“I found a love for me …”
– Perfect (Ed Sheeran)
I have always had this sentiment that no one
will can truly, madly and deeply love me in every sense of the word. I mean, to have someone love you so deep, they accept you and all your flaws, choose to ride with you even when you are being unreasonably difficult is quite something. It has got to take more than love and trust, it has to be faith. Faith that one day, they won’t up and disappear, that they’ll make you a priority and actually be there. It’s scary leaving your heart in the hands of someone else to say the least.
Today I’m 6 months in a relationship. For most persons, it’s probably nothing. But for me, this is a first and it’s really huge and significant, like this is a major milestone in my life!
This has been an interesting journey and most importantly, a learning process for me. I’ve had to unlearn a lot in the past months and also learn to share my life and actually allow someone be there for me. This relationship has helped me grow. The most painful and hardest growth has been learning how to deal and actually communicate. I’m not there yet but I know I’ve made progress.
I’ve grown from being that guy who always said he isn’t a relationship person (I once stated that it’s the beginning of relationships, when the feelings are sprawling everywhere, while it’s still intense I’m about.) to the guy who craves stability and a long term relationship.
Then the major one, I have always run from long distance but the weird thing is, it has turned out to be the best arrangement for me, especially as it favours my moral code. Yea, it gets hard sometimes but on the long run, it’s helped keep my sanity intact and not make me feel smothered.
I saw this on twitter last year – It’s not easy dating someone who has been single for a long time ‘cus they are so used to their single ways, it’s difficult for them to let others share their space.
After the first four months, it was almost like my entire system began to revolt. Was this really me doing long term? It was foreign to me and my head was trying to sabotage the relationship. I wanted out but my heart was already in it. I tried to convince myself that we had certain issues which were good enough for a breakup but I knew it was all me trying to sabotage the relationship.
I’m that guy who over the years has mastered the act of shutting people out. I’m so good at goodbyes like Sam Smith would say. But this time it’s different. I can’t think of going through life alone. All the times I tried to disappear I found myself running back. So scary being in this situation, but then its feel normal, feels nice and I feel complete. This journey I’m on has got me singing –
“I can’t do this thing called life without you here with me,
‘cause I’m dangerously in love with you
I’ll never leave
Just keep lovin’ me the way I love you loving me”
– Dangerously in love (Beyonce)
No relationship is perfect and it takes work. We’ve probably broken up a hundred times over (well, especially the time I was trying to run) but next day we are settling ish and going back to us. Going the long haul is a conscious decision. Choosing to stay is not about being in love or the way you feel, it’s about making a decision to stay, both parties having the will to make it work.
This journey has been so worthwhile and interesting even with the many talks dealing and trying to strike a balance between our different personalities.
At the fourth month when I freaked out about the whole long term relationship I strayed. I still do not know why I did it but I hate that I did. Sometimes I reminisce, trying to understand why I strayed but no particular reason comes to mind. Was it clarity I was seeking? Trying to know if I truly wanted the relationship? Or was I just being indisciplined?
One thing I took away from it, is the painful realization that just maybe I’m not all that morally grounded as I thought. I’ve set high moral standards for myself and felt I was doing a great job upholding them. It made me feel good about myself, even borderline feeling self-righteous at times. To watch it all crumbling down and then realize that hey, I never truly knew my limits. All I’ve been doing is caging myself, sabotaging relationships, such that I never stayed long enough in one to know what I am capable of.
I was forgiven and we worked through it. But it took me way longer than that to forgive myself. I was torn within. I have this stain on my record that can never be wiped out. Truth is, staying faithful is not all about hurting the feelings of your partner, it has so much more to do with you as an individual. This song by P!nk saw me through my guilt-
”Every bad reason, all my pointless doubts
Where I went wrong
I whispered the ways that I’m ashamed of myself …
I handed you all my fears
My thoughtless decisions turned into thoughtful tears
What have I done for the first time? I blame myself …
But you get my love
If there’s only one thing about me that you can trust
You get my love, baby
Don’t let my mistakes take that away from us”
– You get my love (P!nk)
Six months…distance ain’t got anything on us. It’s been quite the journey and we are still carrying on, learning and unlearning. It’s not perfect but what’s important is we are better at resolving issues and also getting along.
Being in a long term relationship no longer seems strange to me. I’ve adjusted fine and things look great. Though mostly, I’d say our making it this far wasn’t about me, heck! I swear 70% of the effort wasn’t from me, especially those times I was on flight mode.
Being with someone who wants the relationship to work, who is ready to deal with your demons and not flee when things are rough is priceless.
There was a time we were constantly fighting. It was tiring and endless. I knew we were trying to strike a balance but mehn, it wore me out and I was just there, reasoning if it was all worth it. Was my peace of mind not better that all the madness? Still I couldn’t walk away. Basically it was more like;
“Being with you is so dysfunctional
I really shouldn’t miss you
But I can’t let you go
‘Cause we belong together now
Forever united here somehow
You got a piece of me and honestly
My life would suck without you”
– My life would suck without you (Kelly Clarkson)
Every relationship is different, finding what works best for you both is key. I saw this on Instagram today morning – ‘Your relationship doesn’t need to make sense to anyone, except you and your partner. It’s a relationship, not a community project.
Sometimes I reflect and get amazed at how far we’ve come. Mostly I’m surprised I’ve stayed this long and I’m still wanting it to go on. What’s that they say again? ‘When you meet someone special, all the opinions you once held about life can suddenly change.’