Love is not need. Your true love is not the only thing. And you can not be ‘completed’ by someone.
These are lessons I have learned over the past twenty years.
When I was growing up I was insecure, shy and always wary of new people. Why? I don’t really know. I’m sure that if I chose to delve into deep psycho-analysis therapy that I could discover the reasons why. I have my suspicions.
I always felt I needed someone, to cling on to, usually Mummy, so I knew it would be okay.
This continued and possibly even worsened into my teenage years. The years that are by far the most challenging as we grow and try and discover true ourselves….within the boundaries of what would be seen as ‘acceptable’ by our peers of course.
I had a few boyfriends during my early teens. I actually wouldn’t call them boyfriends, more friends that were boys who I was ‘going with’. Mutually beneficial, for show.
When I was 15, two things happened only months apart. Firstly, my mother died from Cancer, then I began a relationship with a boy. My first serious boyfriend. I can see the connection now. I needed someone to cling on to, and I found someone new.
As any 15/16 year old ‘in love’ would tell you, I thought he was the man of my dreams. He was my prince charming coming to save me from the world. There would be no doubt we would marry and live happily ever after just like in the fairy tales. And NOONE would tell me otherwise. Although they did, and I didn’t listen.
Looking back, I realise how insecure I was.
This man, or boy, cheated on me, lied to me and still I didn’t want to see it. I should have tossed him to the curb many times, but I didn’t. I needed him. I didn’t have anyone else. He was now my life. His friends. His schedule. His interests. I put off so much for him to fulfill that need I had. And I believed no one else would ever be able to fill it as he did.
I ended up marrying him, and as I grew, I changed and evolved. Matured. Life will do that to you.
I grew more confident and comfortable within myself, and I came to realise that I didn’t need him anymore.
This was a horrible realisation. I knew it meant the relationship was built on nothing more than my need that no longer needed filling by something external. The relationship wasn’t build on love or trust, not even friendship, but simply my need. The walls started to crumble and soon, for me, there was nothing left.
I now know that need is not the right foundation for a relationship.
Fast forward twelve or so years I am again married, now with children and I am happy. I am comfortable with myself and confident that my relationship is built on a firm stone foundation of trust, intimacy, friendship and shared passions.
I have grown within myself and learned an important lesson; that if all were to come crashing down tomorrow – I would be okay. My brain can even function well enough in the scenario of a breakdown or tragic occurrence. It’s not something I ponder often or like to think about, simply a passing thought that within, I know I would be okay.
This is not to say that we are on shaky ground; far from it. It is not to say that I do not love my husband; far, far from it! It is not to say that I am blasé about our relationship either. And it is certainly not to say that I wouldn’t be devastated, hurt or heart broken if the relationship broke down. I would be beyond comprehension.
But It is to say that I don’t need him to be okay. I can exist separate as my own person both in the relationship and out of the relationship. It is to say that I am the same person now here and now, and would be the same person if I were on my own.
No longer do I have a need to be fulfilled by someone else. I can and do fulfill it myself, internally. I am competent; I am confident, and I am fulfilled.
And if I had to be….I know I’d be okay on my own.