Raise your hand if you have ever been hurt by someone you love.
My hand is raised. The thing about hurt is that it creeps up on you just when you’ve convinced yourself that the hurt doesn’t hurt that bad. It manifests as other emotions, like fear. As someone who has been hurt before, I have built a wall twice as tall as I stand to protect myself from being hurt again. I shut men out by turning down dates, not accepting compliments, and going ghost when things begin to take a turn towards something serious. I tell myself that I’m not ready to be in a relationship while scrolling on my phone, wishing someone would call. I tell myself that I don’t know what I want; meanwhile, I keep a list of attributes for my future husband in my back pocket.
As I explore this, I realize that I’m afraid to date because I’m afraid of making the wrong decisions in love. I’ve done it before. I’ve loved and gave my all to a relationship that left me in my feelings night after night. I was paralyzed by my own insecurities, unable to think and act for myself.
My whole life revolved around a man that took every good thing away from me and left me at my worst. I was weak.
I took a year off of dating after that relationship. Dating too soon meant throwing my baggage on the next guy, hoping he’d feel sorry for what I went through and take responsibility to show me something different. He’d be my knight in shining armor – my personal savior. I would find comfort in him.
When I started opening myself up to dating, I realized that I wasn’t looking for a man. I was only looking for a handsome shoulder to cry on. The problem was, no guy showed me sympathy. No guy accepted my brokenness and came to my rescue. No guy gave me the closure I needed in order to feel whole again. I also learned that I wasn’t the only one hurting. As a result, I became the source of hurt for the guys whose emotions I played with while not knowing what I wanted from them.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Hurt people hurt people”? That was me.
We’ve all been hurt by people we love. We all step into the dating world with our guard up as if we’re the only people in the universe that have been broken. We don’t talk about our pasts with our partners. We step into dating, hinting at our past trauma while hoping the person sitting across the table will caress our faces in empathy.
It’s too bad it doesn’t work that way. Healing is not that easy. Single people are told that there is someone out there that will act as a rock in our lives, solid for the both of us. This person will take our brokenness and turn it into unconditional, long lasting love. Honey, those fairytale love stories are unrealistic. Human beings come with baggage and scars. No one of us is perfect. If we are unable to establish our own foundation of self-love and healing, then we can’t expect another person to do it for us. That is an unfair ask of your partner. It is draining to sacrifice yourself to be someone else’s personal savior (that is what Jesus is for my friends).
If we are unable to establish our own foundation of self-love and healing, then we can’t expect another person to do it for us.
I can’t let hurt consume my dating life. I’ve stepped into the game hoping to find a man that would be my comfort through my healing. That has not worked out for me. My unrealistic goals have pushed a lot of good men away. As I’m growing in my singlehood, I’m discovering new goals in love. As much as I want to be in a relationship, I still don’t have a good reason why. Therefore, I’m going to continue to heal and dedicate my time to finding myself.
Love will find me.
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