There’s something about this season of my life that I’m in that has been in all the feels about my younger days, and all the things I wish I could have told myself then about what I know now. Especially when it comes to: love.

Ever since I discovered my first crush in Kindergarten, I was done for. I pretty much always had my eye on someone, and it was never just a casual crush- it was always full on heart full for that person. I say it like that because obviously what I thought “I love him” meant at 14 years old is much different than the love I learned as I grew older.

Despite all that loving I was doing- the first 28 years old my life was filled with unattainable or unavailable love. I was never the girl that boys had a crush on, never one to make more-than-friend connections with boys in high school, and didn’t really even have a mutual relationship until I was well into my twenties. I genuinely spent so many years of my life desperate to know what it felt like to have someone love me. It was honestly my number one preoccupation for so many years. And the problem was never really with the people I was choosing. For the most part I picked excellent, upstanding individuals to love. The problem was with within me.

Sure- did it suck being led on by men who knew how much I felt for them, and string me along as their best friend, receive my unending support, share all the deep conversations, and spend so much time with? Yes! Especially while I was in it! I always felt like I was one rom-com moment away from their major epiphany of what an amazing girlfriend I would be, and what an amazing relationship we really have… and those moments never, ever came.

And the part that hurts me the most now, is looking back at just how much I was willing to put up with while waiting. I believed for so many years that I was undeserving of love, and that someone else’s confirmation that they loved me, would suddenly redeem me of this seeming curse of unlovable-ness. (Are you starting to think I watched way too many movies as a kid…. You might be right.)

Now here I am, about to turn 35, and for the last 5.5 years I’ve been a relationship with the same man. A man that I only could have met through absolute fate, because there is really no way we would have ever met, and I honestly pushed him away so much at the beginning that it’s kind of incredible he made his way through the friend zone.

The beginning of our relationship wasn’t easy. We bonded over heart-shattering breakups, and in the beginning I felt certain that we’d end up being transitional people for one another. After all, up until that point all I had known was heartbreak, so why would it end any other way? Right away we faced the normal back and forth of- where is this going? And what are we doing here?

But over all, made no promises of forever at the beginning, just focused on being in the present together. I was strangely detached in terms of needing to know where it was headed, or talking about marriage (I think because at that time I was so hurt/broken from the last person I dreamed about those things with- that I just couldn’t go there.) But, life kind of kept pushing us forward together- whether it was through major obstacles we could support each other through, or our love of spending time outdoors together, to finally bonding over just how many dreams for the future we share together.

Now it’s been over 5 years, we have a house together, and a dog. We’ve gone into business together. We’ve supported each other through impossible and important moments in each of our lives. Gone through health crises together, and we’re finally (hopefully) moving closer to signing our names to a marriage certificate- but regardless, he is my person. We’re in it together.

I share that part of my story because the last 5 years has been this reprieve in my unavailable love story that I had my whole life before him. It happened so sneakily that there wasn’t this one big moment that I realized I found what I had always ben wanting. All those years, I was searching and fighting and trying so hard to find love- I was so worried I would never get it. And truly, when I stopped fighting so hard…. I found it.

And I stopped fighting not because I really chose to- I stopped fighting because I had nothing left in me.

I don’t know that anything in my life would have played out in a different order if I would have known what I know now. But what would have been much different is how I felt on the inside.

  • I wish I would have cared less about validating my worth through being loved by someone else.
  • I wish I would have known my worthiness so deep inside that nothing could have shaken the love I had for myself.
  • I wish I would have spent more time hanging out with trusted, amazing friends, than I did pursuing relationships- especially now when I know how hard it is to actually schedule time with my favorite friends.
  • I wish I would have just enjoyed that season of my life for what it was bringing me then, instead of focusing on what I was missing.

And thank God I can take those learns and apply them to new areas of my life now.

We can’t go back; we can only go forward. I will go forward with the confidence that I will always be okay whether I’m in a relationship or not. I can go forward with the knowledge that just because I’m in a relationship doesn’t mean I’ll never feel lonely, or wonder if it was easier if I were single. (After all- relationships are really hard too!) I can go forward with the immense gratitude of knowing what available, reciprocated love feels like! And while my heart is so grateful for that- I also discovered that there is no ‘grass is greener on the other side.’ Being single is hard. Being in a relationship is hard. Being single can feel relieving, and so can being in a relationship.

I do think that relationships make an incredible difference in our lives- and that we need others. But what I wished I knew sooner is that it never HAD to be a romantic partner- you can find companionship through friends, family, pets, or whoever else you choose to share memories of life with. For more on this you can check out the sister episode on the A Bit From Within podcast where I share more from within about unavailable and unrequited love. (I’ll also share more about the full moon energy we got going on this week!) Listen below or wherever you get your podcasts!



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