Have you ever felt the warmth of the sun your skin? It’s as though the world is holding you close and you gently feel its breath. I’d never felt it so beautifully than the time I rode a train home from London after meeting a girl off the internet for the first time.
I sat in the window seat, lost in my own world. I paid attention to nothing and nobody. Acoustic music played in my ears. My heart ached intensely. I knew I was in love. The landscape roared past in a blur, as did the months that followed.
We exchanged histories and planned futures. We loved deeply. We fought deeply. We held each other so close, genuinely believing this is it, we’ve found what so many people spend their lives searching for.
We cried together as it all fell apart.
We fluxed and dipped and dived through the cycles of telling each other it’s not meant to be and convincing ourselves that if we try, just one more time, this time it will work. Oh god, please let it be this time.
It never did.
It’s not like you haven’t been in this situation before though, right? You’ve loved before. You’ve broken up before. Why does this time feel like the hardest? You swear this was it. You had your whole future planned out? Your shared dreams bought so much to your life. Everything was in place.
And now it’s gone.
Perhaps the same thing that happened with every other relationship you’ve been in. From loving someone and sharing your life with, at some point you placed all your hopes and dreams of happiness into the idea of this relationship and it eventually became the centre of your universe.
Somewhere between hanging off their every word during phone calls at 4am and ignoring their messages as they pop up while you work, you put your aspirations on the wayside.
You convinced yourself that this relationship could be the one that lasts, and you’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.
You want to be here for the long haul; even if it means unconsciously sabotaging your own life.
Even if you didn’t realise it along the way.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of love. It takes no effort allowing that special someone to completely take over your existence. Why wouldn’t they? Life is positive, and fulfilling, and satisfying when you’re in love, so why would you want to feel any other way?
Why would you let yourself feel any other way?
The pursuit of these feelings is why we invest so much time and energy into our relationships. But, it comes at a cost.
If you’re not showing yourself an amount of attention, love, and care, your energy reserve burns up fast. What energy is then left to give to yourself?What energy have you left to live your life?
Think of everything you’ve done in your relationship, both past and present. Think about how you’ve changed yourself. Think about the things you’ve given up. Think about how you melted yourself down to fit the mould.
Is to love someone to throw yourself off the edge blindly, giving up everything you are? Everything that makes you, you. No. It’s about living the life you want to live and then sharing your experience with that special other person, as well as sharing theirs.
To love someone is to be yourself. It’s having the opportunity to support, motivate, and inspire each other. Giving each other room and space and love to grow. It’s not convincing yourself that giving yourself completely will make them never want to leave. It’s not trying to fit their expectations or trying to be what they want.
It’s not about trying to be enough.
You were enough just the way you were. You are enough the way you are.
You need to live your own life and be an individual.
Finding your soulmate isn’t about giving everything you’ve worked so hard on so far to start a new life with your new special someone, nor is that what your partner should be doing for you.
Of course not.
You fell in love with that special someone because you adored how passionate they were with the things they did in their life. Their likes, their dislikes. Their music tastes and their favourite foods, and books.
You listened intently to the stories of their past and smiled when they told you their dreams for the future. You felt the spark of connection burn brighter with every word shared.
You fell in love with each other because of the person and the individual they were. If either of you stop being yourselves, then who’s left in their place to love?
Never forget that love is supposed to be something that adds to your life, compliments it, and builds on top of what you already have.
It should never be the core of your existence.
Relationships are exciting and fulfilling, obviously. It’s human nature. But instead of throwing who you are away, why not try and bring this level of excitement to the relationship you have with yourself?
Imagine all the time and energy you invest into that special someone, or other people, and giving yourself half of that. All the meals you’ve cooked, the gifts you bought, the texting, the phone calls, and letters, and conversations.
Imagine if you gave yourself the same intensity of attention. Imagine if you could love yourself that deeply.
It may sound stupid, but if you start treating your relationship with yourself in the same way you look at other relationships in your life, you’re opening the door to a whole new world of opportunities when it comes to living your life the way you want to live it.
Imagine all the things you could do. Think of all the amazing things you could achieve.
We’ve all heard the saying of “we can’t love others until we learn to love ourselves”. We’ve heard it for a reason.
Being able to connect with another human being in such an intimate and intense way is one of the best aspects of being a human being, and it’s a miracle we have the ability to feel this way at all.
What’s even more amazing is the ability to allow ourselves this same degree love, a degree of love that will make even the darkest days seem brighter.
My first novel is out now! I ESCAPE THROUGH YOU is an intimate retelling of the challenges of modern relationships told with hindsight and lessons learned.
Read This When You Miss Someone You Love
For when you can’t seem to think about anything else
Happiness: Not As Hard to Find as You May Think
When they say happiness is found in the smallest of things, they’re not kidding.