I can believe now.
For a while, I simply couldn't see myself ever being in love again. I could see fun relationships, a mutual respect and enjoyment. But love? You can lose yourself in it. You make allowances that you never would for someone else you weren't in love with. You may trade your self respect for the adoration and affection of someone else. Love is dangerous. Love was the chemical bonding to help the species survive gone haywire. Love was the excuse that I made to myself every time I went back. Love was some fairytale built to keep women with men and men with women despite their obviously unhealthy relationships. "But I love him/her," I have heard from the lips of continuously heartbroken and miserable friends.
Fuck Love. I thought. I armed myself against it. I viewed it as suspect. I saw love as something that I would be in constant struggle with: a man with a rope waiting just around the corner to strangle me until I became blind and breathless.
I have had only two relationships with confident "whole" men. By whole I mean they were happy both in and out of relationships, they could and would be single for long periods of time, they had no addictions, no poor lifestyle choices.
I was completely in love with one of them. It was a good relationship. Great communication and lots of fireworks. If it happened once before...
I believe that love with a whole person is possible for me. A healthy relationship with love is possible for me. In the future.
Right now however, is not a good time for anything serious. It is a good time for coffee dates. It is a good time to remember how to socialize with people that I am not having sex with. It's a good time to set my boundaries, and watch for those who do and do not respect them. It is a good time for me to say "No." To myself. Self control when it comes to sexual desire is not one of my strong suits. This often gets me too attached too quickly and draws me into unhealthy relationships. Mostly it's a good time for me to observe how "whole" I have become.
My last relationship I was warned, do not jump into another one right away. But I'm in love, I thought. This person and I were meant to be. I was in love, but I was not whole.
I don't want to bring my insecurities from my last relationship into a new one. I don't want to settle for anything less then total respect for one another. I know I still need time to figure everything out and heal, so that I don't simply find and use someone else to fill that hole. I know that I cannot leave an unhealthy relationship without needing serious self reflection time, to do so is to walk right back into another codependent partnership in which I base my happiness on someone else. I am on this journey, who knows how long it will be before I can love again? For the first time since the break up I believe that I can love again, and it won't mean giving up a part of myself to do it.