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Is It True Love or Comfort and Familiarity?

Don’t let yourself be fooled by comfort. If your instincts tell you you’re not truly happy then listen to them! There is life after love. ♥️

By Scarlett WhitePublished 7 years ago 5 min read

For the past four years I had convinced myself that the man I was dating was “the one” and that my love for him was boundless and true. Meeting when I was merely 19 and being my first real relationship, he was all I had known progressing into young-adulthood. But four years into our story, when he dumped me and moved away, I was sure my life was over and I would never feel anything again... I was extremely wrong, and it didn’t take me long to figure it out.

Between many emotional breakdowns, multiple journal entries, and a few casual conversations with other lonely folk, I came to a conclusion I had never before considered. Only three months into the breakup, but desperate to prove my worth to myself (and perhaps just a tinch to my ex), I had taken to the “dating” site: Tinder. Forcing myself to find attraction in other men after I had so devotedly “only had eyes for my ex” for so long, I managed to swipe right a handful of times.

Don’t let this mislead you; this story is not about how I immediately found love on Tinder after a brutal breakup. Far from it. It is in fact how I found myself, with the help of some wonderful new friends acquired through Tinder, and what it taught me about my past relationship.

Up to this point 99 percent of these online encounters had been duds, and mostly through a large fault of my own. No matter how smoothly the conversation had been running, as soon as any implication of a physical meeting was introduced I was immediately uninterested and utilizing that “unmatch” feature. I told myself I wasn’t ready, that my heart still belonged to my ex and if I tried to give it away to someone else then he might never want it back. I was convinced I had to improve myself, essentially change most everything about myself, and then he would want me back. I don’t need to tell you how unhealthy, and unwise, that thought process is.

Then I came across this man, who I will admit had a very superficial appeal to me. He was almost twice my age and a wealthy doctor in the area. The conversation was effortless and I had finally agreed to a proper date with someone I had never previously met. My willingness, alone, to participate in an evening with another man made me feel like a whole new woman. I was wasn’t constantly berating myself and worrying about all the who/what/where/when/and why’s of my ex’s life, I was simply enjoying mine. It became apparent to me that I was resting on what had been familiar in my life, not what my heart truly wanted.

Our relationship was a rocky one, to say the least. We had broken up dozens of times for however long a period, we fought incessantly (and harshly), and we had a strict pattern of staying in, drinking, eating unhealthily, and unreliability within our jobs due to such habits. But regardless of our tribulations, I thought he was the one considering my previous 19 years of never finding anyone I had true feelings for, until I met him. Deep down, and sometimes very much on the surface, I knew I wasn’t happy. Not truly. But each time the door opened up for me to leave and find happiness elsewhere I panicked and came running back to what was familiar.

Not even solely that I thought I would be alone for quite a while if I’d left him, but it concerned me that my whole life would change. We had built a real life together, regardless of its instability, and I wasn’t sure how I would recover from its demise and build it back up by myself. So I stayed. Time and time again. We had our share of wonderful memories, obviously, but for the most part, it was two people, who while they did love each other, were not meant to be. Our personalities seemed to mesh perfectly when we were young kids having fun, but as we got older and it came time to grow up, we held each other back. We were two entirely different storms trying to contain themselves in a 900 square foot apartment.

He realized before I did that we couldn’t continue on in such a way, but when your heart is freshly torn into a million pieces it’s hard to be sensible. I wallowed in self-pity for three months, hoping there was something, anything I could do to get that comfort of my old life with him back. That’s when the hot doctor from Tinder came to my rescue.

It got me out of the house, it got me smiling again, and it got me having those nervous butterflies in your stomach that you begin to miss after a long relationship. I honestly didn’t think I would be able to feel this way again since I had already “found the one.” But the truth of the matter is, no matter what happens or doesn’t happen with the hot doctor, I realized I didn’t want my old life back. I didn’t want to settle for “comfortable” when in just two encounters with another man I felt more affection than I did in four years with my ex (a huge source of our issues). I don’t care if I never end up seeing Tinder doc again, because the realizations it elicited in the short time I’ve known him are far more valuable to me than the butterflies. I learned that I don’t have to change who I am to be someone my ex will want, and also change for. He is who is and it just isn’t compatible with who I am. I no longer crave being the woman he comes running back to after he realizes what he’s lost. Neither of us lost. We gained a love for each other that will never be forgotten and now, as hopefully he will as well, I’ve gained a love for myself. A respect for myself I had been ignoring for far too long.

In three months, after four years, and all of my adulthood so far, I overcame a breakup that I thought would haunt me forever. I realized I am worth more than just comfort and familiarity, that I deserve true, all-consuming love. And so do you.😊

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    SWWritten by Scarlett White

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