To start off. No, this is not some super mushy, lovey dovey, cliche Valentines Day post. So if you are looking for all the artificial, commercial, we met, we fell in love stories…you probably should just move along.
You see, I’m a girl who has always had a distorted view of WHAT exactly love was. I didn’t grow up in a home with a Mother & Father who doted over one another. The only happy endings I knew that existed only happened in fairy tales.
You see, I am a product of divorce. I grew up with a single Mother who worked ridiculously hard for everything that we had. I was raised by an incredible tribe of people who loved me unconditionally, but when it came to relationships I wasn’t really sure WHAT one could look like.
So for most of my young life, I searched for LOVE and ACCEPTANCE. I craved it like it was a drug. I didn’t care where I found it, or how messed up it might be. I just wanted to be wanted by someone.<<More importantly by a man, because I felt so rejected by my biological father.>>
I know what you are thinking…Typical girl with Daddy’s issues…and you would be right. I have had my fair share of horrible relationships. Relationships that have left me bruised and broken. Relationships that tore me down to nothing.
I’ve been threatened to be kicked out of my own car for the radio being to loud. I have had my phone broken. I have been cheated on multiple times. Told that I wasn’t enough. I have been used. And the list goes on and on.
In my last relationship, I’m not exactly sure what broke the camels back. But enough was enough. I was so tired of being isolated from my family. So tired of being blamed for things that I could not control. Tired of being emotionally abused at every single turn.
So I left. I packed up my belongings, and headed home to my parents home. I had no desire to be in a relationship ever again. How could anyone love me, if I didn’t love myself?
Little did I know that, that very night I would meet the man I would end up with. Now, you might be thinking…didn’t she just say she didn’t want a relationship? I didn’t. I needed a friend. Someone who would listen without judging. I needed someone to see the raw, real me and just say it’s OK.
And that’s what he did. He picked up a broken shell of girl in the front of her house in the middle of the night with mascara stains down her face, in basketball shorts, and a scary looking ponytail. He drove around for hours & hours listening to me cry, and share my heart and soul with him.
I told him everything under the sun that was wrong with me, and instead of judging me. He accepted me, flaws and all. He was a friend. He was exactly what I needed.
“The best kind of love awakens the soul; and makes us reach for more; that plants a fire in our hearts; and brings peace to our minds.” -The Notebook
That night I absolutely did not plan on falling in love, and I doubt he planned on falling in love with me. But once we met it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us.
You may not believe in soul mates, but I do. I believe that this man was sent to me at the exactly the right moment. You see, we grew up only 11 miles from each other for 19 years, yet never once met. We had mutual friends, we were interested in many of the same things, but never met. I bet we probably walked past each other multiple times over the years, yet never knew it.
So why then? Why that moment in time? I can’t help but think it was serendipity.
Now, don’t think that this ends with “And They Lived Happily Ever After.” because while we are happy, we have had our fair share of struggles.
From sneaking around at night due to parents not being on board with our whirlwind romance, to parents boycotting our wedding (they did attend), to moving over 1,000 miles away just two months after tying the knot, to having a baby 11 months after we got married, to our home being repossessed, and much more.
But we have endured those struggles together. And that my friend is what love should look like.
Struan is not exactly who I pictured I would marry and spend my years adventuring with, but he is exactly who I need. He is smart, funny, hardworking, loyal, dashingly handsome, quiet, passionate, an excellent cook, motivated and so much more.
Bottom Line: I was looking for love in all the wrong places, I was looking for someone to sweep me off my feet. And the truth was I needed to learn to pick myself up. He taught me that. He didn’t pick up the shattered pieces of my broken heart and put them back together that night, he helped me figure out how to do it myself.
And still to this day, he helps me figure things out for myself. He never tells me what to do, how to dress, or how to act. He loves me for me. Which is exactly how it should be.
To the girl who is still searching for love. Stop. Stop searching so hard. Stop trying to create something out of nothing. Stop trying to force something that isn’t there. Trust me. I’ve been there.
Love will happen when you least expect it. So for now, love yourself. Treat yourself the way you should be treated. Find friendships. Build relationships. The right one will come along and it will be absolutely worth it.
So instead of searching for love this year, why don’t you devote this year to loving yourself more? You might be pleasantly surprised at how joyous it could be.
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” -Mandy Hale
In honor of Valentines Day I want to encourage you to treat yo’self. Grab a cute new pair of pjs, or a new workout item, and just dote on yourself a bit.
Feel free to go to Adore Me to snag a cute set of Jammie’s or Adult Dress Up Clothes (wink, wink) for $24.95 + free shipping!