When I think back on the past broken hearts and the amount of tears I cried over the wrong men, I know it was all worth it in the end to up with my partner James in life.
When James and I met, we both knew it was fate (in our case, our love story never would have happened if certain events didn't transpire to bring us together - talk about unexpected) and it was an instant connection right away.
I stopped believing in "love at first sight" and "soulmates" and "destiny" long ago, but with him, he brought those feelings all back to me and to believe in real love again. And when I say real love, I mean the "if something's wrong we fix it together, we actively communicate and are quick to apologize, we right away improve ourselves for our relationship, we talk about the future together, and what we'd be like when we're old and gray together" kind of love. Or as I like to also call it, that baby boomer kind of love haha.
I realized all the amazing things I could bring to a relationship and started placing a higher value on myself. I started realizing that I was this amazing person that knew I deserved a lot better in how I had been previously treated.
Instead of being bitter, regretful, sad, etc. about past relationships, I looked back on them with gratitude and strength. I was suddenly incredibly thankful for my past mistakes, the men in my past, the "almost" relationships, the longer, more serious relationships, the toxic relationships...all these experiences happened in my life in order to teach me.
Without these experiences, I wouldn't be the same person that I am today.
Growing up in world with constant messaging revolving around the idea of love, falling in love, getting married one day, finding my prince charming, etc. caused me to focus most of my attention on just that.
It led to a life of chasing after the wrong men, getting involved way too quickly, staying in relationships for way longer than I should have, settling for less than I deserved and lowering my standards, wondering why I could never seem to "get it right" and find that right person for me, and allowing my life to revolve around my relationships way more then it should have - all in the hopes of trying to find my "love story."
NAVIGATING THROUGH LIFE AND LOVE
"Someone out there is going to love you for exactly who you are. No matter if you are skinny, fat, tall, short, etc. We all have different types. The things that you worry about, your flaws, someone is going to love you for everything that you are."
Once I realized this and truly started to believe it, I stopped worrying about finding "the one." I started becoming more independent and confident, falling in love with myself (who I am and knowing what I deserved), and just genuinely becoming happy in my life with what I was doing, my goals, my dreams, etc.
As a hopeless romantic, I grew up in a world surrounded by Disney fairy tales (someday my prince will come), a father who showered my mother in romantic gestures such as love notes and flowers "just because," and traditional home views that I needed to find a man to marry one day and have a family with.
It's interesting what happens when we allow negative emotions like fear and desperation to control our lives.
I see and hear this similar story so often though from both men and women I speak to and work with. After all, I understand where it is coming from. We all have a desire to love and be loved in return. It wasn't until I learned to fall in love with myself as a single woman with an amazing life in so many ways though that the real magic started to happen.
I started becoming more independent and confident. I realized that a relationship wasn't the centre of my world and that being single wasn't such a bad thing after all. I had so many other things going on that were equally important to me and brought me such happiness. There were even days I was thankful to be single and not in a relationship. Through being happy and grateful with what I had in my life, I really fell in love with myself and, in turn, I realized how much of a high-value woman I am.
I learned so much about what I didn't like or want in a man, as well as what I wanted and needed in a future relationship. I learned about what I really deserved and not to settle for anything less.
I did still have my hard days once in awhile though, like when I would see a high school friend get engaged, married, or having a new baby. After all, those are still deep desires and dreams of mine. I knew though that my time would come one day and it would be worth the wait. I knew that in order to attract that dream man my way, I needed to be the best version of myself and happy with the life I was leading.
Love comes when you least expect it. When you are in a place where you are happy and loving the life that you already have.
Through genuinely being happy in my life and being confident, secure, and positive in who I am and what I deserved, I realized people started to take notice of this "new me" and I started attracting higher-quality people into my life, including the man of my dreams.
I celebrate knowing that I have a fantastic, healthy, and loving relationship that only continues to grow and get better each day in every way. My wish is for everyone to experience what I have – a partnership filled with passion, love, patience, support, and intimacy.
Ready to finally get your love story?