I’ve been searching for it since I was 14 years old. I wasn’t looking for a fairytale; I was just looking for what I didn’t think I was getting at home – unconditional love.
You see my dad and I had a major falling out and he told me that if I married outside of my race and religion I would no longer be his daughter. He set a condition on his love and ever since I’ve been looking for that love and acceptance from him and every other man I’ve come across.
I kept falling short until this past year and half. For the first time in my life I felt truly loved. I felt safe. I felt submerged in the affection of this man. Despite the fears and the issues of the past that we were both facing he kept showing up, everyday.
His actions, his love, they all said we were in this for the long haul, but his words – they began to fill with doubt and uncertainty. So much so that I began to retract and felt like I had to start protecting myself.
After a summer filled with talks that seemed like the end (though he kept saying it wasn’t), I found myself in fight or flight mode after an emotional weekend. Without a conscious thought I drove to the store to buy boxes, packed up his belongings and wrote him a letter saying my goodbyes.
In truth I wasn’t ready to say goodbye, but I couldn’t handle not being chosen everyday. I wanted to rock him. He would choose me once and for all if he experienced loosing me, right?
We continued to talk and cry, and talk some more. We talked in circles. Never resolving the underlying issue. While we ultimately wanted the same thing and wanted it with each other, he believed he couldn’t give me what I wanted right now, and that he still had work to do on his own.
Despite his belief and my logic, we couldn’t let go of each other. For months we continued to go back and forth, trying to figure out something that we couldn’t change.
I found myself pleading with him to make this work. “We can figure this out together, you don’t have to do it on your own,” I’d say. He kept telling me he loved me and that he wanted to be with me but he couldn’t.
I sat there and asked myself what are you doing? Have you done this before? Why are you fighting for this so hard when he’s clearly not in it?
I realized I was replaying the pattern I established with my dad years ago with him. I once again was trying to convince the man I love to choose me anyway, regardless of the circumstance.
With my dad it was love me anyway. Be my dad despite the circumstances that are not ideal to you. Aren’t I such a good daughter? Why can’t you love me and be my dad no matter what? Why can’t we look beyond the circumstances and figure this out?
With him it’s love me anyway. Be with me despite the circumstances that are not ideal to you. Aren’t I such a good girlfriend? Why can’t you love me and be with me no matter what? Why can’t we look beyond the circumstances and figure this out?
In each case they both do love me. Their love is even unconditional, but our relationships were not. My dad had his conditions for our relationship and the boyfriend had his. Both have nothing to do with me. Both have more to do with what each one of them believes.
And just like I had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t change my dad’s mind years ago, I had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t change the now exes mind either.
The belief each one of them has became a condition or term for the relationship. But we must not confuse the two. While love is unconditional, relationships are not. As long as we focus on the conditions of the relationship, we’ll never truly experience unconditional love
We can’t allow ourselves to believe that people don’t love us unconditionally because of their terms, behavior and actions. One can love unconditionally and still cheat. One can love unconditionally and still leave. One can have a value and belief that’s so strong that they’ll choose it over love, no matter how deeply they love you.
So while our relationship didn’t survive, I choose to focus on the fact that I got to experience unconditional love for the first time in my life. I get to believe that real love exists.
I won’t make the painful mistake of confusing the two ever again.
Want to learn how to identify your own sabotaging and negative relationship behaviors? I teach the exact exercise and skill it took ME to identify my own pattern in my Determined To Love course. Learn about it here or schedule time to speak with me one on one for FREE here.