Love is such a scary concept. It can leave you feeling so hopelessly invested in someone who when things are starting to fall to pieces, you hold on to each other only merely because you once had something so special, that you believe you could or will have it again. Sometimes this may be true, managing your way through the hard times and starting over. But most times, if you are already broken there is not much you can do to fix it.
When I experienced my first heartbreak, it scared me to ever fall back in love again. I had invested two and a half years traveling back and forth through long distance to be with this guy. I felt like our relationship was a battle. Not only did I spend a lot of money on transportation, but I also spent a lot of time alone at random bus stations, waiting for someone to come pick me up. Hoping he had not forgotten or overslept again.
But whenever my friends questioned or doubted my decision to continue the relationship, I always gave the same reply:
But I love him.
And I truly did. I was young, I was reckless, and I had never experienced a feeling as strong as this. A love so passionate and intense that most moments we spent together were filled either with smiles too big to fit our faces or tears as warm and salty as the fresh summer day we first fell for each other. We would fight and we would shout and we would cry, but we would also kiss and laugh and be each other’s best friends. He would make me feel invincible.
I loved him so passionately that I truly believed we would stay together forever. We spent two years being inseparable, and I thought I was the lucky one who met her soul mate at only 15. Our parents had both met and married young, and we had hope that everything would work out the same for us. Why not, we loved each other right? And then he broke it off.
He cheated and then he cheated again and then the cheating became love and I was out of the picture. It was hard and it was sudden. It was like someone giving me a bitchslap right across my cheek, thinking I was someone else. I did nothing to deserve it. It came out of nowhere, and I failed to understand the reasons why. All I could feel was the ache he left behind, before leaving me forever and starting dating a new girl.
This is why love is such a scary concept.
You can never truly know what the other person is thinking and feeling. You can speculate and you can guess, but you can never read another person’s mind. So while you are living on a cloud, imagining forever, your significant other might wake up one day and feel differently. And there is nothing you can do to change that.
You do not stay together with someone you do not imagine a future with. You might have flings and hookups and dates, but as soon as you love someone on a deeper level, you start to imagine and plan the future. It’s the course of dating, moving from casual up to different levels of serious. You date and then you might move in together and then you might get engaged and you might even get married. But none of that gives you a promise of forever. As much as you want it ‘til death do you part, love can only ever be in the moment. Because the harsh truth is that the love of your life might change his mind one day.
It will hurt and it will feel like you are dying and it will scare you of ever falling in love again. But time will pass, and no matter how naïve and cliché it sounds, it will actually heal your wounds. One morning you will wake up, and your ex will not be the first person on your mind anymore. And then he will stop hunting your dreams. And then he will stop hunting your mind for good.
Then you will be ready to open up your heart again, looking for love and as always hoping for forever. Hoping for that one person who will never leave you. If that person even exists.
The good news is that you can have more than one ‘love of your life.’
So no matter how scary love is, it is important to never shut your heart to it. Because even though love can possibly bring you heartbreak and pain, it will also bring you joy and passion and make you feel alive again. Falling in love might be the scariest thing ever, but when you think about it it is really quite simple: You either stay together, or you break up. And in both of those scenarios, although painful and extremely emotional, you will survive through it.
Feature image via Donny Zavala Photography.