You’ve only ever known tortured love, the pain of on-and-off, up-and-down, romantic and tragic. You’ve been so beaten down by toxicity that the devastation has become love to you — the degrading comments, the broken promises, the apologies without action. But if it’s truly love, you won’t feel a constant undercurrent of pain running through your heart. You’ll feel elation, comfort, and security — the freedom of knowing that you can be loved for who you are.
If it’s love, it won’t hurt.
You won’t feel the pain of lonely nights without them, worrying that they’ll never come back to you. You won’t feel the jab of harsh words and harsher actions, the moments when you feel too afraid to leave. And you won’t feel the constant pressure to please them, to satisfy their every need while forsaking your own. If it’s love, you’ll absolutely feel the warm bliss of knowing that they won’t lay a finger on your body or drive a stake through your heart — the thought that they could hurt you will fade away day by day.
If it’s love, it won’t feel wrong.
You won’t wonder why they can never seem to fully devote their heart to you when you’ve seen them remain open-hearted in the past. You won’t feel like you’re constantly searching for a missing piece, hunting desperately for the intangible passion you crave. And you won’t lust after lovers past, wondering why your partner can’t have their charm or passion. If it’s love, you’ll absolutely know in the depths of your soul that there is no other, that you both fulfill each other deeply, indubitably.
If it’s love, it won’t be short-lived.
You won’t fear the day they get down on one knee, asking you for forever. You won’t constantly ruminate about the end, the moment when you both part ways, never to speak again. And you won’t think of jumping into a passionate new romance without any regard for the present, constantly feeling unenthused and dissatisfied. If it’s love, you’ll absolutely yearn for a future with them, dreaming of the moment when today becomes forever, seeing them stand by your side through every stage of life.
You believe that the toxic love you know is all you deserve, enduring the disparagement, the emotional neglect, the disregard for your boundaries. But if it’s truly the love you deserve, it’ll look like this — comfort, bliss, passion, and kindness now and forevermore.
Previously published on Thought Catalog.