To Love Someone Else, You Must First Love Yourself.

I’ve never been much of a dater, started from when I was in highschool. From day one of dating boys I bounced around, but always was wanting to be that “high school sweetheart couple”. I continually wanted to be loved by the opposite sex but wasn’t looked at as the relationship girl. I eventually convinced myself and played along with everyone else that, that was what I was wanting. But come end of the day, or morning after (sorry mom and dad) when I got home, I hurt. I put my heart out there many times, and hoped that one of those guys would understand me and my ways. But I’ve always been that drinkin’ buddy or casual thing.

From my past many small relationships of being cheated on, ghosted, to an unexpected pregnancy where he houdini’d and ran away, leaving me to deal with it on my own at 20. Going to a hospital to get an abortion alone is a very hard experience. You are to jump from room to room to do tests, with other girls who are doing the same. When you are the only one by yourself and everyone else has their significant other, you can see how hard this would be. When the doctor asks you about the father, and you lie to not have to deal with anything, that hurts even more. In the end, all of these experiences aren’t uncommon for many woman.

Naturally as women we strive to start families, we search for that someone to be beside us, take care of us and support us. But after years of failing and years of being hurt from putting your heart out there, to years of pretending you want that casual thing, it affects all future relationships you have.

The first love of my life, broke my heart. I saw texts from a girl he knew for a while right near the end of our relationship, that they were seeing each other around me. It crushed me, it convinced me that I wasn’t good enough or deserved to be loved. Why would I put my heart out there, only to get hurt every time. They’re now married with kids.

The second guy I loved was different, we used each other for comfort, cheap rent and friendships. Over time, clearly we were both in different places. I believe this is where I realized I self sabbatoge my relationships.

After that one, I took years to even start to date. I really believed I didn’t deserve to be loved or in a relationship. My confidence, my self respect and my want to be respected, depleted.

Then my biggest love of all and most recent relationship. Just when I felt I had given up, it happened out of the blue. He showed me respect and that I did deserve to be loved, but I couldn’t fully dive in. I was scared, I knew I’d sabotage, not show my true self, hide and be embarrassed to open up about any past I had. I was ashamed of my relationships, my lack of love and my lack of self respect. He was smart, honest, open and supportive and I had no idea how to deal with that.

When you’ve only been treated like an object, a crutch or a casual fling, its hard to fully let go and enjoy the moments. Then when you do, you still always have those questions in your head. Eventually those questions turned to anxiety, self sabotage and deep down voice that repetitively tell you, you don’t deserve love.

Lets just say, if you could think of a relationships with hurdles, this was the Olympic final. Add a very difficult sickness, an unhappy work environment and my own mental health and you get an end to a relationship.

After the end of this one I basically went to ground zero. I took it out on myself and really believed that love is just not meant for me. But this time, instead of going back to my regular habits, I started to really listen to my heart, body and mind.

I took a step back from looking for love and searched for loving myself. From lots of counseling, to getting more active and to changing my surroundings, I took focus on what I’ve been needing to do this whole time. Love myself. To often do we hope we find someone to help fix our problems, when we need to focus on fixing ourselves first.

You can’t fully give your heart to someone, if your heart isn’t fully there, to give.

I may not be dating anyone know, but I do know that I’ve finally come to terms with my past, understand my habits and love myself. I have taken ownership for my mistakes, I have forgiven those who’ve hurt me and I’ve come to terms with my past.

I realize we all have paths and we learn from each relationships, even if it ripped your heart out. Your hearts a muscle, and if you use it enough, it’ll grow to be shared with that right person, someday.

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