The first time Steph told me she loved me, I told her that she didn’t know what she was saying. It was too soon to say things like that, I thought, and I was afraid that she didn’t realize the full extent of what she said, or of the commitment that this implied. I told her that maybe she made a mistake, and that she didn’t really mean it. I gave her an opening to take back her words.
The next day, I told her I loved her too. I truly loved her then, and whether or not she felt the same wasn’t the problem. It was the truth for me and I had to say it. I thought she loved me, but more than that, I realized that my feelings were a small price to pay for the love that I thought I had.
This is what I learned from my experience: we sometimes sacrifice our feelings (particularly happiness) for the possibility of someone liking us back. But why do we put such importance on being in a relationship? Perhaps it’s the fear of being alone that drives us into relationships that we probably shouldn’t be in. I can say for a fact that I stayed in a relationship with Steph for a lot longer than I should have, all because I was too afraid to be alone.
It’s often said that to love someone you have to be able to sacrifice yourself, or at least parts of yourself into the relationship. But I don’t agree with this view. Love should elevate the people in the relationship, make them into something better than who they were before. Though these people may add up to be a couple, they are whole in themselves. I feel as if a lot of times, shows and movies romanticize at least one broken person looking for someone to waltz into their lives to fix them. And oftentimes we rush into relationships because it feels like time is running out for us to be worthy of love. These concepts, of running out of time or waiting for someone to “fix” who we are, those only help in making rash decisions and ultimately bad choices in relationships
But at the end of the day, I feel as if a certain amount of faith is necessary for any relationship to work. Just as many people have faith in the religion they believe in, people in relationships ought to have faith that the person they are with cares for them in the same way. Just because the media tends to over-romanticize what it means to be in a relationship doesn’t mean that I have given up on finding “the one”.