Told You I Was An Open Book

            We all define romantic love differently. Some of us say falling in love is different than truly loving someone; they are separate entirely. Some think that you can’t be in love if you don’t truly love someone. Maybe I’ve confused you. It’s something that many people debate over and these two terms people tend to use interchangeably. In my opinion, the two are completely separate concepts. Loving someone completely requires giving all of yourself: your heart, your mind, your soul. It entails putting someone’s needs before your own and wanting nothing more than their happiness in return. Falling in love, I believe, is quite different. It’s an emotion, merely feelings. Feelings that make you miserable if they aren’t returned and inexplicably happy if they are. So if being in love is more of an emotion while true love is more of an action, then some couples are really lucky to have both. Isn’t that the dream?

           You see the fairy tale never really lasts, in most cases. I believe that true love can produce the emotion of being in love. I do believe, however, that you can have one without the other. If you truly love someone, you may not always be in love with them. It also works the other way. I think sometimes we fall in love with people without expecting to and deny ourselves that emotion because we barely know who we fell for. See, this is where I have my experience. I generally fall for people pretty fast if they treat me right. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe we fall in love with everyone we have feelings for, but when we start wanting to truly love them, not just for the way they make us feel, but for who they are…. that’s when I believe people fall in love.

           I’ve only fallen in love a few times and I’ve only truly loved two men. There was a time in my life when I entered a relationship that I thought would be the only one I’d ever want to have. He was my first love and I made him my everything. He quickly took advantage and long story short, things ended badly. After he left, I fell into some pretty destructive habits in my relationships. I’d either open up too quickly, or start pushing the poor sap away. I started to believe that there was no one out there for me and that the romantic love I’d always dreamed to have was just a fairy tale. I still believe that the love we see on the big screen almost never exists in real life, unless you’re watching a Nicholas Sparks film in which case most of it is realistic and people either die, get divorced or learn to live with and love their partner.

            I’ve never had a completely functional relationship. I’m not super girly. I have a ton of guys that are just friends. And believe me, I know that finding a guy that is truly just a friend is difficult. I managed to find myself a group of them. There have been very few people that I don’t totally push away after a few months of trying to let my walls come down. The first one I honestly thought could make a good boyfriend, but he left me for his ex. The second was my best guy friend from high school and he did what he does best when things get hard, he pushed me away. The third, I didn’t plan on letting in at all. In fact, he was supposed to be another addition to my group of guy friends that I hang out with on occasion and take turns complaining about how much we hate the opposite sex.

              That was… Well, until he kissed me. I thought it was because he was drunk, but the next day he wanted to see me again. I was skeptical thinking he only wanted one thing. It wasn’t about that at all, which confused me. I’m used to guys who want nothing more than to take advantage of you and ditch. Those are the easy ones to run off.

               We decided to just stay friends because neither of us were stable enough to have a relationship yet. We established that we had feelings for each other and we wouldn’t see other people but despite the mutual respect and understanding, for me those feelings only grew the more I saw of him.

               I believe that everyone comes into our lives for a reason. I used to know him a long time ago. He knew me before I even got my first scar. I met him in junior high, so we experienced each others most awkward phases. And then he moved. We didn’t talk much after that. Maybe he’s here now to remind me of who I used to be and what I wanted to become back then. I lost that girl when I fell in love for the first time and truly started to give my heart away. While dealing with the mess that my first love left behind, I forgot to find that girl again.

             Now if he’s reading this and I assume he probably will eventually… Know that I didn’t mean for all of this to happen. I didn’t mean to fall for you. I never wanted a relationship before I realized that you were the only thing that made sense to me. Maybe that’s because you reminded me who I used to be. Maybe it’s because with you, I don’t get flashbacks of a vile relationship that my mind can’t seem to escape. Maybe it’s because we’re both bruised and scarred and I find comfort in knowing because you’re here I’m not alone. Every other person I’ve dated, I got scared and ran. I had flashbacks, nightmares, fears that none of them could touch. You made them go away without even trying. I know you don’t feel the same as I do and you probably never will. And that’s okay. Because you gave me back what I’d been missing for so long. You gave me back the girl I lost and you showed me what I want to have in a relationship. You taught me to never settle.

                I know I don’t truly love him yet. I don’t know his heart well enough for that. I know that I’d like to if he’d give me a chance, but that’s all on him. And it’s not my choice. My only mission is to figure out who that girl was and who she was supposed to be before she made the wrong decisions. I’ve learned how to grow from the mistakes I’ve made. I’ve gotten stronger by dealing with the mistakes of others. But now I need to do some soul searching and figure out who she was trying to be. I’m determined to get her back. She had so many dreams and aspirations that got stolen. They’re still there. She just needs to reach out and try to grasp them again.

I made a promise to myself a long time ago and I intend to keep it. I will stand up and fight for who I was, who I am and who I’m going to be. I won’t let my dreams die that easily. I won’t give up on love. Thanks for reminding me how passionately I used to believe in forever and how much people still do. It’s inspiring.

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