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A Love Story

Everyone wants the perfect love story. I'm writing to tell you, not all love stories are without heartache. In fact, those are the best ones.

Everyone wants the perfect movie love story. No heartbreak, no fighting, no tears or hurtful words out of anger. But, not only is that unrealistic, it's too much. 

No one puts any importance on fights in a relationship anymore. But, in real life, they are a crucial factor. Fighting and hurt help us to realize how strong our bond is with that person. Anything that we overcome only makes the relationship stronger when you're in love. And, the story I am about to tell you, will show you exactly that.

The Love Story

We met when we I was 15 and he was 18. He was handsome, sweet and funny. He seemed like he really just enjoyed my company and listened to what I had to say. He was the first boy who made me feel like I deserved better than what I had had in the past. 

Backing up, I had a history (which he knew very well) of dating rude, manipulative and abusive men. I never felt like I deserved better than that. I wanted, desperately, to fix them at first, which immediately turned into self-blame and internalization when I couldn't change it. But he was different.

He thought I was brilliant. He acted like his sole purpose on this Earth was to make me feel appreciated and loved. He acted like I was the only woman that he could see. And I loved it. 

Quite frankly though, this scared me. I was barely 16 and I was thinking I was in love. And it felt like love. I started trying to chase him away once we started getting serious (which was roughly 4 months into our relationship). But, no matter what I tried, he never left. He dealt with so much hurt and pain and still didn't leave. I didn't understand it. I was intentionally hurting him so he'd leave. Who would want to stay?

Things would settle down after a while. I would settle into happy bliss and just relish the time we had together. I would accept when he would call me beautiful and I would start opening up. But it never lasted long. Once he would get in too far, that fear would kick in again. He's getting too close. He knows too much. What if he gets bored and leaves after I've let him in this far? So, I'd start pushing him away all over again.

After almost a year, the longest I had ever been with anyone, I finally did it. I started an argument and won. I had worn him out and he could no longer fight me. At the time, I didn't realize that he felt like I didn't love him. Then again, I had never let him in that far.

After we broke up, we remained extremely close friends. We would talk on the phone for hours at times about our lives. When I moved closer to him, we started hanging out again. Everything seemed like it was getting back to normal. We had dated other people since each other and we both seemed happy. But, every time we spoke, I couldn't shake this feeling of guilt. Knowing what I had done to him to scare him away and knowing I didn't want him to leave made me feel like I was a liar. I hated lying to him, but I really didn't technically. 

Then, my 18th birthday came and I had a sleep over with three friends. My best girl friend, best guy friend, and our mutual friend. The others fell asleep, but we stayed up talking all night. Again, he had that same effect on me that he always had. His 'trust me and open up' grin making the words tumble out of my mouth beyond my control. His eyes locking on mine until it was impossible for me to turn away. Everything about him pulled  at me. 

He had just broken up with his girlfriend, but I convinced him to give me another chance anyways. I didn't think about how he felt or if he needed time. I was ready to love him, fully this time. I didn't think about, and selfishly didn't care, if he was or not. 

We lasted an amazing five days before he left me. I guess I deserved it for the way I had treated him and taken him for granted in our past. He wasn't over his ex and he wasn't ready for a relationship. I was 18. All I saw was what I wanted, not what he wanted or needed. I was selfish.

After we broke up this second time (and I don't even know if you can qualify it as breaking up considering it was only a week) we still remained friends. We were still close. In fact, I had never felt closer, or more far away from someone in my life. The part of me that loved him needed to be detached in order for us to be friends.  I couldn't handle being friends with him when I was constantly aching to love him. 

A few months later, I had moved on to my typical, abusive type and he had moved on to his typical controlling type. It wasn't long after that it was made impossible by his girlfriend to be around him, but I guess that was my fault. He seemed happy, so I let him go. I thought, maybe it will be easier for both of us if I just let go. 

The last time we spoke, I sent him a text message. I told him I couldn't be friends with him and not love him so I had to let him go. I wanted him to be happy with who he was with because he seemed happy. I didn't want to ruin it for him. He texted back saying that the text got deleted, but I never responded. I was so close to breaking and begging for him to just stay. So I didn't reply. The five years that followed were the worst years of my life.

I went off the deep end then. I started drinking heavily, among other things. The men I dated got worse and worse. I never let anyone in farther than I wanted them to be. And they only knew the things I wanted them to know. The hardest to believe to the mundane everyday things. I was abused and manipulated and berated. I became someone I didn't even recognize. It took everything I had not to message him and beg him to save me. But at least he was happy. I can't ruin that. I can be happy knowing that he's happy. 

It got easier. Well, maybe not easier, but more normal. I got used to it. I could think of him from a distance from time to time, or he'd pop into my head, and I could be happy for a little while. I once believed I was in love. But, he just turned out to be just like every other guy, maybe even worse. 

In the five years that he was gone, my life fell apart. I had never realized how much he had kept me grounded and helped me out of the holes I dug myself into. He was my protector. In those five years, I had been engaged and called the wedding off, had carried two children, had a miscarriage, got married, and went through a horrendous divorce.

I finally had had enough. I pulled away from everyone. I became a hermit. I never left my house unless it was necessary. I was terrified of letting anyone in again. I had my kids, that was all. I didn't need anyone else. I started to get more self-sufficient, for once in my life, very slowly.

Of course, I had my moments (often) where I would go onto Facebook late at night and peek at old friends. Most of the time, I was peeking in on him. I wanted to make sure he was still doing good and was still happy. I still loved him and held him in my heart, and as long as he was genuinely happy, I could be content with that.

And then, it happened...

Out of the blue, I get a friend request and a message. I couldn't believe it! But, I kept my cool. As far as I knew at that moment, his girlfriend had finally allowed him to have a relationship with me again and he was perfectly content either way.

However, he wasn't with her anymore. I was petrified, what with the guys I dated, that he was only interested in one thing. He'd run as soon as he found out I had kids. I was 22 and terrified of the same things, more or less, that I was at 16. But, I reigned it in. I was polite and, to my surprise he asked to hang out.

He came over the next day. It was a little awkward at first. I didn't know how to handle it. Should I run and hug him like I used to? Handshake? We're adults damn it! How do adults handle this situation! Shortly after, I realized that I was worried over nothing. Everything was flowing just as naturally as if he had never left. And I was relieved. 

Within a week, we had shared five years worth of experiences and pent up feelings. Neither of us had had a good five years, and we had both missed each other every day.

The NOW

Today, we are an overly affectionate, dedicated, and happy couple. I am no longer worried about sharing my feelings, thoughts, ideas or experiences with him. I am tired of running from it. 

Love is terrifying, but it is beautiful. At 16-18, we weren't ready. At 18-20, we weren't ready. But at 23-25, we're finally ready. Sometimes, love is worth waiting for. Sometimes, it's not the wrong people that get together, it's the right people at the wrong time. We knew we loved each other all that time, we just weren't ready to let go of the fear, selfishness and naivety. Because, not being able to see someone's current situation and assess that it isn't the right time to be together is selfish. 

He was worth every second of waiting. I would've waited until the end of time. I write this for him so that he may know how much I love him. How truly, deeply I appreciate him. How much he has meant to me, in every way, throughout the years. 

The moral of the story? Never rush love. Love is spontaneous and wonderful. When you know, you know. But always remember that timing has a lot to do with it. Don't look for it, just let it happen the way it happens. 

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