The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting the same results. In relationships we tend to pick the same type of individuals (with toxic character/characteristics) over and over again and expect that one day we'd find true love. And we never do, because toxic love becomes so normal, that we don't know how to function in it's absence. In turn we develop a pattern of subjecting ourselves to unrequited love.
What is unrequited love?
Unrequited love is essentially one-sided love. It's a relationship or situation where one party loves the other, but that love is not reciprocated.
I personally made a conscious choice to terminate toxic relationships in 2019. I assessed each relationship to determine if I was giving more to the other individual than I received in return. When I noticed that I was exhausted from investing my time and effort, I decided to end the relationship.
Now I am sensible. I can understand that for some this is easier said than done. For me it was a process, but I committed to it with everything in me, because I knew that I deserved better. I decided to write this post for those like me who are losing themselves loving someone who doesn't love them the same way in return.
It's so easy for us to see what we want in others.
It's so easy to expect people to fulfill areas of our lives that we can't. And maybe that's not because we don't want to, but because we are not properly equip to handle certain aspects of life. The most common aspects being that of loneliness (being single) and self-sufficiency (independence).
Some of you may (but I hope most of you won't) be surprised that many people in this world lack the ability to function independently. Because we live in a world that heavily promotes relationships, not to mention we come from a culture that is built on the ideal of female caregiving (homemaking) and bread winning men, that while this is no longer the norm, we find that there are still women who prefer to be taken care of, because work is too hard. Unfortunately, I must too add that in the current climate there are too men who wish to be taken care of as well.
It's the notion of dependence that allows us to stay in relationships (or situation-ships) with people who don't love us in the same way that we love them, or that we desire them to love us.
At some point, we have to say that we don't want to be in sitaution-ships (AT ALL) and relationships that don't fulfill us. We have to choose to be independent until what is right for us comes along. But that willingness to be independent is challenged when we compare ourselves to others.
In my experience I grew up with a man that I didn't decide to love until about year 8 of our friendship. It was then that I began to see the value in what we had. We were without title, but it was not superficial. I decided (on my own) to love him and allow him in (be vulnerable) at a time that he was no longer checked in. Ultimately I spent two years expecting more from him, without realizing that he was giving very minimal effort. And it wasn't until I was asked by an ex-boyfriend of mine if we were ready for marriage, that I realized we weren't. And although this was someone I loved very dearly, and could argue that he loved me as well, I realized in that moment that I wanted more with him, than he did from me. Because even though I would have married him, he was not ready, nor desired the same thing...
I spent two years of my life wishing and hoping for something that would never come to me. It was in that time that I reflected on one of the most valuable things my mother ever shared with me. She stated that marriage is not all it's cracked up to be, and that you should wait until you find the right person, instead of just being with anyone, so that you don't have to be alone. She would then follow up with "it's better to be single than in a relationship or marriage with someone that you don't know and/or don't like".
It was in my reflection that I realized that a relationship is mutual effort to get to know a significant other. That effort is loud and intentional, it's not hidden. Because marriage isn't a place to "get to know" your significant other. Marriage is a place of acceptance and growth. Marriage is a choice to share your life. A choice based on the notion that the individual you know, love and identify with is someone you want to spend the rest of your days with. Because the effort that person displays in the relationship, will be the same effort (if not more) that he/she displays in marriage. When you marry, you should love someone enough to put in 100% of effort to make the marriage work.
In short, stop looking for love from those who don't give you any effort. WAIT and be patient for the one that you won't have to question their effort to get to know you, and (or) their desire to love you.
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