We Are Built On… Love
I’ve mentioned once or twice that the fiancé and I consider the foundation of our relationship to be love, trust, and communication. Since blogging has become a way for me to process my thoughts and emotions, I thought I’d do a three-part series on each one of these foundations instead of always lumping them in together.
Love has taken an odd path through our relationship. Since we were both dating other people when we met and began hanging out, both the fiancé and I were resistant to the idea of falling in love. But I’d never met anybody like him. No one had ever been so emotionally doting or so physically affectionate in a way that didn’t creep me out.
I thought that perhaps if he was so open emotionally that maybe I should give it a shot. Almost the second I did, I fell deeply and passionately in love with a man who, unbeknownst to me, had trust issues, sincerity issues, and self-awareness issues.
I’ll be telling this whole story in the “my story” posts, but I’ll sum it up here. After I fell in love, I kept it to myself, but I’m quite sure it was obvious. It took him dating someone else, losing me, and fighting to get me back to realize he loved me. Our love still wasn’t on the same level. He hadn’t truly begun to understand what it means to love someone, and I was busy trying to lock away the love I felt for him so I couldn’t get hurt so bad if he changed his mind about wanting to be with me again.
Our relationship still grew and blossomed. We began to come to a mutual decision on all love entailed. We grew closer and deeper in love. He started feeling the passionate and unbelievably strong love I had felt for him. But by this point, our relationship had taken a couple hits and I was in self-preservation mode.
I didn’t even realize I was in that mode until confronted with having to decide whether I could really walk away from a relationship founded partly on trust that had lost all it’s trust. When I decided to stay, the fiancé and I had a real deep discussion of our love.
When he described his love for me, it sounded exactly like what I would’ve said had I vocalized what I’d been feeling back then. It took him over a year to get to that feeling, but he was so comfortable there and never wanted to leave. At that moment, I realized I didn’t share those feelings. I did, but I didn’t feel it. I felt more numb.
I remember vividly how I used to feel. It was a love so deep my whole body shook when I thought about it. But I had pushed those feelings away for so long that I’d forgotten how to access them. I felt like I was standing at the entrance to my attic looking at a box way in the back marked “Love”. I’d have to crawl over dozens of other boxes and risk falling through the ceiling to get to it.
I began to understand that if we were going to have this firm foundation on love, I’d have to make the effort to dig out the old love box. I couldn’t just get by on my muted love. The fiancé deserved for me to access those feelings that were on par with what he was feeling. He never felt me lacking in love for him, not through my actions or words.
When I described for him the last day I truly let myself feel that deep over-powering love, he knew the day well. It was the last day we spent in Chicago before I went to St. Louis and he told me he’d picked the other chick. When he compared that to everyday since, he truly understood the difference in how I’d been feeling.
Now that these two versions of my love for him were out in the open, it was clear what had to happen. I had to be able to open myself back up to feel that love. But my self-preservation has been in tact for so long, I’m honestly not sure how to do it.
The best plan I have so far is to work on our trust. When I made the decision to try and be open before, I was going on blind trust, taking things at face value. I don’t have that luxury anymore, but what I do have now is experience and eventually I’ll have real trust.
Then I won’t be afraid to open up my heart again. I’ve always said I wanted a marriage that was filled with love and passion. I love the fiancé so much and I feel so passionate about and towards him. To know that can grow ever deeper if I open myself back up again makes me yearn for feeling safe enough to go there.
I think I can get to that point. We’re both committed to having our love be as deep as possible. And it’s there, I just have to let it back in.