thing that would motivate me to give up on you and finally look forward to the rest of my life without you, so in the end it was necessary. I know that now. At the time, all I knew was that it hurt like hell.

 

All I’d been to you in those months after our breakup was a placeholder, a way to fill your loneliness until you found someone new. I willfully turned a blind eye to that which I knew to be the awful truth, hoping beyond all hope that you’d come around, that you’d see I’d changed. When you fell for her instead, my heart shattered anew. I’d spent months delaying the healing that I so desperately needed and had to start from the very beginning.

 

Everyone has a breaking point, and that was mine. I never contacted you again, but I kept track of your budding new romance. I tortured myself by spying on how happy you were until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I let the pain and hurt and betrayal fester in the depths of my gut, roiling, churning, perpetuating misery.

 

Enough was enough, and I knew it was finally time to make a change. I’d put myself through unnecessary suffering for far too long. The only person hurting me at that point was me – I couldn’t place blame elsewhere. I had to take responsibility for my own emotions and  begin the healing process. And I did. It wasn’t easy. Actually, it was the most difficult – and valuable – effort of my entire life thus far. It was long, and it was uncomfortable, and it was absolutely the best thing I’ve ever done.

 

So this is me, after an arduous and soul-aligning struggle, standing here in my power and saying that I finally accept the past. I know that our relationship happened for a reason and so did our separation. It all makes sense to me now, now that I’ve crawled through the worst of it and broken back out into the shattered, familiar light.

 

I accept that we’re over. I understand that we were not meant to be forever, and finally, that’s okay. I can look back on what we had and smile, knowing that it was a lovely and necessary growth period in my life. When things were good, they were great, and I’ll always appreciate the love and laughs you gave me. I honestly wish you nothing but the best for your future and am so very thrilled that you found the person you were meant to love for the rest of your life. And I’m finally, honestly okay with the fact that she isn’t me.

(also published on ThoughtCatalog.com)