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the thing about love

Brace yourself. It’s about to get real.

2016 has, thus far, been the most profound year of my life. I found new relationships that I never thought I’d ever have again. I grew – spiritually, emotionally, and mentally – in leaps and bounds. But some things remain the same…

I’m still single. I’m still unpublished. I’m still just an ordinary 20-year-old. And, worst of all, I’m still insecure.

The thing I’m most insecure about at any given time is… LOVE.

You see, I’m the type of person who, when I love someone, I really love them. I show them. I tell them. I’m constantly trying to learn new ways that I could help them to feel or know that I love them. I spend endless amounts of time and energy focusing on how I can love that person. I literally pour myself out for them. And I don’t do it begrudgingly. I’m glad to do it.

Now, I’m not saying all this to exalt myself or to tell you that you should be like me. None of that, now. What I’m saying is…

I FEEL ALONE.

“Why?” you ask. Well, the problem with loving people so very deeply is that it’s a very rare occurrence for that love to ever be fully reciprocated. You may be saying to yourself, “Well, love is selfless.” And you’re right. I spend my life trying to push myself aside to make things easier for those I love. I constantly hold my tongue when hurtful things occur. I try to let things roll off my back. I try not to let things bother me. I try not to ask anything of anyone. And I do it simply because that’s the kind of person I want to be. I want to love selflessly.

The only problem, though, is that sometimes I lose myself when I push myself aside for the sake of others. And, lately, it feels like I’m losing myself more and more.

That being said, recently I decided to start saving up for a solo vacation/getaway trip to Ireland (woot! woot! I’m totally doing this!). When I told my best friends, they didn’t believe I could do it. “A trip all the way to Ireland? All by yourself?” They didn’t believe that I could stand being alone for a whole week in a foreign country. (Fair enough, I suppose.) This was all the evidence I needed to realize that I have to do this.

The reality is that I am alone. I’m not married. And while I am willing and able to pour out endless love and affection on those around me, I’ve learned that to expect the same in return is to be sorely disappointed. That’s not to say that the lack of reciprocation is intentional. For some, there’s just other things going on. For others, it’s that I’ve not even told them that this is how I feel. Whatever the case, though, the reality is that I am alone. The level of love and affirmation I receive comes and goes. I have no steady “income” so to speak…

So I imagine that this solo trip to Ireland will help me to realize that I need to not only become comfortable with being alone, but I also need to learn to enjoy it. Because I’m tired of waiting and hoping for a level of love that may or may not come. I’m tired of hoping that I’ll wake up to see a random text from my best friend telling me that he’s praying for me or thinking about me or just that he loves me. I’m tired of fighting to spend time with people and feeling like a nuisance because of it. I’m tired of being no one’s priority.

So I guess I need to prioritize myself right now. No, I’m not going to stop loving the people I love. Because to do that would be to deny myself the simple pleasure of loving others deeply – that’s just who I am. But, somehow, someway, I need to figure out how to accept the fact that I am not likely to ever receive that same level of love in return.

All I want in life is to be loved as deeply as I try to love people. I’m completely confident in the fact that those around me know exactly how I feel about them. They get to rest in the security of knowing that I love them. I do not have that privilege. Instead, I get to second-guess whether or not I am loved when nobody texts me like I do them. Or because people rarely seek to spend time with me. Or because people seem to spend more time with others than they do with me. Or because many of my attempts at showing love or affirmation go completely unacknowledged.

Is all of this selfish? Maybe… I guess I’m still in the process of figuring this all out.

All I know right now is that I don’t feel as loved as I know those around me do. I know that people rarely put in as much effort to show me love as I do for them. And it’s not that I resent that. It’s just that it can become exhausting.

I’m just looking for someone – a friend, a significant other, whatever… – to love me as deeply as I would gladly and joyously love them. I have a lot of love to give. Is it so wrong to want to feel that kind of love for myself?

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2 thoughts on “the thing about love”

  1. I understand this so much. And I’m always surprised when someone else gets it. It’s so hard to always end up being the one who loves more deeply.

    You’re not alone, though. That’s something I’ve had to learn myself. Just because others don’t have that same part of their personality doesn’t mean they don’t care. They just may not care in the same way. Do I still want someone to be in my life who loves the same way I do? Of course. But that doesn’t make the relationships I have now less meaningful. Just a thought. 🙂

  2. If this isn’t me…..I’m in the same boat, friend. Thank you for your ideas about appreciating where I am, though, that is helpful. Thank you for being such an amazing person and giving so much. I pray you feel fulfilled soon, whether it is by your friends, God, or being content with where you are.

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